People's Democracy

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


No. 26

June 26, 2011




CITU Denounces Police Atrocity


THE Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU) has denounced the brutal lathicharge by police on a peaceful demonstration of around 15,000 villagers and coalmine workers who were opposing the eviction of the villagers and contract workers residing and cultivating in the land adjoining the coalmines of Eastern Coalfields Ltd in Pandabeswar area of West Bengal. The police lathicharge on the villagers and workers who were peacefully squatting since the last few days against the eviction order issued by Eastern Coalfields Ltd has left several people severely injured. These include the CITU leader and local MLA, Gauranga Chatterjee, who received severe head injuries and was admitted to a hospital in serious condition.


In a statement issued on June 22, the CITU described as shocking as well as deplorable the fact that the management of a central government company like Eastern Coal Fields (ECL) sought to evict around 30,000 poor villagers and contract workers from 11 villages adjoining Pandabeswar just to hand over the area to private mining contractors. The threatened villagers include peasants, bargadars, agricultural workers etc, apart from mine workers. The Colliery Mazdoor Sabha of India (CITU) had already lodged their protest against the ECL’s eviction order in favour of a few private contractors and joined the villagers in protest programmes.


While protesting against the police atrocities, the All India Coal Workers Federation of India has decided to hold a protest demonstration in all the collieries throughout the country on 24th June 2011 and urged all the coal workers’ unions irrespective of affiliations to join the protest action.    


While condemning the police atrocity as well as the evil ploy of ECL management to oblige the private contractors by forcibly dislodging more than 30,000 villagers, that too without any appropriate compensation and rehabilitation covering all affected people, the CITU has demanded that the government of India and the coal minister in particular must restrain the ECL management from such this forcible eviction drive. It has also urged upon the state government to take action against the police officials responsible for the barbaric lathicharge on a peaceful democratic protest.