People's Democracy

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


No. 15

April 20, 2008




B Prasant

THE daily Ganashakti ran an immensely sad yet strangely inspiring photo on its cover page on the issue dated April 14, the day of the Bengali New Year. It depicts two women with buckets of water bending down at the waist, washing away with tender care clumps of clotted blood from the heads, faces, and bodies of the three CPI((M) workers – daily labourers all in NREGA schemes – who were brutally gunned down by Maoist assassins, minutes back at a remote part of the heavily wooded Salboni area of Midnapore west.

One woman could be seen trying with deep desperation borne of extreme grief to dig out bullets from the back of one of the killed, Comrade Mukul Tiwari (33) who was the secretary of the Garmal branch of the CPI(M): the woman is the martyred comrade’s wife.

Other two workers gunned down – each had seven to ten bullets of large calibre pumped into their heads, faces, backs, and abdomens – were CPI(M) worker Comrade Jugal Murmu, and Gram Committee secretary Comrade Naba Kumar Murmu who has just been recruited into the Party as an AG member.

The train of events leading to the gruesome murder started when during the mid-afternoon hours when the wage earners were taking a bit of a time off from working in the hot sun burning down from the clear sky, under a shady and large pipal tree, ten men were seen approaching them. The men were led by a person who appeared to be their local guide, the ill-reputed Pradesh Congress history-sheeter Viren Singh.

As the rascal Viren slipped away, the group shouted Maoist slogans, took out automatic rifles each, surrounded the terror-struck workers, and asked for the local Panchayat member, Madhusudan Singh. The workers although terrified to death -- for they knew what was coming -- would not identify him.

The Maoists then told them, gangster-fashion, that three of them would now be killed for their non-cooperation. As the workers grouped together and faced the assassins in a brave gesture, as one eyewitness tell us, the bullets flew and three Party workers slumped to the ground in a pool of spreading crimson. The cowardly Maoists, who then bound up the rest of the workers’ hands behind their backs at gunpoint, ran away and probably mounted motorcycles that they had parked away at a convenient rendezvous beyond the bushes, and disappeared in a cloud of dust.

Protest marches attended by thousands of people from the local village clusters took place almost immediately. The police have started to make inquiries, thankfully earlier than usual, and a search is on for the villain Viren who has probably decamped to Jharkhand. Biman Basu, secretary of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) has condemned the killing and has asked CPI(M) workers and sympathisers to exert extreme caution in their daily movements as the prospect of defeat at the rural polls make the left-right combination in Bengal fearful of and full of hatred for, the CPI(M), and the Left Front.



Comrade Srijan Mondal, DYFI unit secretary of Sayyabad at Khagra (Berhampore Township) in the district of Murshidabad, ran a small medicine shop in a busy part of the town, called the Natun Bazaar. He is assisted by another DYFI member Sujoy Brahma. It was business as usual for the duo during the noon hours when three Pradesh Congress goons entered the shop, took out countrymade guns and shot the two comrades several times.

Comrade Srijan (32) died in the spot; Sujoy (28) fights for his life at the town general hospital. The killers then came out, threatened the crowd that had been attracted by the sound of shots fired, with a flourish of guns, and then sped away on motorbikes.

The Pradesh Congress unit of Murshidabad with the notorious history-sheeter Adhir Chaudhuri leading the van had been engaged in attacks on CPI(M) and DYFI workers for the past few months. The aim is clearly to establish a panic as the elections to the Murshidabad municipality and the rural polls in the village areas surrounding Berhampore approach.

The district police told us that now they have a fair description of the killers, apprehension of the culprits would be short work. In the meanwhile, protest marches were taken out all over the town to condemn the dastardly murder. Biman Basu has condemned the murder and the continuing attack by Pradesh Congress hoodlums on CPI(M) and DYFI workers and sympathisers, especially in Berhampore and its surrounds.