People's Democracy

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


No. 29

July 17, 2011

AIKS Condemns Bengal Firing on Peasants


THROUGH a statement issued from New Delhi on July 11, 2011, by its president, S Ramachandran Pillai, and general secretary, K Varadha Rajan, the All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) had condemned the brutal violence unleashed on poor peasants and sharecroppers in Haroa region of North 24 Paraganas district in West Bengal by the Trinamul goons aided by the police. The AIKS has noted that the Mamata Banerjee government of the state and Trinamul goons are perpetrating violent attacks against the peasantry in many parts of the state, with the aim of reversing the land reforms and snatching away the hard won rights of the peasantry. They have overtly supported the landlords and other vested interests in their attempts to forcibly evict poor peasants and sharecroppers from their land.


On July 9, the police opened fire on the poor peasants who went to re-establish their right to cultivate after being evicted from their land by Trinamul goons and representatives of the erstwhile feudal landlordism. Many of the sharecroppers and poor peasants have been injured in the joint action. Four of the agitating bargadars (sharecroppers) and pattadars (holders of the vested land that was given to the landless), who were being forcibly evicted from the land under them, suffered serious injuries in the police firing. All the injured are poor tribal peasants. The police had cordoned off the entire area and was not even allowing to take the injured to a hospital. Also, Trinamul goons also ransacked the houses of CPI(M) supporters and Kisan Sabha  activists, and set them on fire.


The AIKS statement said that along with a number of places across rural Bengal, Haroa has been witnessing forcible eviction of bargadars and pattadars by Trinamul land-grabbers. The erstwhile Left Front government had given these bargadars the hereditary right to cultivate the land of the landlords, and the landless had got over 15,000 bighas of land spread over Haroa and Minakha from the same government. But since the Trinamul Congress formed a government in the state, the landless and bargadars are being prevented from tilling their lands; even their crops have been destroyed in many places. More than 10,000 peasants including bargadars and pattadars have been evicted from their land by Trinamul supporters.


The All India Kisan Sabha has warned the Trinamul-led government against such attempts and called for protection of the rights of the peasants and bargadars. It said it would resist with all its might any attempt to reverse the land reforms or stifle the rights of the peasantry. Expressing solidarity with the struggling peasantry and the injured, the organization has asked all its units to rise in protest against such attacks on the peasantry.