UP Government Steeped in Crime and Repression

Mayawati Must Resign

Arun Kumar

The past four years of Mayawati’s rule in UP has witnessed spiralling criminalisation, corruption, violence on women, land grab, killing of farmers and repression on people’s movements. Mayawati rode to power on a slogan of ‘law and order’, and dalits and women in particular had high aspirations from her government. But the bubble of illusions soon broke and aspirations have been brutally betrayed. 
Blood on their Hands  
Shekhar Tiwari, BSP MLA from Auraiya, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment for the murder of PWD engineer Manoj Gupta, who was given electric shocks and left to die outside a police station after he refused to meet Tiwari’s demand for a ‘donation’ for Mayawati's birthday celebrations in 2008. Anand Sen Yadav, BSP MLA from Milkipur (Faizabad) and former Minister facing several other cases of murder and extortion, was sentenced to life imprisonment for the kidnapping and murder of a young Dalit woman in October 2007. 
Since coming to power in 2007, more than two dozen Ministers/MLAs of BSP have been charged with crimes ranging from murder to kidnapping, rape, extortion. Of these, a dozen MLAs are charged with crimes of sexual violence. For all her talk of ‘law and order,’ Mayawati is has not expelled any of the convicted or accused MLAs from her party nor taken steps to cancel their Assembly membership. In Faizabad recently, BSP MLA Jeetendra (Bablu) was accused of kidnapping and the Mayawati Government filed a petition in Court for withdrawal of the case: a request that was refused by the Court in view of evidence. The murder of two CMOs in the past six months in the wake of misappropriation of public funds allocated for rural healthcare have been linked to BSP leaders; the Government has done nothing to nab the culprits or investigate corruption.        
Firing on Farmers
From Aligarh to Agra, Mathura up to Noida, farmers are up in arms against the state government’s grab of thousands of acres of fertile land at throwaway prices, most of is being handed over to the JP group for the Yamuna Expressway project.  The epicentre of farmers’ resistance is Bhatta-Parsaul in Greater Noida, where the police fired on protesting farmers, killing several and unleashed severe repression. Farmers of the Bhatta and Parsaul villages in Greater Noida have alleged that the land sold to a corporate house for the project had not even been formally acquired from the farmers. The farmers are demanding proper compensation at 80% of land cost at prevailing market rates as well as return of 50% of the acquired land after development. They have also demanded fit compensation and share in development for the landless whose livelihood will be affected.
Police firing has claimed several lives in Bhatta Parsaul (the exact number is difficult to verify because access to the village has been restricted). There are allegations of rape and murder of activists too. Yet peasants’ groups, people’s movement representatives have not been allowed to meet the people and ascertain the facts.

A team comprising of AIKM Vice President Prem Singh Gehlawat, AIKM leaders from UP Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha as well as Rohtas Bharti, along with CPI(ML) Delhi State Secretary Sanjay Sharma, and other CPI(ML) activists Srikant, Kapil Sharma, and Shyam Kishore went to Bhatta Parsaul on 12 May to meet the affected villagers. This team was prevented by the police from entering into the Bhatta village.
On 21 May, Comrade Shyam Kishore along with some CPI(ML) comrades from Noida joined the Bhoomi Adhigrahan Pratirodh Andolan in a farmers’ demonstration at Greater Noida, where they along with the protesting farmers were arrested and later released. 
In the wake of Bhatta incident, the district administration imposed 144 in whole of the Gautam Budhh Nagar district, and even a pre-scheduled protest 40 km away from Bhatta by the CPI(ML) in NOIDA, for BPL cards and housing etc. was not allowed to be held. The city magistrate handed over a notice citing a six year old SC order as a pretext to ban the protest, claiming it was necessary to maintain peace and order. The same situation prevails all over UP.

The CPI(ML) has held protests in Lucknow as well as other parts of UP against the brutal repression on farmers as well as the clampdown on democratic protests. The party has called for a state-wide Protest Day on 23 May to demand Mayawati’s resignation.

The Congress is strenuously trying to use Bhatta-Parsaul to project Rahul Gandhi as a crusader for farmers. But Rahul’s posed theatrics carry no credibility. After all, Rahul would have to answer why the Congress-led Central Government spearheaded the policy of SEZs and corporate land grab? The UPA Government’s much-touted Land Acquisition (Amendment) Bill continues to allow ample leeway for corporate land grab, allowing even mining to come under the definition of ‘public purpose’ for which land can be forcibly acquired.  

The Mayawati Government, steeped in criminalisation, assaults on women, land grab and repression, no longer has any right to continue in power. Mayawati must resign!