Call for Intensification of People’s Movement against the Laloo-Rabri Regime; Resolve to Expose, Isolate and Disarm the Killer Squads of RJD-PWG Nexus
Defying the scorching heat of a September sun, thousands of people thronged the local khel maidan at Paliganj in Patna on 25 September to demand immediate arrest of the murderers of the five martyred leaders of the CPI(ML). The rally also reiterated the demand for a CBI inquiry into the incident.
This was one of the biggest mobilizations by the Party in recent years in the district. The rally was preceded by two weeks of intensive campaigning in the villages of Paliganj in the course of which several meetings were held in various panchayats. The Jan Pratirodh (people’s resistance) rally was addressed by Comrades Ram Naresh Ram, Krishnadev Yadav, Rameshwar Prasad, Rajaram Singh and Dipankar Bhattacharya and presided over by peasant leader Comrade Shivpujan Yadav.
More than a month after the killing of our comrades, only one among the 22 accused has been arrested while the police administration is busy raiding villages under the Party’s influence. The rally appealed to the people of Paliganj to rise against this injustice and reject the RJD-PWG nexus lock, stock and barrel. The rally resolved to carry forward the unfinished tasks of the martyrs.
Describing the RJD-PWG attack on our office as a political conspiracy to terrorise the masses and derail our movement, Com. Dipankar and other speakers called for giving a fitting rebuff to this conspiracy by intensifying the movement. The speakers emphasized the need to thoroughly expose and isolate the PWG and disarm its squads that in the name of ‘People’s War’ are engaged in waging war on the people.
The spontaneous response evoked by the 23 August Bihar Bandh and the massive turnout at the Jan Pratirodh Rally at Paliganj clearly indicate the people’s resolve to mete out exemplary punishment to the killers and their political patrons. The ruling RJD now stands exposed as a political sanctuary for the killers of Left leaders and activists in the state and all efforts must be made to channelise the people’s anger into a decisive battle against the anti-people Laloo-Rabri regime.
Orissa State Committee of CPI(ML) organised an impressive rally on October 9 at Gunupur to pay homage to great revolutionary leader Comrade Nagbhushan Patnaik on his 6th Death Anniversary. More than 2000 people participated in a procession that passed through the main avenues of the town. The procession turned into a mass meeting in front of the statue of Com. Nagbhushan. After paying homage to the legendary revolutionary leader the meeting was addressed by comrades Kshitish Biswal, Malleshwar Rao and Tirupati Gomango among others. Speakers reiterated their resolve to strengthen and expand the revolutionary peasant struggle initiated in the districts like Rayagada, Gajapati and Kalahandi under the guidance of the great leader.
After the conclusion of the rally a workshop on Land Question was organised. Attended by some 150 activists, it was coordinated by PB member DP Bakshi (see details in the next issue). A state-level preparatory body of AIALA was also constituted and assigned the task of organising first AIALA state conference in May 05 after accomplishing a target of 50,000 membership. It was also decided to hold a militant Assembly gherao during forthcoming session of the Orissa Assembly to press for the demand of holding a 'special session of Assembly' on the land question.
Assam Sangrami Chah Sramik Sangha (ASCSS) staged dharnas in different dist HQs and Subdivisional HQs of Assam demanding 20% bonus on September 27. Protest processions and Dharnas were held in Tinsukia, Dibrugarh, Nagaon and Biswanath Chari Ali. In Biswanath Chari Ali more than two thousand tea workers had gathered to press their demands. A memorandum was sent to the Chief Minister through respective administration at all places. In Guwahati AICCTU held the demonstration at Deputy Commissioner's office and sent a memorandum to the Chief Minister. The memorandum demanded (i) to stop discrimination on bonus issue and to ensure 20% bonus to the tea workers, (ii) enquiry into the death of tea workers in different gastro diseases and to punish the concerned authority of the gardens and Rs. 1 lakh compensation for each victim family, (iii) rise in wages to Rs.75 through new wage agreement (discussions to be held not only with ACMS but with ASCSS as well), (iv) stop wage cut in the name of high electricity bill, connect individual meters for every house, v) pay wages for Sunday, (vi) solve problems of Assam Tea Corporation (ATC) gardens. On these issues ASCSS held a series of programmes like dharnas at every Tea garden on 29 September and observed Demand Day on 4 October.
All Assam Gramin Shramik Santha (AAGSS - All Assam Rural Workers' Union) staged a Relay Hunger Strike on 13-16 Oct against rampant corruption and increase in price of rice given against wages of rural workers. The Govt. of Assam had raised the price of rice under central scheme from Rs. 6 to Rs. 8, which created a wave of resentment among the rural poor. While the government has been pretending to implement different schemes for the people below poverty line, it has not prepared the BPL list yet. AAGSS has demanded immediate release of BPL list and to clear the pending wages of rural workers in different panchayats. The demands like distribution of 25 Kg. rice to each BPL family, guarantee of minimum 100 working days, to declare floods in Assam a national calamity and compensation to flood victims, etc. were also raised through this strike action.
Rural workers from Sonitpur, Barpeta, Dibrugarh, Nagaon and Guwahati took part in this programme. The relay strike was suspended temporarily considering the situation arose out of devastating floods and death of hundreds of people in Goalpara district on Oct 16 with a resolve to further intensify rural poor struggle against the government.