OBITUARY

Long Live the Memory of Comrade Yogendra!

Comrade Yogendra Bind of Jehanabad was killed by People's War goons while returning from a meeting on the night of 14 September. He was 29 years old.

He had joined the peasant movement at a very young age, and played a vanguard role in the anti-feudal struggle, even at the height of the Bhoomi Sena terror.

He hailed from a village of very backward caste peasants mostly poor labourers. In 2001, at an extremely young age, he became a mukhiya in the Mandebigha Gram Panchayat. As a mukhiya he continued to serve the poor, resist corrupt brokers and maintained close links with the Party and the movement. Once, when he refused to pay a single rupee of commission for construction of a bridge, the BDO stopped work, but Comrade Yogendra mobilised people to pressurise the bureaucrats, and got the bridge completed under his own supervision. His transparency and democratic functioning set an example in the region.

In this region, PWG acts as an armed criminal gang of RJD, and systematically assaults CPI(ML) cadres. Comrade Yogendra had taken several political initiatives to expose this nexus. He had been in the forefront of every initiative against state repression - especially the TADA cases against agrarian labourers in Bhadasi and Belsar, in Maniyawan and in Bara. He had marched on foot all the way from Jehanabad to Patna in the padyatra against the use of TADA to crush the movement of agrarian labourers.

On 7 September, the PWG had looted over 60 homes in Kankaria village, leaving the poor people with not even a grain of rice to eat, and had also badly beaten up 4 people. Comrade Yogendra was busy organising a protest against this incident, due to be held on September 24, when he was killed by the PWG.

His murder led to spontaneous protests against the RJD Government and its police which was in cohorts with the killers. Hundreds of people, including women, gathered to surround the police, and prevent them from seizing the body. Thousands participated in his final journey, and pledged to continue his struggle and resist every attempt by RJD to use outfits like PWG or Ranveer Sena, or black laws like TADA, to crush the assertion of agrarian poor.

Red Salute to Com. B.P. Keshri

CPI(ML) deeply mourns the sad death of Com. Birendra Prasad Keshri who passed away on 30 August night in Ranchi after fighting a serious liver-disease for almost two years. He was 42 years old. Com. Keshri was the Jharkhand State Office Secretary from 1994 to 2001. Before that, he was a Party organiser in Hazaribagh district. He is survived by his wife and a daughter.

FB Leader Com. B.B. Mandal Passes Away

CPI(ML) condoles the demise of veteran Forward Block leader Com. Bhakti Bhushan Mandal. Com Mandal was for a long time a minister in the LF Govt of WB and is remembered for his tireless advocacy of Indo-China People's friendship. He passed away in Kolkata on 30 August. CPI(ML) WB Secretary Kartick Pal paid floral tributes to the departed leader.