CPI(ML) HOME Vol.11, No.44 28 OCT- 03 NOV 2008

The Weekly News Bulletin of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)(Liberation)
U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi 110092. Tel: (91)11-22521067. Fax(91)11-22518248


In this Issue

Who Is Afraid of the Fighting Youth of Bihar?

Even as the anti-terrorist squad of Maharashtra police has corroborated the long-suspected involvement of Sangh outfits in the blasts that had rocked Malegaon two years ago, students and workers from Bihar continue to be subjected to relentless fascistic assaults unleashed by the Senas led by the uncle-nephew duo, Bal and Raj Thackeray. And as we go to press, the trigger-happy encounter-crazy Mumbai police too seem to have begun flexing its muscle against the migrant youth from Bihar. While the Sena goons are allowed a free hand to wreak havoc, and Raj Thackeray enjoys the highest level of state security, the migrant youth of Bihar are subjected to ever greater insecurity and injustice. Over the last ten days as many as four young men from Bihar – two job-seekers and two workers – have been killed in Maharashtra, three by MNS or Shiv Sena goons and one by the Mumbai police.

In Maharashtra, the Congress has never had the political will or wherewithal to check the Sena brand of politics of vandalism and communalism much the same way as it has acquiesced before the communal fascist campaign of the BJP and other affiliates of the Sangh brigade on the national plane. As dark clouds of crisis loom large over the entire Indian economy, more and more people are chasing fewer jobs. Against this backdrop, the threat of the Sena variety of chauvinistic protectionism assumes ominous fascistic overtones. If India has to be saved as a united country, such fascistic regionalism will have to be tamed by all means. While insisting on a ban on divisive forces like MNS and Shiv Sena, democratic forces must lay the greatest emphasis on strengthening the counter-mobilisation of the people to foil such fascist designs.

The UPA government at the centre must also be held accountable for its share of complicity in contributing to the current crisis. Going by the previous record of MNS-Shiv Sena attacks on the outstation railway recruitment examinees in Maharashtra, the candidates from Bihar had understandably requested Rail Minister Lalu Prasad to relocate the examination centres. Neither did Lalu Prasad listen to the appeal of the candidates, nor did his government care to provide any security to the examinees. And once again the predictable happened – candidates were deported back to Bihar. In Nitish Kumar’s home district Nalanda, former textile worker Jagdish Prasad, who had spent fifteen years as a textile worker in Maharashtra before being victimised for his involvement in trade union activities, had to receive the dead body of his son Pawan. Lalu Prasad’s railway ministry and the Maharashtra government are now trying to attribute Pawan’s death to an accident unrelated to the violence inflicted on the candidates from Bihar by MNS goons!  

In fact, in his characteristic style Lalu Prasad has all along sought to trivialise the issue of insecurity faced by Bihari students and workers in Maharashtra. He has been daring Raj Thackeray and his men to prevent him from offering ‘Chhat puja’ in Mumbai. The Minister can of course hold ‘Chhat puja’ anywhere in the comfort of state security and media limelight, whether in Thackeray’s Mumbai or Manmohan’s best friend George Bush’s Washington. But for students like Pawan or Rahul, who was shot dead by Mumbai police a week after Pawan’s shocking killing, the insecurity has only been on the rise.

No wonder then that students and youth of Bihar have come out on the streets to vent their anger against the insecurity and injustice inflicted on them. They burnt effigies of Raj Thackeray and also asked all Bihar Ministers in UPA cabinet to resign. Incidentally, the current crop of Bihar leaders – Lalu Prasad or Ramvilas Paswan, Nitish Kumar or Sushil Modi – had all begun their political careers as student leaders, and today they are simply obsessed with saving their thrones in Patna and Delhi. Instead of taking up the cause of the students, Bihar government opened fire on the agitating students. Several were injured and hundreds put in jail. Cutting across political affiliations, angry students gave a united call for Bihar bandh on 25 October. The parties in power in Patna and Delhi got alarmed and ordered their respective student organisations to back out. Yet defying the diktats of power-drunk leaders, thousands of students came out on the streets on October 25.

The students of Bihar are perfectly justified in asserting their right to secure education and employment in any part of the country. They deserve the support of all patriotic democratic forces in the country in their struggle against the Shiv Sena-MNS variety of fascistic regionalism. At the same time, they are equally justified in taking to task the whole lot of Bihar politicos who keep denying them their due right to have greater education and employment opportunities within Bihar. CPI(ML) extends all support and wishes every success to the fighting students of Bihar.top


Students Revolt in Bihar Against Inaction on MNS-Shiv Sena Goons

Bihar Bandh called by AISA is a Success

The scale and level of students' anger and outburst against attack on North Indians in Mumbai and Maharashtra was historic on the day of Bihar Bandh called by All India Students' Association. The whole State machinery was out to stop the agitating students from expressing their anger and shock at the state of inaction by Maharashtra and Central UPA governments, but the students and youth, despite severe police crackdown on bandh and protests on 25th October overcame all suppression and made the bandh a success. The news agencies and media houses under instruction from Bihar Government tried to play down the news, however the scale of the actions on the streets were just too intense to be suppressed.

The non Maharashtrian students who had gone to Mumbai for appearing in an examination conducted by the Railways were brutally and severely attacked on Sunday 19 October by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) goons and were forced to return from Mumbai. The students from Bihar upon their arrival at Patna Jn. Station next day and learning the tragic death of Pawan (examinee from Nalanda) virtually seized the Patna Railway Station and even firing in air by the GRP did not stop them. The Station was literally in the hands of the agitating students. The students wanted Bihar's CM Mr. Nitish Kumar and Railway Minister Mr. Lalu Prasad both to come to the Patna Station and meet them. The students' heightened anger was not just due to attacks only on them, but the fact that prior to the examination they had requested Mr. Lalu Prasad to change the centre and venue of the examinations from Mumbai citing the recent attacks on people and students from Bihar and other north Indian states. This request of theirs had fallen on deaf ears of CM and Railway Minister and students' apprehension turned into reality. When the students had gone to Mr. Lalu Prasad prior to the examination for change in venue, he did not meet them and the reports of the same were carried in the news papers prior to the incident of attacks. The students gradually spilled over on the streets and vented their anger by smashing glass-panes of vehicles and breaking anything coming their way. The students in other districts of Bihar took similar action.

To orient the struggle towards the just demand of trying Raj Thackeray for murder and sedition and putting a ban on MNS and Shiv Sena, the AISA called for a meeting of all students' organizations at Patna University on 21st October which was attended by State leadership of the student wings of the ruling JD(U), as well as RJD, LJP and NSUI, and also the student wing of Sharad Pawar's NCP; in fact most student organizations except ABVP which was not invited for the all party meet. At the meeting the joint decisions of all the student organizations was to call for arresting and prosecuting Raj Thackeray on charges of murder and sedition, calling on the forty MPs from Bihar to initiate immediate action in Parliament to demand that the UPA Government rein in the MNS and Shiv Sena or else resign. It was decided to hold a protest march on the following day (22nd October) to voice their urgent demands, followed by Students' Assembly

On 22nd morning, however, due to news of police firing on agitating students at Sasaram the AISA leadership of Bihar felt that Students' Assembly was not enough in voicing the urge for urgent action for justice and decided to call for a Bihar bandh and it was accordingly communicated to all the students’ organizations that attended the meeting. AISA also asked the organizations to declare the bandh call from the podium during the protest meeting and on the following day all the newspapers carried it. Later while a press conference of the student organizations was on, an all-party meet called by Bihar CM Mr. Nitish Kumar was also going on which was boycotted by the CPI(ML). The meeting was not called so much as to discuss the growing attacks on the north Indians and people from Bihar, rather the agenda of the meeting was the situation in Bihar after the attacks – clearly indicating the Government's mood to suppress the students and youth protests. While parties like JD(U), RJD, LJP and Congress were just paying lip service to the whole situation and then we saw a coming together of all arch rivals while meeting the Prime Minister Mr. Manmohan Singh only to tell him that they have kept the angry youth under control and unless the UPA acts against MNS and Maharashtra Govt. the student-youth anger may become difficult to control.

Along with AISA, however, the students’ organizations of all these ruling parties (except ABVP) had declared the support for Bihar bandh on 25th October. The same evening as the all-Party meet ended and they came to know of their students' wing's declaration, the parties pressurized their students' organization to pull out from the bandh. The Chhatra-RJD, was the first to pressure its members to stay away. Many of these ruling parties' students' organizations published their declaration of pulling out from the bandh and by 24th morning it was clear that no students' organization was with bandh except AISA and Revolutionary Youth Association (RYA) which also declared full support for the bandh. At this development the Patna University unit of almost all the organizations (except ABVP) terming this pull-out a betrayal of the student community, declared their intention to defy their State leadership and go with AISA to support the bandh, and eventually they did rebel (including the ruling Party's Chattra–JD(U)) and implemented the bandh call in Patna on 25th October. The bourgeois parties could not suppress their students urge for justice as promised to the PM. There are also confirmed reports of students from organizations of ruling parties defying their Party's order and coming out in full support of the Bandh. At some places even some sections of ABVP ranks defied their organisation's order and supported the bandh. This trend is reflective of the spirit of unity among common students against criminal and corrupt politics of all mainstream parties.

The bandh was hugely successful in Patna and several districts of Bihar incuding Ara, Buxar, Arwal, Jehanabad, Gaya, Nalanda, Bhojpur, Siwan, Jamui, Lakhisarai, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Sasaram, Sheikhpura, Narkatiagunj, Samastipur etc. The AISA and rebel students from other organizations stopped trains and road traffic at several places in Bihar. The effigies of MNS president Raj Thackeray and Shiv Sena's Bal Thackeray were burnt at various places despite security forces trying to stop them. At some places even the effigy of railway minister Mr. Lalu Prasad was also burnt. The students everywhere demanded that both these leaders be booked for murder and sedition. ''If Union Ministers from Bihar fail to ensure the institution of cases against both the Thackerays under IPC sections relating to offences of murder and sedition, we would move ahead to intensify the agitation for their en masse resignation,'' warned Abhyuday, State Secretary of AISA. Abhyuday also took exception to the silence of Railway Minister Lalu Prasad and Union Steel and Fertilisers Minister Ramvilas Paswan on the issue of taking constitutional action against the Vilasrao Deshmukh Govt. for its failure in ensuring safety and security of Biharis in Maharashtra.

Two thousand students throughout the State were arrested. Police lathicharged the agitating students in several districts and the irony above all is that those now in jails were threatened by the police to be charged with sedition. There are hundreds of students and youth still in jails. The outburst of the student has been massive and entire police and administrative setup simply could not contain the protesting students except lathicharging and threatening to book them with sedition. Also, what was seen is the students' unity as against the unity of all the ruling parties in suppressing the anger and urge for immediate action for justice to the families of Pawan and the other student who eventually lost their life at the hands of MNS goons, mute spectator Maharashtra Govt. and an insensitive Lalu Prasad who did not heed to students' requests for changing the venue of examinations.

Meanwhile, another incident of another cold blooded murder has taken place in Mumbai in which one youth Rahul Raj from Patna was shot dead in a so-called ‘encounter’ by the Maharashtra Police led by the ACP of Mumbai. His dead body is being brought to Bihar on 29th October. After the bandh, CPI(ML) General Secretary Com. Dipankar Bhattacharya and AISA State leaders visited Pawan's family in Nalanda to share their grief and assure the family of justice for Pawan. It came out that Pawan's father was an employee and a trade union activist in Maharashtra's textile mills before being thrown out of the job in 90's. A son is killed in the State where his father toiled in mills to bring prosperity to that State. Couple of days before the Bihar bandh a day long Nalanda bandh was also called by AISA and RYA to protest Pawan’s death. Nalanda happens to be home constituency of Bihar CM Mr. Nitish Kumar. He was also slated to hold some kind of meeting in Nalanda, however, the enraged students uprooted all the arrangements being made for his meeting and the bandh was a huge success in Nalanda too.top


Sangh Link in Terrorism Laid Bare

No longer can the Sangh Parivar and BJP ever disown its role in terrorism. A former firebrand ABVP leader and so-called ‘sadhvi’, Pragya Singh Thakur, has been arrested for her role in the Malegaon blasts of September 2006 as well as in the more recent Modasa blasts. Even more ominously, two ex-Army officers are implicated in the blasts, and it has come to light that an institution called the ‘Bhonsala Military Academy’ in Nagpur has been imparting arms training to the Bajrang Dal.

The Sangh Parivar has reacted by disclaiming its links with ‘sadhvi’ on the one hand, and on the other, by suggesting that it is inconceivable that a ‘sadhvi’ could be a terrorist. BJP spokesperson Venkaiyya Naidu has reminded us that according to the rule of law, the sadhvi is innocent till proven guilty, and the BJP has objected strongly to the term ‘Hindutva terrorism.’

For a minute, imagine if the story were the same – with just one detail changed: replace the ‘sadhvi’ with a ‘maulvi.’ Then imagine the righteous roars that would be voiced by the BJP, demanding blood. In the Jamia Nagar blasts case, the BJP would not allow teenage boys the benefit of ‘rule of law;’ they castigated the Jamia VC for arranging legal aid, and in UP, Sangh cadre have beaten up lawyers taking up cases of blast-accused. Muslims accused of terrorism, it seems, are guilty even if proven innocent, and are certainly not entitled to the opportunity to prove themselves innocent!

There is ample proof that the sadhvi has campaigned for the BJP in elections, and has appeared in public gatherings with BJP President Rajnath Singh and MP CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan. Under POTA, as under the Chhattisgarh Special Security Act, those who are associated with or have known the accused can be prosecuted as ‘conspirators.’ Will the BJP tell us why Rajnath and Shivraj should not be prosecuted as ‘conspirators’ according to the principles espoused by the BJP itself? Surely there is more ground to prosecute Rajnath or Shivraj of conspiring with saffron terrorists than there is to prosecute Dr.Binayak Sen for links with Maoists?

What were Pragya Thakur’s known activities? Her role in the communal pogrom in Gujarat 2002 is indicated: in fact, she campaigned for the BJP in Surat in 2002 and again in 2007. Her father, defending her, offers proof of some of the noble work she was known for: “Pragya and her organisation Jai Vande Matram would rescue girls who eloped with boys of another community, sometimes bring them back to their parents.” So, like the notorious Babu Bajrangi, Pragya was involved in terrorising, kidnapping and coercing women who had married of their own accord outside their community. Pragya is proof positive of the fact that the same forces who openly indulge in communal pogroms and obscurantism violence against women could in fact be secretly involved in terrorism.

This said, it is also important to ask why the above facts were kept hidden from us for the past two years. Soon after the Malegaon blasts, in nearby Nanded, Bajrang Dal activists were accidentally killed by their own bombs, and investigation had revealed fake beards and ‘Muslim-looking’ clothing in their home. In other parts of Maharashtra and the country – Parbhani, tenkasi, Kanpur, Faizabad – there have been leads linking saffron forces to bomb blasts. Had these leads been pursued, is it not possible that some subsequent terrorist incidents could have been avoided? The state and ruling establishment is criminally guilty of ignoring these vital leads.

We are everyday asked to believe as gospel whatever is peddled as ‘fact’ by the police via the media in a terror investigation: to question is to be branded ‘anti-national.’ It is worth recalling that on November 26, 2007, less than two months after the Malegaon blasts, Director General of Police P S Pasricha had claimed to have ‘solved’ the case. Several Muslims were arrested and paraded, the names SIMI and Lashkar were bandied about, involvement of Pakistan and training received by the ‘masterminds’ in Pakistan pointed to. The police over the next two years have confidently given us detailed ‘facts’ about how the 8 arrested conceived of and executed the blasts. Those arrested were also linked with the Mumbai train blasts, according to the police. The ATS has prima facie “ruled out the involvement of Hindu fundamentalist groups in the Malegaon blasts” claiming that “RDX is only available to Islamic terrorist outfits.” (TOI, 12 September 2006) Three of the accused were said to have “confessed” to the crime.

Now, we are told that the motorbike used in the September 29 Malegaon bomb blasts was registered in Pragya’s name, and this led to her arrest. Are we to believe that the police took two years to find out the registration details of a bike involved in the blasts? The same police that just have to take one look at a bomb site to tell us confidently the exact nationality and organisational affiliation of the perpetrators? Is there any material at all – including RDX – that ex-Army men cannot easily have access to? Will the police explain to us how the ‘confessions’ of three Muslim men were secured (will they admit to torture)? Who will restore freedom, and apologise for character assassination and torture, to those who for the past two years have been blamed for blasts they did not do? Most importantly, are we really to believe that the Governments at State and Centre did not know all along about the activities of the Bhonsala Military Academy, and the fact that it was openly holding arms training camps for Bajrang Dal goons from all over the country? Blasts aside, how come such training camps for communal outfits were not deemed illegal and banned even as Bajrang Dal brigades repeatedly conducted anti-Muslim and anti-Christian violence?

The recent revelations in the Malegaon blasts put every ongoing blast investigation under a cloud and a question mark. Clearly, the police suppressed all the trails that led to Sangh outfits and BJP leaders – allowing these terrorists to roam free and contest and campaign in elections – while misleading the nation by framing innocents of a minority community. Is it not all too possible that this is happening in every single blast investigation?

It is not just BJP leaders, however, who are linked with the terrorist sadhvi. Pragya is a disciple of Swami Avadheshanand Giri: and her fellow disciples include Union HRD Minister and celebrated ‘secular’ figure Arjun Singh and his son Ajay. Ajay, head of the Congress campaign panel for the upcoming state polls in MP, rushed to deny Avadheshanand’s links with Pragya.

The Congress and UPA Government is hoping to let the state machinery ‘leak’ out a tiny part of the truth about the involvement of Sangh outfits in terror, in order to get the upper hand in the elections. But we won’t be satisfied with such scraps. We demand a thoroughgoing investigation into the involvement of Sangh outfits and so-called god-men and god-women, the Army connection, and the BJP in terrorism. And we demand a ban on the Bajrang Dal, VHP and other Sangh outfits against whom there is prima facie evidence of involvement in terrorism and communal violence (including activities like abduction (‘rescue’) of women who have eloped).top


Stay on JNUSU Elections:

Assault on Student Movement

The AISA has termed the Supreme Court stay on JNUSU elections an assault on the student movement. It is clear that the Central Government, acting through the Additional Solicitor General, is the moving force behind this attack. AISA has questioned why no action has been taken against the Central Universities that have flouted the explicit recommendation by the Lyngdoh Committee to hold regular Students’ Union polls, AISA declared, “If the JNUSU Constitution continues to be deemed a ‘violation’ of the Supreme Court order on Lyngdoh, while student union elections and campus democracy continue to be denied in most Universities across the country, students all over the country will be forced to conclude that the Lyngdoh Committee orders are being deployed by the powers-that-be, not so much to ensure democratic and peaceful elections on campuses, but to crack down on student movements which are the defining feature of the JNU Students’ Union.”

AISA is at the forefront of the student movement in JNU defending the JNUSU Constitution, where the students of JNU extended the tenure of the JNU Students’ Union led by AISA for three months in the wake of the ongoing crisis. A Joint Struggle Committee is leading the struggle, comprising the JNUSU as well as members of each organisation except the Youth for Equality which appeared in Court defending the replacement of JNUSU Constitution with Lyngdoh norms, and the Bahujan Students’ Front. Teachers of JNU too have come out in support of the ongoing struggle.top


Workers’ Demonstration at Haldwani

On 25 October, workers under the banner of AICCTU held a demonstration at the Labour Commissioner’s office in Haldwani, protesting against the fact that the Labour Commissioner was turning a blind eye to the flouting of labour laws and rampant and illegal use of the contract system by managements of various factories in the SIDCUL industrial area and was denying registration to trade unions for no reason. AICCTU leader KK Bora said that it was precisely such violations and failure of the institutions to act in defence of labour laws that had led to the explosive situation at the Graziano factory.

Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22518248, e-mail: mlupdate@cpiml.org, website: www.cpiml.org
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