Vol. 20, No. 28

GST: Another Recipe For Increased Inequality And Deeper Economic Crisis

The much-trumpeted Goods and Services Tax has come into effect since July 1. It has been on the anvil for more than a decade. In that sense it stands in total contrast to demonetization where ‘secrecy’ and ‘surprise’ (of course only for the common people and not for the well-connected insiders) were supposedly central to the whole exercise. Yet there is as much confusion and lack of preparation surrounding the GST as was witnessed during the early stage of demonetization. The government is however least bothered about the lack of preparation or infrastructural compliance, it celebrated the launch of...

Read More

Wave of Protests Against Spate of Communal Mob Lynchings

On 22 June evening 15-year-old Junaid was lynched to death near Ballabhgarh on a Mathura-bound train from Delhi. Junaid and his brothers were returning home after doing some shopping for Eid in Old Delhi. But the festivity of Eid was not for Junaid’s family in Khandawali. The spate of lynchings that had begun in 2015 with the killing of Abdul Ghafoor Quraishi in Nagaur and Mohammad Akhlaque in Dadri has now become almost an everyday national phenomenon. The rumours of beef consumption, cattle-theft and cow slaughter are no longer necessary as a pretext. Zafar Khan was killed because he...

Read More

‘Not in My Name’: Countrywide Protests

Common citizens, intellectuals, film-makers, and journalists turned out in large numbers across the country on 28 June 2017 to protest against the spate of mob lynchings going on in the country under the campaign banner ‘Not in My Name’ and huge numbers of people have expressed their outrage through this hash-tag. In Delhi, about 5,000 people gathered at Jantar Mantar with posters against mob lynching, many wearing black bands, demanding that the government should act against those responsible for the lynchings. They included large numbers of progressive left-leaning intellectuals. Women and youth also participated in large numbers. Sufi pop...

Read More

Attack by BJP-Supported Goons on AIPWA and CPI(ML) Leader Comrade Jeera Bharti

New Delhi 4 July 2017 Comrade Jeera Bharti is a leader of the CPI(ML) and All India Progressive Women’s Association (AIPWA) in Mirzapur, district, Uttar Pradesh. Hailing from the Dalit community, she organizes agricultural labourers – most of whom are women and men from oppressed castes – for their wages, dignity and rights. Comrade Jeera Bharti was the CPI(ML) candidate in the 2014 Parliamentary elections and enjoys great respect in the area as a strong defender of the rights of workers, women, Dalits and the poor. She led a recent movement for wages of agricultural labourers due to which...

Read More

March for Justice to Com. Zafar Held in Pratapgarh

A march for Justice for Martyred Comrade Zafar was taken out in Pratapgarh on 3 July 2017 in which 1500-2000 workers, farmers, Katchi Basti residents and justice-loving citizens participated. The march started from Gandhi Chowraya at 12 noon, proceeded through the main roads, Main Market, Lohar Galli, Krishi Mandi Road, and Ambedkar Chowraya and culminated in a meeting and demonstration at the Collectorate. A ‘Justice for Zafar’ delegation comprising Comrades Mahendra Choudhury, Roshan Ali, Zulfikar Alam, Chandradev Ola, Shankar Lal Choudhury, Shakir Qureshi, Saurabh Naruka, Advocate Ajay Saxena (PUCL), Himmat Seth (Mahavir Samta Sandesh), and family members of Zafar...

Read More

Rajasthan Govt’s Attempts to Misguide on Murder of Com. Zafar

While Com. Zafar sacrificed his life exposing the ugly face of PM Modi’s ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign, the Rajasthan government is trying to misguide the masses regarding the murder of Com. Zafar. On the basis of the post mortem report, the Rajasthan Chief Minister, police and government are trying to claim that Zafar’s death was a result of heart attack and the government personnel did not attack him. But it is clear from the statements of eyewitnesses as well as from the small video clip released by the officials themselves that Zafar did not fall down suddenly while on a morning walk and his killing was not an unfortunate ‘demise’. He never suffered from heart trouble or blood pressure. A few minutes before his death he was definitely arguing and clashing with government personnel in order to stop them from photographing and video-graphing women who were defecating. Several women have testified to the fact that he was beaten to death by the Municipal personnel when he stopped them from hounding and sexually harassing the women. The murder of Com Zafar by government personnel in the name of the Swachh Bharat campaign has brought to the surface many issues which show the oppressive and undemocratic character of this...

Read More

Tea Workers’ Rally in Siliguri

On 4 July 2017, tea workers held a rally from Bagdogra Airport area demanding declaration of minimum wages, monetisation of ration subsidies, patta for homestead land in each labour line within the garden, opening of closed and abandoned tea gardens and justice for the victims of police atrocities during the 48-hours tea sector strike held on 12-13 June 2017. The rally was led by Pulak Ganguli, Mojammel Haque, Apu Chaturvedi, Abhijit Mazumdar, Lalu Oraon, Bandhu Bek, Monbahadur Lama from the AICCTU-affiliated Terai Sangrami cha Shramik Union; Saman Pathak, Goutam Ghosh from CITU; Aloke Chakrabarty, Dilip Das from INTUC, Bikas...

Read More

Kisan Mahasabha Protest against Farmers’ Suicides in Jharkhand

The CPI (ML) and All India Kisan Mahasabha took out a protest march in Ranchi on 16 June 2017 against the suicide of two farmers within one week in village Pithoriya, (Kanke, Ranchi district), and for loan waivers of Jharkhand farmers and compensation to the victims’ families. The march started from the Party office Shaheed Mahendra Singh Bhavan with slogans against the Raghuvar government’s anti-farmer policies and culminated in a meeting at Albert Ekka Chowk. The speakers at the meeting said that the conditions forcing farmers to suicide, ineffective legal system, flourishing adulterators and black marketers, transfer of honest officials, corporate loot of land at throwaway prices—these are the realities of the Raghuvar government. Attempts are being made to bury the truth about the farmers’ suicides. The government must acknowledge the truth and waive the loans of all the farmers in the State. If this is not done, the Party will strengthen the agitation. CPI (ML) District Secretary Com. Bhuvaneshwar Kewat, comrades Nadeem Khan, Sudama Khalkho, Enamul Haq, Bhim Sao, Tasleem Ansari, Manoj Mahto, Shanti Sen, Elisaba Ekka, Badri Prasad Chaurasiya and other leaders participated in the...

Read More

Bhagalpur AICCTU Resists Eviction in Name of ‘Smart City’

At the conclusion of AICCTU’s May campaign against the government conspiracy to evict the poor in the name of making Bhagalpur a ‘Smart City’, Jugad vehicle drivers and workers held an angry protest in front of the Bhagalpur Collectorate on 31 May 2017. Hundreds of Jugad vehicle drivers from the district gathered at the Station complex under the joint banners of the Unorganized Workers Association (affiliated to AICCTU) and its branch organization Jugad Gaadi Chaalak Sangh and took out a rally, armed with red flags and posters and placards. The police started rounding them up as soon as they came out of the Station complex but the rally proceeded in spite of this and reached the Collectorate. The protest was led by Com SK Sharma and Mukesh Mukta, Speakers addressing the meeting at the Collectorate said that the livelihoods of the poor and workers are being attacked under the Nitish and Modi governments. The governments are conspiring to drive away the poor from the city in the name of ‘Smart City’. Earlier shopkeepers were driven away from footpaths and now Jugad drivers are being targeted. This will not be tolerated at any cost. At the conclusion of the meeting a delegation held talks with the ADM (in the absence of the DM) who gave the assurance that a solution would be found. The delegation comprised of SK Sharma, Mukesh...

Read More

Protest in Odisha against Insignificant Hike in MSP for Paddy

The Modi government recently played another cruel joke on the farmers by fixing the support price of paddy at 1550 per quintal, with a disappointingly marginal increase of only Rs. 80. A massive protest was called by CPI(ML) on 28 June against this declaration. AICCTU, AIKM and AIARLA also joined this call. During the protest it was demanded that the government declare Rs. 3000 per quintal as the support price for the paddy and a memorandum on the same was also submitted. Another key demand raised in the protest was regarding the water dispute pertaining to Mahanadi river. A memorandum was also submitted to the Chief Minister of Odisha demanding- loan to farmers of Odisha; a policy granting legal rights to share croppers and provision of bank loans to them. The four-member delegation team included Com. Mahendra Parida, Com. Ashok Pradhan, Com. Satyabadi Behera and Com. Tirupati Gamango. Central Committee member Com. Yudhistir Mahapatra, Com. Radhakant Sethi and Com. Behera criticized the BJP and BJD governments on their anti-farmers’ policies. They strongly condemned the violence on the farmers in Mandsaur in Madhya...

Read More

Construction Workers Demonstrate

Demanding uniform welfare schemes along with several other pending demands of the construction workers in Tamil Nadu, the All India Construction Workers Federation (AICFW) called for state-wide demonstrations on 9 June. Responding to this call, the construction workers’ unions held demonstrations in front of welfare board offices at Kanchipuram, Salem, Karur, Namakkal, Dharmapuri, Viluppuram and Tanjore in Tamil Nadu. In Uttar Pradesh, the Construction Workers Union held a dharna in front of the Deputy Labour Commissioner’s office in Lucknow on 29 June 2017 against the Modi-Yogi governments’ attempts to make anti-worker changes in labour laws and in support of the Pricol workers’ struggle in Tamil Nadu. This dharna was held in response to a call from the All India Construction Workers’ Federation. The dharna was presided over by Union President Ramesh Singh Sengar and conducted by Secretary Surendra Prasad. It was addressed by Union leader Naumilal, AIPWA leader Meena and others. At the conclusion of the dharna a memorandum with the workers’ demands was submitted to the Prime Minister and Labour Minister through the Deputy Labour Commissioner. Women construction workers took part in the dharna in good...

Read More

Victory for Ara Jail Prisoners

Prisoners inside Ara Jail in Bhojpur district went on a hunger strike under the leadership of the CPI(ML) for their democratic and just rights. The administration had to bend under pressure from this struggle and after one day the Jail Superintendent met the protesters, spoke to them and promised to fulfill all their demands. 12 prisoners sat on hunger strike in Ara Jail from 9 AM, including Cheena Ram, Sunny Kumar, Ramnath Ram, Uttam Chaudhury, Rajeshwar Singh, Uttam Yadav, Sanjay Paswan, Dhananjay Kumar Singh, Rajkumar Ram and Ashok Rawani. Hundreds of prisoners were in their support. It was decided during the talks that all the demands would be met without delay. The effect was soon seen and fans have already started to be installed in all the wards. Sub-standard meals were being given to prisoners in Ara Jail. It was the prisoners’ demand that the monitoring committee should be reinstated for monitoring the quality and quantity of meals as per the Jail Manual; doctors should be available 24 hours in the Jail Hospital; blood, urine and stools test facilities and x-ray, ultra-sound and blood bank facilities should be made available at the hospital; ‘chana’, ‘sattu’ and bread which used to be given to prisoners but are no longer available should be re-started without delay; one hand-pump is available for 250 prisoners in the new sector of the Jail which...

Read More

Migrant Workers from Jharkhand Hold Meeting in Mumbai

In a praiseworthy effort to organize migrant workers from Jharkhand in Mumbai, a meeting was organized at Andheri, Mumbai on 18 June 2017. The meeting was addressed by former Jharkhand MLA and Central Committee member, Com. Vinod Singh, PB member Com. Shankar, and CPI (ML) Maharashtra Secretary Com Shyam Gohil as well as several comrades from Jharkhand. More than 300 people attended the meeting. The meeting began with revolutionary and progressive songs and a play against violence by Gau Rakshak goons performed by the Mumbai unit of Jan Sanskriti Manch. The efforts of Com Vinod in making contact with workers as well as a concerted campaign on social media brought a lot of people’s support for the meeting and filled the workers with a new energy and hope. They discussed their various problems at the work place and resolved to make every effort to solve these problems. The workers present reiterated their support for the CPI(ML) and their faith in Com...

Read More

OBITUARY : COM KISHORI SHAH

Com Kishori Shah, aged 58, was killed on 22 May 2017 in village Juhli (Thana Patahi, Eastern Champaran district, Bihar) He became a member of the Party in 2014 and was elected a member of the Chorouth Block committee member in 2016. He was murdered in a conspiracy by criminal feudal elements. He was tireless in his fight against corruption in all institutions, from schools to panchayats. A memorial meeting was organized to remember and pay tribute to him on 2 June which was attended by hundreds of people. The meeting was presided over by Com. Sadhusharan Das. One of the accused in the murder has been arrested while three others accused are absconding. The Party is putting pressure for the arrest of the other three accused persons. Red Salute to Com. Shah...

Read More