(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
July 31, 2011
Peasants Resist Land Grabbing & Eviction
From Our Special
Correspondent in Kolkata
THE peasants of
Initial fear of such atrocity is now withering away. Peasants have begun to resist, writing another new chapter in the history of glorious peasant movement in the state.
The first such resistance was seen at Bhangar in South 24 Parganas. Almost 400 bighas of land were vested and distributed among peasants during the Left Front period. Sharecroppers were also given rights in due process. The peasants were cultivating the lands for more than three decades without any disturbances. Around a fortnight back, TMC gangs posted their flags in the lands and forced the peasants to stop working. The peasants, including 35 tribal families, lodged a FIR in local police station but no action was taken. On July 23, peasants were mobilised and they recaptured their lands. AIKS and CPI(M) activists joined in the struggle. Women led the procession which went in the lands and they started working. The next day, the peasants used tractors and nobody dared to stop them anymore. CPI(M) leader and local MLA Abdur Rezzak Mollah was present in the procession.
The next resistance was in Galsi, in Burdwan district. Many acres of land in Paraj, Jotekolko, Bholagora, Pulsa and some other villages were forcibly captured by erstwhile landlords with active support from TMC. Peasants were evicted. In many cases, lands of those who even voted for TMC were snatched away from them. A new wave of rethinking swayed through Galsi for the last few days. Finally, on July 25 and 26, hundreds of peasants marched in to restore their legal rights. With Red flags on their shoulders, peasants moved from one village to another and started cultivation. It was a rare sight of peasant mobilisation. Those who did not lose their lands joined in huge numbers to help their fellow villagers to restore lands. Galsi, one of the best agricultural zones in the whole state, reverberated with slogans: “Defend the rights of poor peasants”.
Almost 230 bighas were forcibly captured in Bhatar, in Burdwan district. In Ambona, TMC armed gangs even declared that all land reforms now stood invalid. More than 200 peasant families were evicted in Bhatar where all kinds of terror was unleashed. There was a gloom in the villages for some days. But the scene changed on July 25 and 26. The peasants decided to fight back and they were joined by AIKS. With Red flags, hundreds of villagers came out of their homes and ‘liberated’ their lands from the henchmen of landlords. The courage shown by the poor and marginal peasants forced the TMC gangs to stay away. The peasants started sowing once again in Ambona, Bhumsor and other villages. Tractors were used as hundreds of others stood guard.
Both in Galsi and Bhatar, senior villagers recounted how they fought against the landlords decades ago and how the Left Front government distributed lands among them. The villagers alleged that the real face of TMC stands exposed now.