March in Kolkata Against Bhangar Land Grab

A protest march was convened by the Bhangar Committee to Defend Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment on 8 May 2017. Thousands of people, primarily from Bhangar but also from other areas of ongoing anti-eviction struggles in Bengal like Bhavadighi, Sholobigha etc. marched from College Square to the Raj Bhavan. It was an inspiring show of resolve and solidarity in which leaders of CPIML Liberation, CPIML Red Star, CPI(M) and other Left parties and democratic organisations shared stage with family members of martyr comrades Mafijul and Alamgir and comrades Sharmistha Chakravarty, Pradeep Singh Thakur, Kushal Debnath and other activists currently detained under the draconian UAPA. The protest rally demanded cancellation of the power grid project in Bhangar, judicial probe into the January 17 police firing that killed Mafijul and Alamgir, payment of adequate compensation for victims of police repression, unconditional release of all arrested activists and withdrawal of draconian laws like the UAPA and MPO.

Addressing the protesters at the end of the Rajbhavan March, Comrade Dipankar pledged full support to the just struggle of the people of Bhangar and called upon the justice-loving democratic opinion in the state to rally in support of Bhangar and resist the unholy TMC-BJP nexus that is trying to crush the struggle and vitiate the political environment. Comrade Dipankar pointed out that by flouting the 2013 Rehabilitation and Compensation Act and invoking the draconian UAPA, Mamata Banerjee was effectively advancing Modi’s agenda in Bengal and all her self-proclaimed concern for saving agricultural land and promoting the wellbeing of the Muslim community stood exposed in Bhangar. The protest called for closer unity among all anti-eviction struggles and effective unity in action among Left and democratic forces.