REPORT

Assembly March in Chandigarh against murderous assault on AIALA Leader Com. Bant Singh

A MILITANT march, in protest against the murderous assault on AIALA leader Com. Bant Singh was organised in Chandigarh on March 3 demanding arrest of Congress Sarpanch of Jhabbar village, the main conspirator, and action against SHO of Joga Police Station. More than 5000 agricultural labourers, brick-kiln workers and other rural and industrial workers participated in the programme.

Com. Bant Singh who was brought from hospital to attend the programme, raised his remaining hand, amputed below elbow, as red salute, the whole meeting resounded with full throated revolutionary songs. He also sang two revolutionary songs epitomising the death-defying spirit of the Indian agricultural proletariat.

Com. Gursharan Singh delivered a powerful, spirited speech on this occasion. After the meeting, a militant rally was taken out towards the Assembly which was stopped by police at Matka Chowk. Sensing the militant mood of the masses, the govt. was forced to send OSD to Chief Minister to the Matka Chowk to receive the memorandum. The Punjab Govt. was warned that if demands were not fulfilled by 10 March, the movement would be intensified further. The protest meeting was addressed by Comrades Srilata Swaminathan, President of AIPWA, Swapan Mukerjee, General Secretary of AICCTU, Raja Ram Singh, Convenor, All India Kisan Coordination Committee, AIALA National Executive Member Bhagwant Samaon and Tarsem Jodha, leader of Brick Kiln Workers' Union and others.

 

Protest at the Indian High Commission in London

COINCIDING WITH the protest held in Chandigarh on 3 March, a protest was organised in London at India House, The Aldwych, at the initiative of South Asia Solidarity Group. A letter was sent to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, through the Indian High Commission, urging him to take action. Protesters demanded an independent inquiry into the incident to ascertain whether the Punjab government is shielding powerful people involved in planning the attack due to their affiliation with the ruling Congress Party. The letter said, "We are deeply concerned by the attempts by senior police officials to dismiss any link between the attacks on Bant Singh and his courageous struggle against those who raped his minor daughter in 2002. The successful sentencing of the rapists to life imprisonment by a Sessions Court in 2004 is a very strong motive for the repeated assaults by upper caste men on Bant Singh over the past year, and must not be swept aside as irrelevant to the case." The letter has been endorsed online by 600 individuals including Jeremy Corbyn MP, John McDonnell MP, Chairperson, Punjabis in Britain All-Party Parliamentary Group, Kalpana Wilson, South Asia Solidarity Group, Avtar Jouhal, General Secretary, Indian Workers Association (GB), Iqbal Singh, Punjab Human Rights Internet, Ramesh Klair, Sri Guru Ravidass International Organization for Human Rights, Sarbjit Johal, Asian Women Unite, David Haslam, Chairperson, Dalit Solidarity Network, Aisha Gill, Chairperson, Newham Asian Women's Project, Amrit Wilson, Chairperson, Imkaan Asian women's refugee network, Pardeep Singh Rai, DEEP (Defenders of the Environment and Ecology of Punjab). An online petition was launched at http://new.petitiononline.com/ Bant06/ petition.html in support of Bant Singh.

 

Massive CPI(ML) Rally in front of State Assembly in Bhuvaneshwar

On March 9, CPI(ML) Orissa State Committee organised a Mahasamabesh ' of tribals, fisherfolk, poor peasants and dalit  agricultural labourers at Bhuvaneshwar in front of the state assembly. In this militant rally, tribals from Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, especially the eviction victims, participated in thousands. They were raising slogans for distribution of ceiling-surplus land and benami lands of the landlords among the landless and poor peasants, for reducing the land ceiling through progressive land reform legislation in a short period of time, for stopping the eviction drive at the behest of MNCs and Indian monopoly houses including Vedanta, Tatas, Jindal and Posco, looting the rich mineral deposits. They expressed their solidarity with Kalinga Nagar people.

Similarly, thousands of Chilka fishermen joined the Maharally, demanding withdrawal of anti-fisherfolk Chilka Bill and driving out the prawn mafia from Chilka immediately. More than 10 thousand people attended the Mahasamabesh . The Mahasamabesh concluded with a clarion call for a united and coordinated, powerful and joint movement against all these anti-people and pro-imperialist policies of the governments. CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya was the main speaker. Among other prominent speakers were Kshitish Biswal, Orissa State Secretary, Raja Ram, Gunni Oraon and Anant Gupta from Jharkhand, Bangar Rao, CC member and AIALA National Secretary, Tirupati Gomango, tribal youth leader of Orissa, Radha Kant Sethi, ex.-MLA and Orissa State Committee member, Satyabadi Behra, President of Orissa unit of AIALA, Bidyadhar Patro, AIALA Orissa State Secretary, Sabita Baraj, AIPWA State Secretary Orissa, Meghanada Sabar, President, Chilka Matsyajeebi Mahasangh, Balram Das and Bibhuti Behra, Vice President Chilka Harijan Matsyajeebi Sangh.

 

Vidhan Sabha Chalo in Ranchi

A Vidhan Sabha march was organised by the CPI(ML) in Ranchi on March 20, at the conclusion of its month-long campaign for the implementation of the NREGA, and to press for the demand of the arrest of the killers of Comrade Mahendra Singh along with some other demands. The march was led and addressed by CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya. The following resolutions, among others, were passed by the People's Assembly, held at the conclusion of the march: 1) This assembly of the people condemns the governmental callousness and administrative high-handedness in implementation of the NREGA and demands immediate distribution of Job Cards under this scheme. If this demand is not fulfilled, the CPI(ML) will organise a state-wide Protest Day on March 31 in the state; 2) This meeting condemns the continuing attacks by the state government on the rights of the tribals and demand to hold Panchayat Elections in whole of the state. These elections must be held under PESA Act in the Scheduled Areas; 3) This meeting believes that signing of number of MOUs, one after another, by the state government without taking elected representatives into confidence is a conspiracy on the people of the state, and demands the cancellation of all MOUs signed by the state govt. so far; and 4) This meeting condemns the planned attacks on religious minorities by the communal forces under government protection and demands the arrest of the killers of Father Ignesh Bara as well as to stop the conspiracy to bring in the anti-conversion bill.