Flood Victims’ Protest in North Bihar
Rotten Food Grains Distributed as Relief
CPI(ML) organised protests on 9 September in North Bihar against Nitish government’s criminal negligence towards flood affected millions of people. People blockaded highways at many places demanding flood relief for the affected. NH 57 was jammed at two places, Majhauli and Etwarpur, in Bochahan of Muzaffarpur district by thousands of affected peasants and common people. Their protest forced the officials to reached to them for talks. Protesters showed them rotten food-grain packets which were distributed among flood victims by the government. It was demanded to declare these floods a calamity of national proportion, to provide relief to every affected family, compensation of Rs. 15000 to all peasants including sharecroppers, rebuilding pukka houses and guarantee of food rations to all for three months and, above all, a permanent solution to the Bihar’s perennial floods. This protest was led by CPI(ML) block secretary Rambalak Sahni, AIARLA district secretary Ramnandan Paswan and Kisan Mahasabha leader Bihdeshwar Sah.
Statues of Martyred Farmers of Mandsaur Unveiled
Two statues of martyr farmers, of Bablu Patidar in Takravad village and Kanhiyalal in Chillod Pipaliya, were unveiled on 15 September. They were among those martyred by the bullets of Madhya Pradesh government on 6 June when a massive farmers’ strike was organised in MP and Maharashtra. A mass meeting was held on this occasion which was addressed by leaders of All India Kisan Coordination Committee including VM Singh, Yogendra Yadav, Raji Shetti, Dr. Sunilam, Devendra Singh Chauhan, Prem Singh Gahlawat, Purushottam Sharma, Amrit Ram Patidar, Mahendra Patidar and DP Dhakar.
Comrade Devendra Singh Chauhan addressed the gathering on behalf of All India Kisan Mahasabha. Speakers on this occasion pledged to continue the farmers’ ongoing struggle till the demands are met. They also condemned the MP government for continuing with the repressive measures and victimisation on the agitating farmers in the state.
Death of a Sanitation Worker in Bhilai Steel Plant
Contractual sanitation worker Bisesar Markandey died while on duty at the work place in the Town Services Department, Bhilai Steel Plant. AICCTU sent an enquiry team to find out the facts of the incident. A summary of the enquiry, its findings and demands were submitted to the Bhilai Steel Plant CEO, IR and CLC on 13 September 2017 through a CSW delegation comprising comrades Brijendra Tiwari, Ashok Miri and Muktanand Sahu.
The findings of the AICCTU team are: 1. The deceased contractual sanitation worker BisesarMarkandey (age 38) was working continuously with the Town Services Department since 2000. Currently he was working in Camp 1 Area under the company Arpit Associates. 2. On 4 September 2017 Bisesar fell ill while on duty at the work place and subsequently died. 3. No medical facility was available to Bisesar when he fell ill. 4. The contractor gave Rs 2000-/ (Two Thousand Rupees only) for the last rites of the dead worker. 5. The workers are provided neither identity cards nor salary slips. 6. Safety rules and regulations are not followed at the work place. 7. Health check-up of workers is not done.
AICCTU demands: 1. The dependent of the deceased worker should be given a job in the Bhilai Steel Plant as well as compensation. 2. Gratuity, PF, pension, and wage arrears should be paid speedily. 3. Safety rules and regulations while work is done in manholes should be strictly implemented and followed. 4. Provision of safety equipment, gumboots, gloves, gas masks, safety belts, soap etc should be guaranteed. 5. Annual medical health check-up of contractual sanitation workers should be done and medical facility in case of falling ill should be guaranteed. 6. Identity cards should be provided to the workers. 7. It should be ensured that salary slips are given to the workers by the 10th of each month.
Daman Virodhi Morcha in Giridih
On 13 September 2017, an Aam Sabha (public meeting) was organised in the school grounds of Sidho-Kanho High School in Peertand in Giridih district under the banner of ‘Daman Virodhi Morcha’ (Anti-repression front). Innocent ‘Doli’ labourer Motilal Baaski had been killed in a false encounter on 9 June 2017 after slapping false charges of terrorism on him. Early morning that day, Motilal had gone up the Parasnath hill to bring wood from the forest. The police which was patrolling, shot him dead and soon after also earned the reward for killing a ‘terrorist’. In the public meeting organised in Peertand, the main demands raised were- justice for the innocent youth killed, arrest of the killer policemen, and compensation as well as a secure employment for the family of Motilal. After the death of Motilal Baaski, a CPI(ML) team led by district secretary Com. Manoj Bhakt had met his family and started the first phase of the movement for justice in June. It was a result of the movement that a large number of tribals in the area including those who had been sympathisers of JMM, JVM and others came forward to make the anti-repression front that has closely been working with CPI(ML) in taking initiatives, launching struggles and initiating dialogues with people. The decision to carry forward with this initiative was declared in the meeting. Comrade Puran Mahto, who paid a played a pivotal role in raising the demands for justice, comrades Nageswar Mahto and Rajesh Sinha were present in the meeting.
Gherao of Meral block office in Garhwa district
A gherao of the Meral block office in Garhwa district was organised on 12 September under the banner of CPI (ML) and Jharkhand Graamin Mazdoor Sabha. Prior to the gherao, a huge march was taken out from Meral High school grounds, where thousands of people holding placards and raising slogans against the deteriorating law and order situation participated. The block office was gheraoed for several hours.
Addressing the protestors, Garhwa district secretary of CPI (ML), Com. Kaalicharan said that the Modi- Raghuvar Das governments have intensified the attack on the people of this country in order to implement their pro-corporate policies. Workers, farmers, students, youth, women, all are under attack. Worse, abusive language is being used against those attacked and murdered, as witnessed after the murder of Gauri Lankesh. It is extremely disturbing that the PM of this country follows the accounts of such abusers. Com. Sushma Mahto criticised the state and central governments for their anti women policies. The speakers also noted that how the growing discontent among the students and youths have started reflecting in the various student union elections held recently in universities across the country where ABVP had to face defeat. A 9-point charter of demand addressed to the governor was submitted to the block officer.
Solidarity Marches to Mark Left Unity Win in JNU
Students, youth and cultural activists took out a solidarity march in Patna on 10 September 2017 to mark the Left unity (AISA-SFI-DSF) victory in the JNUSU elections. The meeting which followed the march was addressed by AISA founder General Secretary Com. Dhirendra Jha and other leaders. The speakers said that the victory of AISA on the President and Vice President posts and SFI and DSF on the Secretary and Joint Secretary posts and the defeat of the ABVP is a decisive mandate by JNU students against the Sanghi gang’s attempts to defame and destroy their University. JNU has roundly rejected the forces of hate and divisiveness. The ploy of the Sangh to install a tank inside JNU as a symbol of victory of Sanghi ideology has backfired totally and JNU has clearly chosen Left ideology over Sanghi ideology. The speakers said that in the aftermath of Gauri Lankesh’s murder and its celebration by Sanghi forces on social media, the Left victory in JNU has provided relief and hope to democratic and peace-loving people in the country.
Solidarity marches were also taken out in other districts of Bihar including Darbhanga, Siwan, Samastipur, Muzafarpur and Motihari.
Solidarity marches to mark the Left victory in JNU were also taken out in different districts of Jharkhand. Students organized rallies under the leadership of AISA and RYA in Ranchi city, Bagodar, Birni, Gawa, Daltonganj, and Bermo in Bokaro district. Speakers at the rallies said that the JNUSU election result is a decisive mandate against the BJP-RSS attempt to destroy JNU, MPhil and PhD seat cuts and stop the admission of poor students from backward States. The JNUSU has always fought for the rights of farmers, workers, students and youth, and will continue to do so.
Peasants and Rural Workers Struggle in Rayagada
The AIKM and AIARLA in Rayagada district of Odisha held a protest demonstration in front of Gudari Block office and submitted their 16-point demand charter which included distribution of ceiling surplus land to landless tribals, 200 man-days work under MNERGA, sharecroppers’ rights, land pattas under Forest Rights Act and waiver of agricultural loans. CPI(ML) Politburo member Manoj Bhakta, Odisha State Secretary Yudhistir Mahapatra and Tirupati Gamngo led this protest rally.