People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 14

April 08, 2007

Maoists-Jharkhandis Kill Two CPI(M) Workers In Midnapore West


B Prasant


THE killing spree against CPI(M) workers returned to Midnapore west on March 30. A combined late evening attack led and orchestrated by the Maoists and a splinter group of the Jharkhand Party (Aditya Kisku faction) resulted in a murderous assault on CPI(M) workers in remote hilly terrains of Simulpal in Belpahari. In the assault, two CPI(M) members of the Simulpal Gram Panchayat were brutally done to death. Four others were injured, and two CPI(M) workers abducted in an injured condition. 


The attack took place when the CPI(M) workers were on their way back at sundown from attending a developmental meeting of the Simulpal Gram Panchayat. They were bound for Labani and were all travelling on bicycles. The dense forest of Chaukishal filled with tall, thick, and leafy Sal trees that they had to negotiate was already dark under the forest cover. The assailants, 15 to 20 in number, lay in wait on both sides of the narrow and winding jungle trail.




As the CPI(M) workers came into view, the killers sprang into action. The CPI(M) workers found themselves immediately at the receiving end of the dozen-odd bludgeons and staves, and as they fell from the mounts, the goons beat them up further and mercilessly to bloody pulps. 


Then, the assailants who knew the CPI(M) workers well enough to identify them by name, started shooting them. The attack left two CPI(M) workers, Comrades Rampada Singh (44) and Parikshit Singh dead. Comrade Rampada was a member of the Belpahari local committee of the CPI(M). Those wounded in the attack included Kshitish Singh, who was Comrade Parikshit’s brother, Abani Sardar, who was Comrade Parikshit’s brother-in-law, and Nirmal Singh, and Shankar Nayak. 


After the attackers had vanished into the jungle leaving the dead and wounded CPI(M) workers, Shankar and Nirmal crawled out of the area and informed the local office of the CPI(M) of the incident. The CPI(M) workers rushing back saw no trace of Kshitish and Abani who had apparently been kidnapped in between and the assailants must have come back to make sure all the CPI(M) workers were dead.





All the CPI(M) workers of the area have long been targets of the Simulpal Gram Panchayat run by a faction of the Jharkhand Party with outside support of the Maoists. The Upa-pradhan was CPI(M)’s Mohan Karmakar who won from the only ST seat of the Panchayat. On the eve of the developmental meeting, the Jharkhandis had served a grim warning to the CPI(M) members not to speak about development. Other members stayed away from the meeting in apprehension. Only the CPI(M) Panchayat members attended the meeting and they did discuss in full problems and prospects of development.


All the CPI(M) workers of the area including the Panchayat members indeed would work tirelessly and throughout the year for the development of the area while strengthening the organisational base of the CPI(M). They took an important part in thwarting the Jharkhand-Maoists conspiracy to stall the working of the Simulpal Panchayat.


State secretary of the CPI(M) Biman Basu, in Delhi attending the CPI (M) Polit Bureau and central committee meetings, has condemned the dastardly killings. Throughout March 31, the local units of the CPI(M) organised protest rallies and marches in the Binpur-Belpahari area. The Midnapore west district unit of the CPI(M) has called for political drives to isolate the anti-people and anti-poor Jharkhandis and the Maoists from the mass of the people.


It is clear these brutal killings took place as a measure to stop developmental work. Specifically, the work of building and widening of roads was anathema to the Maoists who would like to see, much like their counterparts at Nandigram, the localities and regions cut off from the mainstream of life.


The Simulpal Gram Panchayat has long been a centre of financial corruption indulged in with impunity by the Jharkhand Party that controls the major seats of the Panchayat. Four Jharkhandis have in the meanwhile been accused of corruption: two are in jail with the other two absconding, away in Jharkhand.


Work of development in the dry and dusty laterite (‘red clay’) zone was carried resolutely forward by the CPI(M) Gram Panchayat members. The left-over unused Panchayat funds were put to developmental purposes under their pressure. Finally, over the past few years, the Jharkhandis aided and abetted by the Maoists started to issue threats to the CPI(M) workers, and then started acting upon them. 




The killings started from 2001 itself. Among those murdered are Comrades Sudhir Singh Sardar, Baridbaran Mondal, Rampada Majhi, Rabi Das, Anil Mahato, Palaram Tudu, and former Zilla Parishad Sabhadhipati Rabindranath Kar and his wife. CPI(M) workers have been threatened and attacked on numerous occasions. 


Work of road widening and road making have been stopped by constant assault on the construction workers. Bungalows have been blown up. Earth-moving equipment vandalised. Taking advantage of the remoteness of the area, the Maoists and the Jharkhandis have also prevented the utilisation of funds for various union government and state government projects. 


The Maoists and their lackeys are also mortally afraid of the growing political strength of the CPI(M) in Midnapore west, especially alarming being the growth of the CPI(M) mass base in the ‘red clay’ zones. The murders are thus direct fall-outs of the panic felt among the leadership and the rank-and-file of the murdering Maoists as well. 


It is not a surprise to us that the cadres of a particular brand of intellectualism, in Bengal and elsewhere, so vociferous about Nandigram happenings, are quite tight-lipped about the murder of the CPI(M) workers by forces of reaction and sectarianism. Indeed, as one worthy ‘intellectual,’ we recall, has already sang ‘try to kill at least five CPI(M) workers every day, and thus finish off the CPI (M) and the Left Front government.’