ML UPDATE 4 / 2011

MLUpdate

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 14, No. 04, 18 – 24 JANUARY 2011

Aseemanand Confession:

Expose and Punish Sanghi Terror,

Ensure Justice for Minority Scapegoats

Swami Aseemanand’s confession to the role of Hindutva outfits in a series of terror incidents including the Mecca Masjid, Ajmer Sharif, Malegaon, and the Samjhauta Express blasts has made ‘saffron terror’ impossible to dismiss, even for hitherto reluctant investigative agencies, political forces and media. The confession, made in front of a magistrate in December and reiterated again in January in court, certainly carries more weight than the torture-tainted custodial ‘confessions’ which are often the only evidence produced by police and investigative agencies so far in terror cases. Aseemanand has said that he was moved to confess by the plight of a Muslim youth falsely accused in the Mecca Masjid blasts, who befriended him in jail. It is a disturbing question for Indian democracy and justice that had Aseemanand not confessed, the communal profiling and scapegoating of minorities by the investigative agencies and a pliant media would have continued unquestioned.

The confession – unarguable evidence of the existence of the Sanghi terror web – has predictably caused discomfort across the spectrum of political forces and institutions. The BJP has opted for outraged denial of links with saffron terror, while also alleging that the exposé of saffron terror is a Congress conspiracy. The RSS on the one hand sought to claim that Aseemanand’s confession was ‘forced’ (a claim that carries little credibility after Aseemanand stuck to his statement in court). On the other, the RSS, in a repeat of its tactics of disowning Savarkar in the wake of the murder of Gandhi, has declared that the terrorist elements had been expelled from the organization long back. The Congress is manipulating leaks from the saffron terror investigations to keep a leash on and bargain with the BJP to quell the latter’s clamour on the corruption issue. But at the same time, the Congress is none too comfortable with the revelations of saffron terror, since these facts inexorably point a finger at the majoritarian communal bias and questionable methods (including widespread use of torture) that have distorted terror investigations by the police in Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra as well as the Centre.

Media too, in its responses to Aseemanand’s revelations, has displayed uncharacteristic hesitation that contrasts rather starkly with its irresponsible and emotive coverage of the very same cases when Muslims were accused of terror without sufficient evidence. While all those who questioned custodial torture or fake encounters of Muslim terror-accused were swiftly branded by the media as ‘anti-nationals’, the same media is playing down saffron terror’s political linkages with RSS and BJP by deeming it to be a ‘lunatic fringe,’ thereby implying that the RSS and BJP cannot be held responsible for some aberrant ‘hotheaded’ elements.

What Aseemanand’s confession has laid bare is the dangerous extent to which terror investigations are tainted by majoritarian communal prejudice. If hundreds of Muslim youth were branded as ‘masterminds’ and arrested, tortured, jailed and even declared convict of crimes which Aseemanand now confesses were perpetrated by saffron groups, it raises a serious question about the credibility of our investigative and judicial process.

What the Aseemanand case underlines is that if we are to live up to our claims of being a democracy, our investigative agencies must not enjoy a licence to peddle communal stereotypes, and to indulge in torture and witch-hunt. Every investigation and trial must follow just procedures, and those who violate such procedures must be probed and punished. To start with, a time-bound judicial probe should be ordered into the enormous miscarriage of justice which resulted in scores of Muslim youth being jailed, tortured and branded as terrorists for crimes to which Aseemanand has confessed. Those authorities responsible for framing innocents in the series of blasts for which Aseemanand has claimed responsibility, must face exemplary punishment, and those framed and tortured in such cases must be released, freed of charges, and receive compensation and a public apology.

The RSS and BJP cannot evade the terror taint. In the first place there is the material evidence (independent of Aseemanand’s confession) of close linkages between the top RSS leaders like Indresh Kumar, highly placed BJP leaders (former BJP MP B.L. Sharma) as well as senior army officials with the Hindutva terror groups like Abhinav Bharat. These groups also share ideological moorings with the RSS and BJP, and their acts serve the political agenda of the BJP which use bomb blasts and terror as fodder to foster communal prejudices. By themselves orchestrating acts of terror and then implicating Muslims in these blasts, the groups like Abhinav Bharat and other shadowy outfits of RSS helped to feed the fear and prejudice against the Muslim minorities – while the BJP reaped this fear and hatred in elections and political arena by posing as the champion of nationalism against ‘Islamic’ terrorism!

In a desperate attempt to shake off the terror taint, the BJP is trying once again to play the game of ‘Hindu nationalist’ versus ‘Muslim anti-national’ by declaring that they will unfurl the Indian flag at Srinagar on Republic Day. Meanwhile the Congress is playing the politics of convenience; while indulging in selective leaks, the Central Government is yet to show its commitment to unraveling every thread of saffron terror and ensuring that lawful investigation and fair trial prevail over fake encounters, framing and communal profiling of minorities. We must expose the Sangh’s ‘nationalist’ bluff and demand that nothing short of a complete probe into the entire web of terrorist linkages with saffron outfits including RSS and BJP, can suffice. The country deserves to know the truth.

Protest in Madurai against DMK Govt’s False Promises

On 5th January, CPI(ML)’s Madurai District unit organized a protest in Vadipatti, condemning the Tamil Nadu Chief Minister whose most promises for free schemes for poor have proven hollow and those that have come into existence continue to be marred by corruption. More than 200 people from 3 Panchayats participated in the protest. The local DMK functionaries tried to prevent people from participating but they could do so only in one Panchayat.

Com. Shanmugam, District Secretary of All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA), conducted the protest meeting and Com. Balasundaram, State Secretary of CPIML, spoke on the occasion and exposed the corrupt DMK regime. He asked the people to reject both, the DMK and AIADMK and join the CPI(ML) led struggles against anti-people policies of these parties.

The local police has been acting as a tool in the hands of DMK’s local functionaries. CPI(ML) leaders warned the officials against this trend. Later a delegation met the Taluk Officials and got assurance of including the list provided by us in the near future.

Convention and protests in West Bengal demanding release of Binayak Sen

On 8th January, a convention demanding immediate release of Dr. Binayak Sen, was held in Student’s hall in Kolkata. Nitish Roy, of Gana Sanskriti Parishad, gave the inaugural speech. Nabarun Bhattacharya, writer, Dipankar Chakrabarty, editor of Aneek, Sumit Chowdhury, Debashish Dutta, secretary of People’s Health, Dr. Partha Ghosh along with others spoke before a packed hall. Prabir Ball, Nitish Ray, Sutapa and members of Ganabishan sang for the occasion.

Protest meeting was organized in Howrah by RYA. Similar protests were organized in Belghoria, Chadpara and Siliguri.

More Reports of AISA’s Nationwide Campaign against Corruption & State Repression

Delhi: At the time of going to press, the All India Students’ Association (AISA) is holding a national convention on “Binayak Sen Verdict: Life Imprisonment for Democracy” in the Arts Faculty of Delhi University. On the Concluding day of its national campaign against corruption and state repression 19 January, AISA organised a convention in which a large number of human rights and democratic personalities are participating as speakers.

The report is also that first the administration intervened to stop the assembly of students for holding the convention and then later ABVP hoodlums tried to disrupt who were chased away by the AISA activists.

Among the speakers are Professors Harbans Mukhia, noted historian, Jean Dreze- Dept. of Economics, DU, Nandini Sundar- Dept. of Sociology, DU, Achin Vanaik- Dept. of Political Science, DU, Apporvanad- Dept. of Hindi, DU, Nirmalanghsu Mukherjee- Dept of Philosophy, DU, Ali Javed- Dept. of Urdu, DU, Vir Bharat Talwar- Dept of Hindi, JNU, Supreme Court lawyer Prashant Bhushan, Shamsul Islam- Satyawati college and a noted cultural activist, Manoj Mitta- journalist and law commentator, Swapan Mukherjee- AICCTU General Secretary, Gautam Navlakha- noted human rights’ activist, Anand Pradhan- Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Neeraj Malik- IP College, DU and Nandita Narayan of St. Stephen’s College, DU among others.

Noted Hindi poet Viren Dangwal is to read poetry later in the day. Imphal Talkies, a musical band from Manipur will perform at the convention apart from students and teachers.

Uttarakhand: In Uttarakhand, the AISA began its campaign against corruption and state repression on 11 January. This day is also the martyrdom day of Comrade Nagendra Saklani who was martyred at Kirtinagar in 1948.

A dharna and demonstration was held in Gandhi Park. It was led by AISA leaders Pawan Nautiyal, AISA’s State Secretary, Malti Haldar, State President of AISA and Verghese Bamola, AISA’s State Vice President and Student Union representative in Srinagar’s Garhwal University. The speakers also drew parallels between the true patriots who were hanged or jailed for treason by the British before Independence and the sentencing of Dr. Binayak Sen. The students burned effigies of the corrupt Central as well as State Government. Other state leaders of AISA Ashish, Lalit Matiyani, Ravi-ul-Rahman, Yatin, Rahul and Pramod were also present.

West Bengal: As part of AISA’s country wide protest against corruption and state repression, the West Bengal unit kick started its campaign from College Square in Kolkata. A protest march was organized from College Square and protesters blocked the road in front of Presidency College where an effigy of UPA government was burned. Student leaders Jul, Debmalya, Dhiraj and Dwaipayan addressed the protest meeting.

Similar protests were organized in Hooghly, Malda and North 24 parganas districts. In Barasat in North 24 Parganas, Moloy Tewari, State secretary of AISA led the protest.

AIALA and AIKM Protest against Farmers’ Suicide in Orissa

In Orissa 70 farmers have committed suicide due to losses incurred after heavy rain but the height of insensitivity on the part of BJD as well as UPA Govt. is that neither has taken any step to give a sense of security and relief to the farmers that would prevent them from taking the desperate and extreme step of ending their lives. Though the BJD Government of Orissa had declared a package of 900 core rupees but has not yet given a single rupee to farmers. On the other hand the UPA has been dilly-dallying with the plea that they will take steps after central observation report.

On 10th January, the All India Agricultural Labourers’ Association (AIALA) and All India Kisan Mahasabha (AIKM) held protests in all tehsils of Orissa against the BJD and UPA Government holding them squarely responsible for the farmers’ suicide in Orissa. The protests were held along with BKMU, Krushak Sabha, Adibasi Mahasabha, Orissa Krushak Mahasabhha. The state-wide protests were supported by four left parties CPI(ML) Liberation, CPI(M) CPI(ML) New Democracy and CPI.

CPI(ML) Liberation organised protest in Rayagada, Puri, Kendrapra, Bhadrak, Kalahandi and Gajapati including Bhubaneswar tehsil office. Comrades Tirupati Gamango, Mahendra Parida, Satyabadi Behera- AIALA’s Orissa State President, AIKM leader Ashok Pradhan, Yudhistir Mohapatra, Balaram Hota, Samar Bal, Bidhan Das, Bidya Dhar Patra among others led the protests at different places despite administrations’ opposition at many places. The protest has demanded a compensation of Rs.10,000/- per acre to all farmers, 5 lakhs to the next kin of farmers who committed suicide and purchase grain from farmers through FCI and provide Rs.1500/- per quintal to farmers.

Democratic Rickshaw Pullers’ Union Holds Cadre Convention in Noida

Cadre Convention of Janwadi Ricksha Chalak Sangh (Democratic Rickshaw Pullers’ Union), Ghaziabad unit of Gautambudh Nagar, was held at Noida Sector X on 9 January. The Convention was presided over by Comrade Nand ji. Comrades Amarnath Tiwari- CPI(ML) Delhi State Committee member, Shyam Kishore Yadav- member of AICCTU’s Delhi secretarial team, Pramod Shah, AIPWA’s EC member Uma Gupta, AISA leader Anmol, Chandra Bhushan, Suresh Paswan- General Secretary of the JRCS/DRPU, Ramsewak- Secretary of Delhi Street Vendors’ Federation, CB Singh, Mohan Singh, Radhey Shayam and Virendra Das put forth their views and suggestions in the Convention. The speakers criticised the anti-people policies of both Mayawati and Manmohan Singh Govts and said both the Govternments have no concern for the basic issues that the masses face. On the one hand the contractors, bureaucrats and politicians are cornering huge amounts of money in the name of beautification of the city, and on the other the same working people, without whose labour the city would not sustain, are being deprived of basic necessities of living. Both the Central and Mayawati Govt are protecting and patronising the forces of loot and corruption. The convention called upon the working people for a powerful movement against these governments responsible for unprecedented inflation and unemployment.

Farmers Movement in Chhattisgarh against Land Acquisition

A fact finding team of CPI(ML) and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) visited the site of under-construction 3600 MW thermal power plant at Nariyara of Akalwara tehsil in Chancha-Janjgir district of Chhattisgarh, where the farmers whose land is being acquired have launched a movement and have been protesting. The team comprised of Comrades Brijendra Tiwary, Rajendra Parganiha, Ghanshyam Singh Mandari and Lalan Sharma. The team spoke to the farmers at the dharna place apart from supporting their struggle.

Wardha Power Company Pvt. Ltd. is setting up the thermal plant on 2100 acre land. Land falling under four villages of Rogada, Nariyara, Taraund and Amora is being acquired. Three other villages are also losing their land. 90 percent of the land being acquired is a double crop irrigated land. The land produces roughly 30 quintals of paddy per acre. The Company started working since January 2008 and it got the environmental clearance in October 2010. The Company, in its executive summary has described the land as barren, uncultivable and single crop agricultural land. Of the total land- 1500 acres have been bought by the company at the rate of Rs.80,000- 3,00,000 (three lakh). For the remaining 750 acres the farmers have been given notice under the Land Acquisition Act of 1894. Of the villagers here 25-30 percent are tribal and dalits. The Rodaga dam/barrage constructed on 131 acre of land in 1962 has been sold to the Company for Rs.7 crore. (70 million rupees). The water from this dam irrigated 550 acres of land. The Company has flattened this. About 3000 workers are working here of which 80 percent from outside of State. The workers are being paid at a wage lower than the statutory minimum wage.

The farmers began their dharna at the thermal plant gate on 8 December 2010, after giving a notice to the police and administration. Initially the local MLA Saurav Singh of BSP gave support but withdrew after four days. The police arrested and sent to jail 55 farmers for blocking the company gate and they were released after four days on a personal bond of Rs.50,000/-each. The Company has closed the Rogada-Nariyara road due to which the villagers are having to walk extra six kilometres. The Company also bulldozed 150 acres of Kharif and Rabi crops belonging to 22 farmers. Later, after farmers’ protest, the police mediated a compensation of only Rs.3200/- per acre. The police has seized carpets, tents, mikes etc. from the dharna site. Illegal registry of land belonging to absent farmers is underway. Government and administrative land has also been captured due to which a lot of problem is being faced by the villagers. Tree plantation was to be done on 450 acres of land, yet not a single one has been planted.

Within a radius of 10 km of this under construction Company there are four industrial units out of which two are cement – Lafarge and CCI. Other two are power plants of 40 and 80 MW capacity. The Govt is planning to set up 34 power plants in this district. The land in this district is among most fertile and most irrigated. In the past the Govt had sold 23 km area of Shivnath river to a private firm.

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: 22442790, e-mail: mlupdate, website: www.cpiml.org

MLU-14-04.pdf

MLU-14-04.doc

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s