Red Salute to Heroic Martyr Comrade Mahendra Singh !
Killers Can Not Go Unpunished !!
Battle Shall Have to be Won !!!
Comrade Mahendra Singh is no longer with us. He was gunned down by armed assailants on 16 January during an election meeting at Durgi Dhavaiya near Saria in Bagodar block of Giridih district in Jharkhand. He was seeking reelection for the fourth successive term from Bagodar Assembly constituency of Giridih district in Jharkhand. The lone MLA of CPI(ML) in Jharkhand Assembly, Comrade Mahendra Singh had emerged as the most towering and dynamic opposition leader in Jharkhand. As outstanding orator, a passionate crusader against injustice and oppression, Comrade Mahendra was elected a member of the Central Committee of the CPI(ML) at the Party’s Sixth Congress held in Varanasi in October 1997.
He was a fearless champion of justice and democracy. He had been arrested and put behind the bars several times for the militant mass agitations he led on numerous issues. His experiment with the parallel panchayat system in Giridih district in the erstwhile Jharkhand region of Bihar was a unique one which attracted broader attention. Apart from mass work, Comrade Mahendra Singh also did exemplary work in Jharkhand and earlier Bihar assemblies. He was elected from Bagodar constituency for three consecutive terms in 1990, 1995 and 2000. He had filed his nomination papers a day before. He was very popular not only among the poor, toiling and most marginalised sections of the society for his tireless struggles against oppression and exploitation but also was considered as the “real leader of the opposition” inside the Assembly by the media and the political circles in Jharkhand for his vibrant oppositional role. In the undivided Bihar he played the role of the leader of party legislature group. Apart from mass work and legislature work, Comrade Mahendra Singh also played a crucial role in party building in Jharkhand. Whether it was a question of educating and training cadres or formulating concrete policies for work he played a leading role in the Party organisation in Jharkhand.
Comrade Mahendra Singh was also a creative thinker who often came up with original ideas. Comrade Mahendra Singh had mobilised his entire family to the Party fold. Party’s Third Congress was held in his house in 1983. At that time Comrade Mahendra Singh was in jail. Even while he was in jail, he used to do political work among the prisoners and dozens of prisoners have been politicised by him and many of them had become Party members after coming outside. He had a versatile character. Though he had very little formal education he was a voracious reader and a poet also. He authored a book of poems titled Keemat Chukati Zindagi.
Born in 1954 at Khambra village of Giridih district, Comrade Mahendra Singh had very little formal education but continued his informal studies. In 1978 he joined the Party.
Unable to stop Comrade Mahendra Singh from winning as an MLA from Bagodar, his political enemies have resorted to the cowardly act of killing him through hired killers. Comrade Mahendra Singh was not only a challenge for his political rivals, he was also an eyesore of the notorious Giridih SP Deepak Verma against whom he had submitted several substantial reports with strong evidences to the government and the Election Commission. Comrade Mahendra Singh had expressed apprehension on the floor of Jharkhand Assembly that he had threat to his life from this SP, who acts as a lieutenant of Jharkhand Industry Minister Ravindra Rai and Chief Minister Arjun Munda. Reports from Jharkhand avers that SP Deepak Verma had been publicly exposing his intention to get Comrade Mahendra eliminated saying “is bar mai dekhoonga ki Mahendra Singh Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha me nahin pahunchega” meaning that he would see to it that Mahendra Singh will not reach to the Jharkhand Assembly this time (by whatever means). NDA government in Jharkhand is totally responsible for this murder.
We demand immediate arrest and removal of the Giridih SP for organising this political assassination and a CBI inquiry into this state sponsored political murder.
We also criticise the inaction from the Election Commission which indulges in tall talks on “free and fair elections”. Exactly a month back, on 16 December 2004 , a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Election Commissioner in Delhi by the Jharkhand State Committee of the CPI(ML) demanding to transfer SP Deepak Verma from Giridih in order to conduct impartial and peaceful election. Party was apprehensive about some foul play by this SP during the Assembly elections. If EC had reacted promptly a precious life could have been saved.
The Election Commission has adopted a ridiculous rule that elections would be countermanded only if a candidate from a recognised political party got killed. If a sitting MLA who has won thrice from the same constituency gets killed by his political opponents and then if elections can not be postponed that makes a mockery of the idea of “free and fair elections”.
Comrade Mahendra Singh, you will live forever in our fond memories.
We take a pledge to continue your unfinished work and to settle your blood debt.
Comrade Mahendra Singh : A Brief Life Sketch
Born in 1954 at Khambra village of Giridih district (then in Bihar). He received primary education in his native village. After that he did not receive any formal education but continued informal studies. He was deeply interested in literature since his student days.
He joined CPI(ML) in 1978, became associated with the Bokaro unit of the Party and started mass work among rural poor in Bagodar block. Soon party organisation and the movement grew at a fast pace in that region.
His relentless struggle on people's issues turned Giridih district as one of the strongest citadels of left movement in Jharkhand.
He was elected as National Secretary of the Indian People's Front in 1982. He played a leading role in almost every democratic movement in Jharkhand since 80s. He was also considered as one of the leading representatives of the Jharkhand movement. Almost every land struggle in Jharkhand region saw in him an inspiring leader who challenged all feudal and criminal forces. He always strived to unite all left and democratic forces as a strong anti-feudal-anti-communal-fascist pole in Jharkhand.
It was explicit that the state saw him as a potent danger for leading the struggles of peasants, workers, oppressed nationalities and all types of democratic movements. He was implicated in several false cases and jailed many times. He was arrested in a false case of murder on 5 February 1985 and sentenced for life imprisonment by the sessions court. But in 1988 he was released by the Ranchi High Court with the comment: "He fights against the repression of weaker sections of the people, therefore he has falsely been implicated in the case."
He was also jailed in April 2002 under such ridiculous cases like violation of the election code of conduct in 1995, violation of Section 144 in Hazaribagh in 1996 and in Koderma in 1997. The latest case slapped on him relates to the road blockade in Kodambari on 2 April 2002.
He was the President of Jharkhand's one of the most dynamic and militant coal workers' union, CMWU, for last many years. He was also very popular among steel workers of Bokaro and Tata Nagar.
In 1990 he was elected MLA from Bagodar. He remained CPI(ML) MLA for three continuous terms.
He is survived by his wife, three daughters and a son.
He has written and published a book of poetry: "Keemat Chukati Zindagi"
We Pledge to Carry Forward Your Unfinished Mission , Comrade Mahendra!
As the news of this ghastly assassination spread like a wild fire, people in Bagodar and nearby areas became stunned and shocked. It was unbelievable for them to hear that their beloved leader whom they considered no less than a guardian and saviour was no more. The sorrow struck silence in Khambra, native village of Comrade Mahendra Singh , was so piercing as if it was declaring a war cry against those black forces of exploitation and repression which are represented in the state by the criminal-mafia-police-bureaucrat-politician nexus against which Comrade Mahendra Singh struggled throughout his life and embraced martyrdom.
Thousands of people immediately gheraoed Saria police station shouting slogans against police and the state government. They demanded arrest of all the killers including SP Deepak Verma.
In spite of massive spontaneous and overwhelming protests, police did not come in action and gave the killers proper time to escape. The FIR was not lodged even after 24 hours, though police at Saria PS was informed immediately after the murder. Shanti Devi, wife of Comrade Mahendra, has given a written statement to the police that Jharkhand's Industry Minister Ravindra Rai and SP Deepak Verma are directly involved in this crime.
Comrade Mahendra's body, clad in a red flag, was kept at Women's Training College in Bagodar for public viewing. A sea of humanity thronged the place as people wanted to catch a glimpse of their beloved leader. Thousands of his supporters reached there with wet eyes after a walk of 10, 15 or even 20 kilometers. People from more than 50 villages in nearby areas - women, men and children alike - reached Bagodar to see Comrade Mahendra. Many were crying in the open. All the business establishments in Saria and Bagodar were closed on January 17. Not even a single vehicle plied on the day. Even banks, schools and government offices remained closed. It was an spontaneous reaction of the masses to pay tributes to their leader.
CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya and a number of leaders reached there as soon as they received the news. They also addressed a mammoth gathering of people who came to attend the cremation of Comrade Mahendra Singh on 18 January in Bagodar. Comrade Dipankar called upon the people to turn their grief into strength to avenge the killing by wiping out the criminal-mafia-police-bureaucrat-politician nexus which has snatched away their leader. He said that Jharkhand administration deliberately transferred Deepak Verma to Giridih to stop the growing movement of the rural poor and unity of the masses under the red flag and leadership of Comrade Mahendra Singh. But cowardly acts can never kill growing democratic aspirations of the masses and the killers will certainly get a befitting reply.
This huge condolence meeting was also attended and addressed by the leaders of left parties including CPI, CPI(M). Forward Bloc, Marxist Co-ordination Commiittee and Samajwadi Jan Parishad and several other democratic organisations. It was also addressed by Comrade Vinod Singh and Neetu Singh, son and daughter of Comrade Mahendra Singh. CPI(ML) and the people of Bagodar and adjoining areas refused the government's proposal of providing state funeral of their leader. No politician from ruling class parties dared reached the cremation ground. Senior administrative and police officials who were camping in the area after the murder could not gather courage to reach Bagodar.
Within hours of this ghastly murder the news spread and engulfed whole of the party with deep sense of grief. Many units immediately protested and demanded arrest of Deepak Verma and Ravindra Rai. Protest demonstrations were held on Jan 17 in Delhi; Ranchi and all other major centers in Jharkhand; all the districts in Bihar; many places in Tamil Nadu including Chennai; Allahabad, Varanasi, Pilibhit, Balia, Sonbhadra, Jalaun and many other places in UP; Kakinada, Yeleswaram, Jagampeta, Prathipadu, Thondangi, Sakhavaram, Tuni and many places in East Godavari district in Andhra Pradesh. Protests demonstrations were also held at Kolkata, Guwahati, Bhubaneshwar, Karnal and Pondicherry .
Bihar unit of the Party launched protests on 17 January throughout the state and organised marches and demonstrations at almost all centers.
In Delhi , angry protesters stormed the Parliament Street and broke the police cordon demanding arrest and removal of Giridih SP Deepak Verma for masterminding the state sponsored political killing of Comrade Mahendra Singh. They said that Giridih SP had a record to his credit of several cases of human rights violations and contract killings. They also demanded immediate intervention by the Election Commission to ensure the removal of this SP for free and fair elections.
The CPI(ML) called upon all democratic and justice loving forces to rise against this murder of democracy in Jharkhand. Party has intensified the protest movement on this issue in Jharkhand and Bihar and called for a nationwide movement.
Party has pledged to avenge the killing and fulfil Comrade Mahendra's unfinished mission.
Com. Mahendra Singh’s Murder: State Sponsored Political Killing
CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya has termed the murder of CPI(ML) MLA Mahendra Singh in Jharkhand a ‘State-sponsored Political Killing’. The Party has categorically pointed out that the notorious SP of Giridih District, Deepak Verma was consciously posted in Giridih District by the BJP Government to see to it that Com. Mahendra Singh did not enter the Jharkhand Assembly again.
It is worth noting here that Singh had prepared an 80-page document on the misdeeds of the Babulal Marandi Government, especially of the Chief Minister himself and the Minister of Industries, Ravindra Rai, under whose direct patronage Deepak Verma had been functioning to suppress the voice of democratic opposition in the Jharkhand Assembly.
Com. Mahendra had expressed an apprehension on the floor of the House that there was a threat to his life from the SP, Deepak Verma. He had mentioned to several supporters and Party leaders as well as to his wife, that the SP had been publicly exposing his intention to get Singh eliminated saying ‘is baar mai dekhoonga ki Mahendra Singh Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha me nahin pahunchega’ meaning that he would see to it that Mahendra Singh did not get elected this time (by whatever means).
Deepak Verma’s bloody record of several human rights violations and contract killings been exposed to the hilt in Mahendra Singh’s Report to the Assembly in which he had mentioned how the SP (then posted in Hazaribagh) had effected several fake encounters in the name of curbing the MCC, how he had used an ex-MCC man Umesh Ojha to lead a raid on MCC hideout in Jhumri Pahad of Hazaribagh and recovered 85 lakh rupees of which only 5 lakh had been deposited and how the SP had got advocate Prashant Sahai, who was dealing with cases against him, physically eliminated through hired killers (who had named the SP after their arrest).
The SP had been transferred from Hazaribagh as a ‘punishment’ but was subsequently posted in Giridih.
The CPI(ML) demands that
1. the SP of Giridih District be arrested immediately and tried for the murder of Mahendra Singh.
2. A CBI inquiry be instituted to determine the aspect of political conspiracy by the BJP Government to get Mahendra Singh eliminated through bullets if not ballot, especially the role of BJP Minister Ravindra Rai in the killing.
3.The Election Commission of India take cognisance of the murder and order dismissal of SP Deepak Verma, as well as send a team of central observers to ensure the conduct of free and fair elections in constituencies of Giridih, particularly the sensitive constituency of Bagodar, since Mahendra Singh had not only been a most popular legislator, winning consecutively for 3 terms, but had been the voice of democratic opposition in Jharkhand.
4. The NHRC send a high-level team to the area to investigate the cases of human rights violations at the hands of this notorious SP and forces which have been actively patronising his activities in the region to throttle the voice of democratic protest against oppression of the common people, that was represented by Mahendra Singh.
He was a true people's representative inside the Assembly
When Comrade Mahendra Singh was a member of Bihar Legislative Assembly (before the formation of Jharkhand), besides raising the issues of workers, poor peasants, and other oppressed sections, he also targetted the corrupt practice of making fake travelling allowance bills by the MLAs of various ruling class parties. He could not reconcile with the fact that many MLAs who had not gone on a fact finding tour also submitted their TA bills amounting to lakhs of rupees. He protested it and raised the issue in the media. It exposed many 'representatives' and the Assembly Seretariat was forced to make rule for submitting daily attendance log .
He exposed many scams related to land distribution and public welfare funds by ruling class leaders in Bihar Assembl