People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
August 05, 2007
NATION RISES IN PROTEST
Protest in Delhi
THE seething anger of the people of the nation against the ghastly, unprecedented brutality of the Congress government of Andhra Pradesh found expression in the spontaneous protests held at various places against Mudigonda killings. The CPI(M) Delhi state committee held a militant protest demonstration at Andhra Bhawan on July 30, 2007. More than five hundred people participated in the demonstration against the brutal killing of seven activists in police firing in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh. They raised slogans against the brutal repression unleashed against the land struggle in Andhra Pradesh and demanded the resignation of chief minister YSR Reddy.
The demonstrators carried placards saluting the AP martyrs and demanding the resignation of the AP chief minister for the unprecedented brutality committed by his police on peaceful agitators. There were placards demanding distribution of land and house sites to the poor.
S Ramachandran Pillai, Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) addressed the gathering of protestors outside the AP Bhawan. He asserted that the land struggle of lakhs of poor people in Andhra Pradesh was a just and legitimate struggle. The chief minister, YSR Reddy has completely exposed himself as a stooge of the land mafia during the three-month old struggle. Instead of showing any inclination to agreeing to the demands of the people for a piece of land, he has made every possible effort to repress the struggle. Pillai said that the AICC must realise that YSR Reddy was damaging the prospects of the Congress of staying in power at the centre. The Congress party itself should ask YSR Reddy to resign from his post.
N K Shukla from AIKS expressed solidarity of lakhs of peasants from all over the country with the agitating people of Andhra Pradesh. He saluted the Andhra land struggle and assured that their sacrifice would be carried to its logical conclusion through intensified struggles.
Suneet Chopra addressed the protestors on behalf of
the All India Agricultural Workers’ Union. He informed the protestors of scores
of solidarity protests all over the country in support of the agitation for land
for the landless in Andhra Pradesh and said that the AP state government had
nearly 60 lakh acres of land, which could be distributed among the poor.
The police for a while showed open hostility towards the protestors today. They first tried to stop people from reaching the protest venue and later resorted to indiscriminate use of water canon.
Delhi state committee member of the CPI(M) and the state secretary of AIDWA, Ashalata suffered severe injuries to her head due to the police action. She was admitted to Ram Manohar Lohia hospital for treatment. The Delhi state committee of the CPI(M) strongly condemned this highhandedness of the Delhi police.
Delhi secretary Pushpinder Grewal said in a statement, “we appeal to all people of the country to stand up in support of the struggle of the landless in Andhra Pradesh.” All India Democratic Women’s Association in a separate state condemned the repression let loose by the Delhi police against the demonstrators of the CPI(M) in which joint secretary of AIDWA, Ashalata suffered serious injury to her head. (INN)
Protest in Chennai
BIMAN Basu, state secretary of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) has condemned in the strongest terms the killing of people, who were leading a peaceful movement at Mudigonda in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh by the police of the AP state government. The Bengal unit has called for protest demonstrations all over the state on July 30. Indeed, big protest marches have been organised in Bengal on July 28-29 despite the very inclement weather, condemning the police firing on a justified democratic movement.
Biman Basu has expressed his strongest disapproval of the attack by police armed with automatic weapons on a peaceful democratic movement killing six people. He also censured the AP state government for arresting the top leadership of the AP CPI(M) including the state secretary B V Raghavulu and central committee member, P Madhu from the CPI(M) hunger strike camp.
The Bengal unit of the CPI(M) has demanded compensation to be paid to the families of those killed and injured; it has also dubbed the incident as a dangerous attack on and confrontation with democratic norms. The AP state government must also recognise and act according to the set of demands, justifiable and democratic, of the poor people of Andhra Pradesh.
The Bengal unit of the AIKS has called the incident of police firing on poor people at Mudigonda in Khammam a travesty of all democratic norms and has called upon all its units to go in for a massive protest demonstration at all levels and all over Bengal. Samar Baora, secretary of the Bengal unit of the AIKS has called for an immediate arrest of the guilty police personnel. Samar Baora has also demanded that the land in the possession of the state government must be distributed and early among the rural poor and the landless.
Thousands of people across the state of Tripura took to the streets on July 30 in a roaring protest against the most unprovoked, pre-planned killing of seven peaceful agitators at Mudigonda. At the call of the CPI(M) Tripura state committee, protest demonstrations condemning the mass killing were held at all Sub-Divisional/Block headquarters, towns and prominent market places including in the rural areas of the state.
In Agartala, protesters first gathered at Rabindra Satabarshiki Bhavan and from there they went in a procession which was marked by high-pitched slogans condemning the mass killings by the Congress government in AP. The protestors condoled the victims of this police brutality. Moving through the streets of Agartala, the procession assembled in a rally at Shakuntala Road. The protest rally culminated in a meeting which was presided over by the octogenarian leader, veteran freedom fighter and party state committee member Chitta Chanda.
Addressing the meeting Party state secretariat member Gautam Das first expressed deep sympathy for the bereaved families and solidarity with the struggling kisans of Andhra Pradesh. He said the Mudigonda incident glaringly showed who stands for whom. Only communists had been demanding to implement radical land reforms since pre-independence days but the Congress, with a view to protect its class interests, is in opposition to this demand. He condemned the AP government for trying to brutally suppress the democratic popular movement for land.
Citing the land-holding pattern in the three Left-ruled states, where extensive land reforms were carried out, Gautam Das said there is not a single instance where Left Front government resorted to brutal police action to suppress democratic movements.
Those who are trying to compare the Khammam killings with those at Nandigram must keep in mind that the Nandigram incident occurred during an attempt to rescue the people – who are even today in the clutches of armed gangsters patronised by opposition political parties – whereas the Khammam kisans are struggling for basic needs like land and home, Gautam Das asserted. He emphasised the need to spread this movement for land throughout the country.
Samar Adhya, Party Sadar divisional secretary also spoke.
AS soon as news was flashed of the dastardly police firing on July 28 in the Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh, the CPI(M) state centre immediately called upon all its district and tehsil units in Maharashtra to organise militant demonstrations denouncing the Congress state government of AP, demanding the resignation of chief minister Y S Rajashekar Reddy, condemning the role of the police and asking that those police officials responsible for the firing be proceeded against on charges of murder, and insisting that all the demands of the three month-long land struggle led by the CPI(M), CPI and 195 mass organisations be immediately conceded.
Accordingly, immediate protest demonstrations were held on July 30 in over 50 centres in 29 districts of Maharashtra by the CPI(M). In some centres the actions took place on July 29 itself and in some others on July 31 and August 1. State and district leaders of the CPI(M) and of mass organisations like the CITU, AIKS, AIAWU, AIDWA, DYFI, SFI, MSMRA etc took the lead in organising these protests. In some centres these actions were jointly organised by the CPI(M) and the CPI. At some places, large public meetings were held to denounce the firing. All these actions together mobilised well over 15,000 people at short notice.
The largest mass actions took place in Nanded district that borders Andhra Pradesh. Here activists of the CPI(M), AIKS, AIAWU, CITU, SFI and DYFI called for a peaceful protest bandh in Nanded city and in Kinwat and Mahur towns. Hundreds of activists went round these towns with Red flags in hand appealing to shopkeepers, hawkers, employees, students and other sections to support the bandh call condemning the Andhra firing. The bandh was successful and over 150 activists were arrested in Nanded city, police cases were slapped against 23 leading Party activists.
In all other districts where the Party has a presence, protest demonstrations of hundreds of people took place at the district centres and many tehsil centres. These districts included Mumbai, Thane, Raigad, Nashik, Nandurbar, Shule, Jalgaon, Buldana, Amravati, Uavatmal, Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara, Gondja, Chandrapur, Hingoli, Parbhani Beed, Aurangabad, Jalna, Usmanabad, Latur, Solapur, Sangli, Kolhapur, Satara, Pune and Ahmednagar districts. In all these places, respectful homage was paid to the people who were martyred in the Mudigonda firing, firm solidarity was expressed with our fighting comrades of Andhra Pradesh and a clarion call was given to strengthen people’s struggles in Maharashtra as well.
The CPI(M) and CPI organised protest demonstrations at Patna, Darbhanga, Begusarai, Samastipur, Khagaria, Jehanabad, Bhagalpur, Kaemur, Vaishali and all over Bihar on July 29 to protest against the Khammam police firing killing six people.
The protest demonstration at Patna was led by CPI(M) and CPI state secretaries, Bijoy Kant Thakkur and Badri N Lal respectively, and other senior Party leaders and activists of mass organisations participated.
The demonstration started from Gandhi Maidan and reached Dak Bangalow Chowk where an effigy of the Andhra Pradesh chief minister, Rajashekhar Reddy was burnt amidst slogans against the repressive Congress government of Andhra Pradesh and its pro-landlord policies.
In Bhagalpur town, the protest march organised by the Party’s unit covered the main routes of the town, shouting slogans ‘Down With AP CM Rajshekhar Reddy’, ‘The Killer Of Innocent People Must Be Hanged’, and ‘Long Live The Martyrs Of AP Land Struggle’ etc. The procession converged into a mass meeting at the busy station chowk and was addressed by Subodh Roy, Central Committee member of the CPI(M), S N Mandal, its district secretary and others.
ORISSA: CPI(M) BLOCKS NH-5
Hundreds of activists of the CPI(M) blocked the Kolkata - Chennai National Highway (NH-5) near CRPF Square in Bhubaneswar for hours in protest against the police firing on the Party workers in Andhra Pradesh.
The Party leaders said the Andhra police resorted to brutal firing on the people participating in a peaceful protest against police repression and the refusal of the government to concede their genuine demands.
“Instead of discussing and settling the issues, the Congress government in Andhra Pradesh resorted to brutal attacks on the people,” CPI(M) Orissa state secretary Janardan Pati said.
Shock, anger and determination were writ large on the faces of thousands of peasants, workers, youth, women, adivasis, dalits, Muslim minorities who came out on the streets of Jharkhand on July 29 in condemnation of and protest against the brutal killing of seven rural poor and injuring 16 others by police firing of Rajshekhar Reddy’s Congress government in Khammam district of Andhra Pradesh. They were angry because the land issues, for which these rural poor laid down their lives – including a woman – are close to their hearts.
CPI(M) Polit Bureau member Brinda Karat and CPI(M) state secretary J S Majumdar led the rally at Barharwa in Sahebganj district. At Ranchi, led by their state secretary Bhubaneshwar Prasad Mehta, MP, CPI’s state council members came out of their meeting and joined the public meeting at Albert Ekka crossing where large number of workers and youths, led by CPI(M) state secretariat members, came in a procession.
Protest rallies were also held at 25 other places in 13 districts – Ranchi, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Hazaribagh, Koderma, Giridih, Jamtara, Pakur, Sahebgabj, Godda, Dumka, Deoghar and Latehar – immediately responding to the all India call of the Party.
To carry on the struggle of Andhra Pradesh martyrs, the state committee of CPI(M) in Jharkhand demanded of Madhu Koda government for immediate implementation of effective land reforms in the state; for restoration of lands to the tribals and other poor which are under illegal occupation of landlords and land mafias; for rehabilitation, compensation and jobs to the already large number of displaced persons in the state and to stop eviction of tribals and other traditional forest dwellers from forest land on the basis of the earlier Vajpayee government’s circular.
(J S Majumdar)