People's Democracy

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


No. 51

December 22, 2013




Left Protests Attack on Democracy in Bengal



THE Left Front of West Bengal sat in a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on December 18 to protest against the onslaught on democratic rights of people in the state. Over 150 elected representatives from the state participated to protest against attacks on Left workers. The meeting was presided over by Biman Basu, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and chairman of the West Bengal Left Front. The general secretaries of CPI(M), CPI, AIFB, Prakash Karat, S Sudhakar Reddy, Debabrata Biswas and the secretary of RSP, Abani Roy addressed the dharna.


Cautioning that the situation in West Bengal is serious, Prakash Karat noted that in the 34 years rule of the Left Front in West Bengal, we had made efforts at democratic decentralisation and strengthening of democracy through the panchayat raj system. The Trinamul Congress government today is destroying all the democratic values and traditions that were present in the state. The way the recent Panchayat elections were held in the state is a testimony to this destruction.  He said the Trinamul Congress government is resorting to an outright attack on democratic institutions in the state. Prakash Karat called upon all the democratic minded people of the country to condemn the attack on democracy in West Bengal.


Presiding over the dharna, Biman Basu, said there was no democracy left in West Bengal. 142 Left Front activists have been killed since the assembly elections in West Bengal in 2011. Party offices were being captured illegally and burnt down. He noted that the Trinamul Congress does not even allow them to voice their opposition in the Assembly, forget outside. Biman Basu demanded an end to violence against the Left Front activists in the state and action against the perpetrators of attacks.


Others who addressed the dharna included Sitaram Yechury, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and MP, Suryakanta Mishra, CPI(M) Polit Bureau member and leader of opposition in West Bengal assembly, Basudeb Acharya, CPI(M) Central Committee member and MP, Nilotpal Basu, CPI(M) Central Secretariat member and various other national and state leaders of the Left parties.


Later, a delegation of the Left Front comprising Biman Basu, Suryakant Mishra, Swapan Banerjee, Tajmul Hossain and Kshiti Goswami met President of India, Pranab Mukherjee and submitted  a memorandum demanding his intervention into the condition of ‘subversion of democracy and democratic rights,’ that is prevailing in the state at present. Another memorandum was submitted to the president by the Left Front MPs of both the houses of parliament demanding a CBI investigation into the Saradha chit-fund scam.


The following is the text of the memorandum submitted to the president on the attacks on the democratic rights of people in West Bengal:


WE want to draw your kind attention towards the serious violation of constitutional obligation in maintaining the individual democratic rights of the people of West Bengal. The state government since its inception is not ensuring the individual rights of the people. In democracy, rights of the opposition parties are to be ensured by government in power. But in the case of West Bengal general and police administration are not protecting the opposition rather they are bent upon on curtailing all democratic norms and forms and thus attacking the opposition parties particularly the Left Front parties in the state. Thus since May 13, 2011 to December 5, 2013, 142 Left Front constituent party leaders and activists have been killed by the ruling party.


We on behalf of Left Front committee, West Bengal want to state some of the incidents occurred during the period mentioned. Attack on opposition is still continuing but up till now the number of injured and hospitalized has gone up to 7,433. The incidents of rape and molestation are 1,865. 46,937 people have been evicted from their normal households. 5,547 houses of Left Front supporters were ransacked, looted and burnt. 2,170 Left Front and mass organisation offices were either burnt or captured. 302 education institutions have been attacked and principals, professors, head of the institutions and senior staff are not spared from attacks. More than 85 elected student union offices were captured. 4,237 Left Front activists have been registered under false or fabricated cases. Of this 1,360 are still in judicial custody and the rest, not allowed to visit their own residences, some prohibited from entry to their home districts. The total number of those involving false cases is 54,938, extortion of more than Rs 28 crores is so far reported from over 9,529 people. In the rural areas, nearly 3,500 cultivators have not been allowed to cultivate their own land in about 9,223 acres. Under land reform legislation of the Left Front government., bargadars and patta holders were legally registered. Over 27,000 of them covering an area of over 9,213 acres have today been forcibly evicted.


The aforesaid situation is ample proof to vindicate how the atmosphere of terror has been created by the ruling party in West Bengal. If the victim lodges any complaint to the local administration or police station, remedial measures are not adopted by the administration. Rather, based on fabricated report of the ruling party, complainants are being arrested. We have seen that the main ruling party is attacking all Left Front partners but they are not even sparing other opposition including Congress party. Very recently one of the veteran Left leaders and ex-minister, Naren Dey, was also not spared by the TMC hoodlums. He was severely beaten in his own party office in Dhaniakhali, Hooghly district. Subversion of democracy and democratic rights has become the normal practice in West Bengal today.


In the prevailing abnormal situation where there is an attack on democracy and individual rights of the people and the opposition parties in West Bengal, we request you to inquire into the state of law and order affairs of West Bengal and to adopt appropriate measures for restoration of democratic rights of the people of the state.