People's Democracy

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


No. 23

June 15 , 2008



Trinamulis Escalate Harassment Of People In Rural Areas

B Prasant

TWENTY-something Arshad is a minor electrician by profession.  He is also now a proud CPI(M) elected member of a Gram Panchayat at Panchla in Howrah, where the Trinamul Congress has captured several GPs with assistance from the entire range of Bengal opposition from the right to the extreme left. The recent weeks, reports Arshad, have witnessed a steady escalation of attacks on the common villager by the hirelings of the local Trinamul Congress chiefs: threats are constantly in the air and it is regrettable that even the rural women are not spared of vicious verbal intimidation, and worse.  

The villagers, says Arshad, are fighting back, and the morale is high, especially after a visit by the local and zonal-level leadership of the CPI(M) to the area.  'Times ahead will be tougher, confesses Arshad. In a hurry on his way to his constituency, on a rocky bicycle, but with a set face, Arshad and his comrades of Panchla are ready to look the reactionaries and the sectarians right in the eye in the arena of class struggle which is no longer at a subterranean level in Bengal, now more than ever.

Nandigram, in east Midnapore abutting Howrah, continues to suffer at the hands of the Trinamul Congress goons and their 'Maoist' controllers. The latter have recruited several sets of students from some colleges and universities of the metro and even beyond.  These viciously-violent young men and women, arms-trained, and highly-motivated in their anti-Communism, are ensconsed in foreign-funded NGOs and they are also the field-level strategists in the renewed attacks being carried out against CPI(M) workers, supporters, and sympathisers, especially at the village level at both blocks I and II of Nandigram.



Gurupada Mondal, a CPI(M) worker and a small, marginal farmer of Garchakraberia has recently come under a severe physical assault for the third time in a row. This time, the Mondal family is very worried, as Gurupada has been kidnapped under duress by a gang of Trinamuli-Maoist hoods in open daylight, from a paddy field along with his small tiller, seen at a far distance to be beaten senseless with lathis, and then stuffed in a car and gone.  The Nandigram police report that until the afternoon of June 8, they are not able to trace Gurupada or know anything about the whereabouts of those who forcibly took him away.

A large number of CPI(M) workers and supporters of Nandigram block I have to, again, live their lives in the misery of rain-sodden refugee camps, little more than rickety shelters would be an appropriate description, thrown together as the structures were in haste, and the number increases day-by-day.  The families have come from places like Jalpai, Kendemari, Gokulnagar, Kalicharanpur, and Kantaboni.  In these areas, the Trinamul Congress-run GPs have run a writ that the CPI(M) supporters would not be allowed to harvest crops.  

Trinamul Congress has planted flags everywhere in the rice paddies, and has threatened that anyone even found traversing across the fields will have their hands and feet cut off.  A large number of farmers complained to us that they were witnesses, helpless witnesses, to their crops getting to rot away in the alternate rain and shine typical of the month of June in south Bengal.  There is but a single harvesting season at Nandigram.  There had been no agricultural work at all in 2007.  It looks as if the same tragic history is going to be repeated in 2008 - and the poor underfed peasants and their dependants shall again have endure the pangs of hunger and the cruelty of the class enemy.  

The old jotdars and zamindars, sans title, and now mostly engaged in large-scale trade and commerce in the cities, are now in a jolly turn of mood, and have poured money into the local Trinamuli and Maoists' coffers.  Some of them have even made it a point to join hands with the various groups of the 'civil society' and take turns in visiting Nandigram in a gloating re-run of the 1950s and the 1960s.  The 'Maoists', crafty, cruel, and scheming - and armed, are regrouping once again, a safe passage having been ensured to them by their allies the Trinamul Congress from the remote corners of south 24 Parganas where they had hidden like fearful rodents all this while.  



How silent have they been in carrying out their task towards building up urban killers was recently stumbled upon by the police - and it happened in the heart of Kolkata.  The yellow-and-white house on Friends' Row, in a sedate, middle-class, run-of-the mill neighbourhood of Jadavpur, had nothing extraordinary to it. In one of the flats, surprisingly well-furnished and electronically equipped for the neighbourhood the house is in, lived five young college-going girls.  

Two of them, Debalina, and Jayita, were openly seen by us, among a thousand others, at Nandigram throughout a large stretch of time in the middle months of 2007, especially at Sonachura and Gokulnagar, at a time when the former was run by the 'Maoists', the latter by the Trinamulis.  They were also visible, in a high profile, on TV channels.  The girls and their underlings had presence in both areas under the name and style of 'organisers / members of Matangini Mahila Samity.'  They were spotted among those agitating the villagers of Nandigram, especially in the run up to the sad incident of police firing of March 14 that year.  The party letter dated February 20, 2008 of the CPI (Maoist) acknowledges all this albeit in several versions.

The police however, were completely outfoxed by the five Maoists in an instance from which someone somewhere should draw lessons. The girls kept the door of the flat shut, phoned and brought in a large number of Trinamul Congress and Naxalite roughs accompanied by an even larger number of 'members' of the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights' (APDR) an organisation that the Maoists control from behind the curtain, and that makes no secret of where its sympathies lay.

Apparently, the five had a long talk with the Trinamuli supremo, following which more Trinamul goons arrived, and so did the vehicle of a corporate house TV channel. Surrounded by the roughs, the girls got into the vehicle and motored off in front of the police who would not intervene because they allegedly had not had any 'warrant of arrest'.