August 9:

“Vajpayee Hatao, Desh Bachao” campaign"

“VAJPAYEE HATAO” (Oust Vajpayee) demand, that was articulated spontaneously all over the country in the wake of the Tehelka revelations, has gained momentum in the more than five months that followed it, and Vajpayee govt. was found to be involved in many more scams, the recent being the UTI scam, in which the PMO has direct involvement. The new economic policies have turned the country into a graveyard for industry and agriculture, while scamsters continue to make merry. The government’s blatant support for the missile-crazy Bush administration and the shameless offer to host possible US military bases in the country have badly tarnished the country’s image, reducing the world’s second biggest country, with more than a billion people to the pitiable position of a vassal state of Washington. Linking all this to the ongoing unrest in the countryside against the govt.’s anti-peasant surrender to WTO, the Party in order to intensify “Vajpayee hatao” movement, issued a call to observe 9 August, the historic Quit India Day, as a day of expressing protest through rasta roko, rail roko and jail bharo movements throughout the country. The call “Vajpayee hatao, Desh bachao”(Oust Vajpayee, Save the Nation) against the onslaught of globalisation and communal fascism evoked widespread response among Party ranks, activists of mass organisations and masses all over the country. Roads were blocked, trains were stopped, blocking the tracks at several places, processions were brought out and tens of thousands of people were arrested in ‘Jail Bharo’ programmes all over the country. The details.

In Bihar, around 25,000 people were arrested in various cities and towns. In Patna, a large anti-globalisation march with more than 5,000 activists and supporters led by Com. Ramjatan Sharma, Rameshwar Prasad, Saroj Chaube, Rajaram Singh, Mithilesh Yadav, and others courted arrest. They raised slogans like “stop selling the country at the instance of World Bank” “down with traitors” etc. In Rohtas, more than 2,000 people led by Com. Pawan Sharma brought out a procession at Dehri-on-Sone. In Katihar, police lathicharged at Kursela on peasants blocking NH-31. At Kachna in Barsoi, a train was stopped for hours. In Nawada, a train was stopped for hours, and thousands participated in a march in the city, and courted arrest at the station. In Siwan, Mairwan railway station was paralysed. Com. Amarnath Yadav, Satyadev Ram and Amarjeet Kushwaha were arrested along with thousands of peasant activists. In Arrah, more than one thousand peasants led by Com. Chandradeep Singh, Chandrama Prasad and others brought out a procession and courted arrest. Similar programme was observed in Jahanabad, led by Com. Ramadhar Singh, Kunti Devi, etc. Reports of courting arrest are there from Gaya, Samastipur, Chhapra, Begusarai, Darbanga and Madhubani. In Bettiah of East Champaran, more than 4,000 peasants, workers, students and youth participated in a procession, largest ever in Bettiah, and gheraoed the Collectorate. The DM came out and admitted that he was unable to arrest this large number of agitators. Reports of arrests are there from Muzaffarpur, Bhagalpur, Bhabhua, Dhamdaha, and Saharsa etc.

In Jharkhand, Party and allied mass organisation activists blocked roads at four points in Garhwa; the police resorted to lathicharge at Bhavnathpur. A procession was taken out in Ranchi city and traffic at the main centre Firayalal was stopped for one hour. Roads were blocked in Palamu, Barwadih (Latehar), Bundu (Ranchi). The National highway was blocked at three points in Hazaribagh, in which around 1,000 comrades participated. Roads were also blocked at Koderma, Dumka and Gumla. In Giridih, around 4,000 people blocked GT Road, and around 1000 blocked another highway at Birni. In Dhanbad, around 500 comrades blocked roads at 4 places including Nirsa. In Bokaro, police resorted to lathicharge in the city and some 700 people participated in road blocks at Jaina More, Phusro. In all, 11,000 people participated in the road block programmes.

In U.P., more than 5,000 activists took to the streets implementing the national call, while the demand of ouster of police-mafia saffron govt. of Rajnath Singh to restore democracy in the state was also raised along with it. At Mailani station, police lathicharged demonstrators led by Com. Krishna Adhikari and even resorted to firing in the air. Around 20 activists got injured but people resisted police attack and kept Ruhelkhand Express blocked. A dozen activists were arrested and sent to jail, and false cases including 307 Cr.PC were clamped on 16 activists including Party CC member Krishna Adhikari, State Committee member Jawaharlal and Distt. Secy of Kheri, Ramdaras. In Mughalsarai, around 2,500 activists led by Com. Akhilendra Pratap Singh marched through Mughalsarai bazaar, where people spontaneously supported and shops were closed showing the people’s anger against Rajnath Singh. After blocking the railway traffic for two hours, at Mughalsarai Jn. activists courted arrest. In Karnalganj of Gonda district, dharna on railway line went on for two hours. In Pilibhit, 400 activists were arrested while blocking Assam Road. Processions were brought out in Ballia and Bhatpar of Deoria, Allahabad, Ambedkar Nagar, Ghazipur and Jalaun, where hundreds participated. In Lucknow, the rallyists led by Com. Lalbahadur Singh were arrested by police at Hazratganj. In Kanpur, the effigy of Atal Bihari Vajpayee was burnt and the activists were arrested.

In Rajasthan, Jhunjhunu bandh was widely successful. The procession was led by Com. Mahendra Chaudhary and Phoolchand Dhewa. Mass meetings were held at Banswada, Salumber and Dhariawad of Udaypur distt. Pratapgarh in Chittor district. In Dungarpur, ‘chakka jam’ and dharna were led by Com. Ramprasad Dindor. In Jaipur, Party activists led by Com. Srilata Swaminathan took part in a joint programme under the banner of People’s Campaign against Globalisation, blocked road and courted arrest.

In Madhya Pradesh, around 200 youth and women activists, workers and intellectuals participated in a dharna in Gwalior led by Com. Rajaram, Gurudatt Sharma, Vinod Rawat, Narendra Pandey and others. Dharna was also held at Bhind.

In Chhattisgarh, workers took out a rally in Bhilai and then staged a dharna at Power House. It was led by Com. Shambhu Singh, Ashok Miri, Shekhar Rao and others. In Raipur, dharna was staged at a central place Motibagh, led by Narottam Sharma and others. Similar programme was also taken up at Bilaspur.

In Punjab, Party, AISA and RYA activists staged a protest demonstration in Ludhiana, led by Com. Ramesh Sharma, Harbhagwan Singh and Bhagwant Singh.

In Haryana, Party and mass organisation activists led by Com. Prem Singh Gahlawat, RK Khokhar, Mahendra Chopra, etc. stopped traffic at Ambedkar Chowk, Karnal, where they were all arrested. Prior to this a meeting was held at Karna Park.

In Gujarat, Party activists, workers, student-youth etc. led by Com. Ranjan Ganguli, HJ Pagare, Laxmanbhai Patanwadia, veteran communist Kantilal Dabhi, Amit Patanwadia and others, brought out a militant rally and held a mass meeting.

In Karnataka, public meeting in Bangalore was attended by more than hundred people. Com.V Govindarajan, TM Poonacha, Subramani, GA Srinivas etc. addressed the gathering. At a demonstration held in Mysore, Com. Raghu and Javaraiah spoke.

In Assam, road was blocked at Noonmati in Guwahati, where various worker and employees unions, peasants and cultural organisations took part. In Silchar, nearly 300 activists participated in a road block. Protesters came out for road blockade at Jorhat, at Moran under Dibrugarh district, at Pathsala in Borpeta district and Behali and Ratowa in Sonitpur district. In Karbi Anglong and NC Hills, road block was total.

In South Tripura, Com. Jayanta Das, Babul Pal and Jagdish Munda led a protest demonstration held at Belonia. Activists led by Com. Mrinmoy Chakravarty, Partha Karmakar and Gopal Roy courted arrest in Udaipur. Activists led by Com. Rajjab Ali, Nijjaram Tripura and Amit Chakravarty courted arrest in Amarpur. At Kailashahar in North Tripura, around 150 activists led by Manik Pal and Chiranjib Bhattacharjee were arrested at SDO office.

In West Bengal, highways and important roads were blocked for one hour in more than 35 places. In Debagram, Nadia, police arrested Com. Krishna Pramanick and 40 activists. In Kolkata in a day-long sit-in programme at Hazra More, state and district leaders addressed the gathering.

In Delhi, around 700 Party and mass organisation activists held a meeting at Jantar Mantar and then marched militantly towards Parliament. They were stopped and arrested at Parliament Street Police Station. The meeting was addressed by Poliburo member Com. Swadesh Bhattacharya, Kumudini Pati, Swapan Mukherjee, Rajendra Pratholi, Ranjit Abhigyan, Sunita and Santosh Roy.

Brutal Lathicharge, Firing at Mailani Joint Protest at Kheri

IN A letter faxed to Home Secretary, Govt. of India and Governor of U.P., Party protested against brutal lathicharge and firing by police on CPI(ML) activists at Mailani in Lakhimpur Kheri district when they were observing all-India “Azadi bachao” campaign on 9 August. Party said that the arrest of 12 Party leaders, clamping of false cases including Sec. 307 against them sending them to jail is undemocratic, unwarranted and against the spirit of democracy. The letter demands unconditional release of the arrested comrades. Four comrades including CCM Krishna Adhikari have been warranted under the same charges.

A joint meeting of left-democratic forces was held at Kheri in U.P. on 12 August to condemn the incident of police attack. It was conducted by Com. LB Singh. A joint communique signed by CPI(ML) and CPI was also issued. UP State Committee observed statewide protest day against the incident on 13 August, under which protest dharna was held at Kheri.