Padyatra and People's Convention in Bihar

Against TADA, State Repression, and Crime, For Relief to Flood and Drought Victims

The TADA Bandi Rihaai Abhiyan (Free TADA Prisoners Campaign) organised a weeklong padyatra (people's march), from Kaler to Patna on 1- 6 September, to oppose the imposition of TADA, to demand an end to state repression and crime, and adequate relief to flood and drought victims in Bihar . The padyatra was led by CPI(ML) State Secretary Ramjatan Sharma, leader of the CPI(ML) legislative group Comrade Ramnaresh Ram, General Secretary of AIALA Rameshwar Prasad, MLA Satyadev Ram and RYA General Secretary Kamlesh Sharma.

The padyatra began from Kaler on September 1, with a mass meeting where Vidyanand Vikal, AIALA Secretary of Bihar and Pradip Kumar, received red flags on behalf of more than five hundred padyatris , from Ramnaresh Ram and Krishnavatar Pandey, President of People's Union for Human Rights, (PUHR) UP.

On the first day of the march, marchers reached Belsar, where 16 poor landless agricultural labourers have been victimised under TADA. Here villagers welcomed all the marchers, who later held a mass meeting and garlanded the statue of martyred CPI (ML) leader Comrade Chittaranjan Mishra.

The padyatris continued their journey throughout the week and camped in the villages on the way at nights, where they always received a very enthusiastic welcome. They addressed dozens of mass gatherings in villages including those held at Mehandia, Balidad, Baidrabad and Arwal. People in many villages had erected gates in memory of the martyrs to welcome them. At Arwal thousands of people welcomed the marchers with a welcome gate erected in the memory of comrades Gorakh, Jamadar and Keshav, martyrs of 1988 Bhadasi police firing.

At many villages new groups of marchers joined the padyatris during the 150 km. long journey which ended on September 6 at Patna , where they were received by leaders of various Left and democratic parties including veteran socialist leader Surendra Mohan, and CPI (ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. The Mass Convention at Vidyapati Bhavan, was the concluding event of this week-long campaign.

Addressing the mass convention Comrade Dipankar welcomed and thanked leaders of various left and democratic organisations for their participation in the Convention saying that only people's struggles have the potential to break the ideological barriers and develop a wider unity.

Surendra Mohan emphasised the demand of withdrawal of all TADA-POTA cases. Veteran Gandhian Razi Ahmed criticized the Govt. for violating the Constitution, while PUCL Vice President Chittaranjan Singh said that Laloo-Rabri govt. has set new heights of barbarity in the state during its 14 years tenure. Leader of the Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz Ali Anwar said that enacting black laws could never stop the forward march of people's movements.

CPI State Secretary Jalaluddin Ansari, CPM State Secretary Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi and Gandhian thinker Shankar Sharan emphasised the need to forge a much stronger unity among the Left forces and called for intensifying the struggle against murders of political activists and repression through black laws.

The Convention was also addressed by Samajwadi Party leader Shankar Prasad Tekriwal, AICCTU General Secretary Swapan Mukherjee, Prof. Bharti S. Kumar, General Secretary of PUCL Bihar Kishori Das and General Secretary of AIALA Rameshwar Prasad.  The Convention was presided over by Central Committee member of CPI (ML), K. D. Yadav and conducted by Editor of Samkalin Lokyudh, Ramji Rai.

The Convention passed five resolutions - demanding withdrawal of TADA cases and release of all TADA detainees, a CBI inquiry into the Paliganj killing incident in which one of the accused was arrested from the MLA flat of Dinanath Yadav, a high level inquiry into the abduction of Roshan Kumar and murder of his father and grandfather in Aurangabad district, and arrest and punishment to police officers responsible for firing and killings of flood victims in Darbhanga, Vaishali and Samastipur districts. The Convention also demanded an immediate end to the fast increasing crime graph in the State and stern action against police-criminal-politician nexus, resolving to intensify the struggle on this issue. The Convention also demanded that famine conditions be declared in the whole of Bihar and condemned the criminal negligence of the government in this regard.