Forbesganj Atrocity Exposes Nitish’s Repressive and Communal Face
The barbaric atrocity at Forbesganj has shocked people all over the country. Poor people (who happened to be of the minority community) were protesting against a public road being blocked off to suit the interests of a rich businessman. In response the police chased them to their homes, entered their homes by force, opened fire, killing four people including a pregnant woman and a child, and injuring several. Worst of all, they displayed vicious brutality, stamping on the dying people.
The CPI(ML) promptly sent a fact finding team to investigate, comprising CC members and Bihar State Committee Members, Comrades KD Yadav and Rajaram Singh, alongwith Araria District Party in-charge, Naval Kishore and block secretary of Forbesganj, Genalal Mahato. The team visited Bhajanpur village in Forbesganj and met with the villagers and family members of the deceased Mustafa Ansari, Mukhtar Ansari, Sajmin Khatoon and 8-month old child Naushad.
The team learned from the villagers that the road from Bhajanpur to Raniganj is 60 years old. At various points in time the zila parishad, gram panchayat, mukhiya and others have conducted repair work on the road. The NH 57 has a subway here, in order not to disturb the path leading to the road. When BIADA acquired land for the construction of a private factory by BJP legislative councillor, Ashok Aggarwal, on 28 acres of land, a conspiracy was hatched by them to block and close this road. This road connecting Bhajanpur to Raniganj, connects Bhajanpur village (mainly inhabited by 1000 families of the minority community), to Karbala, Idgah, hospital and local bazaar. So the demand of the villagers to maintain this road is fully justified.
On 2 June a wall was constructed on one end of the road, on the directions of BJP MLC Ashok Agarwal. On other end, deep digging was done for laying a foundation. On 3 June, the villagers held a strong protest against this and demolished the boundary wall. The police from 6 stations was already present there and perpetrated the most heinous firing, firing hundreds of rounds of bullets. Even after Mustafa and Sajmeen were shot above their waist the police jumped on them, trampling their fallen but still-alive bodies with their boots and abusing them foully.
Pregnant Sajmeen Khatoon was returning after feeding her husband Farooq Ansari who is a construction worker at this factory. Mustafa was returning from his shop with 8000 rupees and mobile. He was still alive after being shot, but the police trampled his chest and he bled to death. 8 month-old Naushad was killed on the NH in police firing and his mother is injured and admitted at PMCH. 18 year-old Mukhtar used to labour outside the state, and was returning to the village when he was killed. All those injured in firing have been shot above their waist. More than 100 families of the 1000 in the village are BPL families.
Within 6 months this is the second incident of barbarism against minorities in Nitish Government. On 22 Dec 2010 when the villagers of Bamraha under Kursakanta were protesting against an incident of rape, the jawans of BSF murdered four people of minority community.
The CPI(ML) has demanded immediate that the police officers led by the SP who conducted the firing, as well as BJP Councillor Ashok Aggarwal and his goons, be arrested and charged with murder. Also that the lease of 28 acres of land be cancelled and the road be maintained as before; compensation of Rs 10 lakh to the family of the deceased, Rs 3 lakh compensation to those injured and judicial inquiry into the whole incident. The party observed 15 June as a state-wide protest day against the incident, with day-long dharnas at all district HQs and the state capital.
Long Live Veteran Comrade Lal Singh Kushwaha!
Senior-most veteran communist leader of the Chambal region, Comrade Lal Singh Kushwaha, passed away at the age of 104 on 14 June 2011. He breathed his last in Gingrikh village of Mehgaon district.
He was one of the founders of the communist movement in the Gwalior zone (Bhind, Muraina, Gwalior). On 18 December 2009 at the age of 102, he was felicitated at the inauguration of the Bhind party office.
He had been active throughout the freedom struggle, defying the colonial regime’s ban on political activity by organizing many mass meetings and other political actions. He was also active in resisting the feudal royalty (the Scindia estate)which used to support the British.
After the division of the CPI in 1964, he joined the newly-formed CPI(M). The Naxalbari uprising disillusioned him with the CPI(M), and he helped build the CPI(ML) led by Charu Mazumdar. When the party was underground he organized peasantry and took up the challenge of party building among them.
Later, he remained active in the IPF too. Remarkably, he even campaigned for the party candidate from Gwalior throughout the campaign period in the last Assembly elections in MP, in spite of his advanced age and his ailing health.
Hearing of his demise, common people and communist activists thronged to bid him a last farewell. CPI(ML) Control Commission member Comrade Devendra Singh Chauhan and Bhind Zila Committee Secretary Comrade Suraj Rekha Tripathi placed the red flag on his body, amidst slogans befitting a revolutionary’s last journey. On 25 June, a memorial meet will be held at Bhind in his memory.
Red Salute to the departed comrade, who lived the longest life full of revolutionary spirit!