(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
February 22, 2009
GROWING ATTACKS ON CPI(M) CADRE IN BENGAL
CPI(M) Coochbehar Secretary Assaulted, Injured Critically
TRINAMUL Congress desperadoes had the temerity and the evilness of design to run a mortal attack that could have very well have turned fatal on the elderly and ailing secretary of the Coochbehar district unit of the CPI(M) on February 10, 2009. At the time of writing this report, a call for a statewide protest programme to be observed on February 11 was given.
The district secretary along with two other comrades was travelling in a car along the main highway from Tooangunj. Two km onwards, the road was found blocked by trucks carrying Trinamuli colours. The truck jump started, and rammed the car. That was not all. The hoodlums dragged the leaders out and beat them up indiscriminately with batons and rods, aiming for the head. The quick intervention of Party workers and the people saved their lives. The assailants roared off in the truck mouthing foul words. Their immediate ire had been raised by their loss in the student union polls of some north Bengal colleges, several in Coochbehar where they have had a long and evil sway. Biman Basu has strongly condemned the incident as one borne of desperation as the Trinamuli loses grounds everywhere.
KILLED IN LALGARH
In yet another surprise assault, a killer squad of the Jharkhand-based Maoists crossed over to Bengal, penetrated into Lalgarh, and shot to death a zonal committee member and DYFI leader of the Lalgarh-Binpur area, Comrade Sujit Panda (23). The attack took place deep into the wintry evening of February 13, 2009 when Comrade Sujit was having an enjoying look at a card game that was in progress at the south side of Lalgarh. The assailants swooped down on Comrade Sujit, shot him on both sides of his chest using automatic pistols, exploded bombs of ear-splitting sound, and ran away leaving a stunned coterie of the village youth.
Comrade Sujit, who leaves behind his young wife, and their two-year-old daughter, came from a poor background, earned but a pittance from odd jobs, and was very popular amongst the youth. He was instrumental in keeping the flock together when the right-left combination sought to carry the day with emotive appeal to young men and men to quit the CPI(M) and come in to the jungles. Comrade Sujit had long been a target of the enemy and was aware of it in his dauntless manner.
A lengthy procession carried his last remains to their final destination and we couldn’t but fail to listen haplessly to the wailing cry that emanated from the hearts and minds of the poor Santhals and the Sabars of the area to whom Comrade Sujit was another name for assistance and guidance. What we could not withstand was the blank stare of the baby who clung to her mother and looked with a heart-wrenching wonderment as the flames rose amidst shoutings of slogans. Both the CPI(M) state secretary, Biman Basu, and the CPI(M) west Midnapore secretary, Professor Dipak Sarkar have strongly castigated this cowardly murder.
CPI(M) WORKER KILLED
IN MIDNAPORE EAST
The current attacks of the fatal sort on the CPI(M) workers have continued with impunity in Bengal. The culprits were Trinamuli hoods, and the place was Patashpore in Midnapore east. The occasion was the election to the governing body of the local girls’ school, where the CPI(M) candidates defeated their Trinamuli and other rivals by a handsome margin. This came as a shock to the Trinamulis and their ‘Maoist’ handlers who, after having won many gram panchayat seats of the area, were not simply willing to suspend disbelief and come to grips with what for them is an unpleasant reality. As state secretary of the CPI(M) Biman Basu has been telling lately at meetings and rallies, the turn of the political tide has began. People who had been led astray under a blitz of Goeblesian lies and misdemeanours have started to return and rejoin the ranks of the Red.
Thus, these frantic desperadoes took recourse to murder – a murder of the unarmed innocent. A voter in the school committee elections was on his way back to his village riding pillion on the bicycle of the CPI(M) worker Subodh Barik. The assailants lay in ambush at a lonely bend on the road. They fired off three shots, one of which missed. Indeed the remaining two missed the intended target as well. Instead, Subodh (35) who instinctively shielded the person riding pillion with a turn of his body was shot twice on the side of the chest, and he fell dead on the spot – another martyr to Trinamuli depredation in the district. A 12-hour bandh called by the CPI(M) passed off peacefully. The state and the district units of the CPI(M) have denounced the cowardly killing.
A local committee member of the CPI(M), Comrade Haradhan Majhi, his son Ravi Majhi, and a Party worker Chandrasekhar Majhi have become the latest victims of Maoist violence. Comrade Haradhan died when he had been shot on the forehead at point blank range from a pistol by the Maoist killers. Chandrasekhar and Ravi are recuperating at a hospital near the Bersa locality of Balarampur at Purulia where the attack took place in the late evening.
Comrade Haradhan had long been on the hit list of the Maoist killers. Of late, he had forsaken his ancient bicycle to move around in an equally rickety motorbike. This could not save him. Comrade Haradhan (50) was on his way back from the bi-weekly haat and he had made purchases of some essential commodities for the week. The two other comrades were riding pillion.
The killers waited near a culvert where the road bends sharply and vehicles have to slow down. As soon as Comrade Haradhan throttled down the motorbike and ‘walked’ the vehicle to negotiate the hard bend, the Maoist villains, there were seven of them, all clad in olive green camouflage fatigues and wearing Army-style peaked caps, came forward, pressed a pistol on his forehead and fired twice. The CPI(M) leader died on the spot, and the two other comrades received gunshot wound as the Maoists made good their escape.
Biman Basu has condemned the killing and said that there was a plan afoot by the Maoists to create anarchy if they could in the western districts of Bengal. He called upon the mass of the people to remain vigilant. Elsewhere, on February 3, a Maoist leader addressing the media at the press club in Kolkata responded to a query to say that the ultimate plan of their outfit was to create an autonomous jungle mahal area comprising Bankura, Purulia, and Midnapore west.
KILL ONE IN BANKURA
COMRADE Biswanath Digor (45) was a poor man, working for a pittance as the cook of a small girls’ school in Deuli area dominated by the indigenous people. His wife is an agricultural worker. Comrade Digor leaves behind two children. Comrade Biswanath reached his hutment on February 9 after entertaining himself at a puppet show following a hard day’s work.
A group of young men, faces hidden behind mufflers called out to Biswanath, pulled him out and then shot him twice on the chest, killing him instantaneously. The killers made good their escape. Comrade Biswanath, a stout Party organiser of the area, survived a near fatal attack at the Trinamuli-Jharkhandi combination during the last Panchayat elections. This time the attack proved fatal. Biman Basu, state secretary of the CPI(M) has condemned the attack.
Elsewhere, Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb has said that the three men killed during the mêlée that had occurred while Comrade Nanda’s cortège was attacked were simple villagers and not CPI(M) workers. The implication is grave when innocent lives are lost; the situation became graver still when partisan politics might not have been involved.