Vol. 20, No. 29

Basirhat Riots: Reject Hate, Strengthen Harmony

An offensive social media post triggering tension and violence is an unfortunate but fairly common occurrence in today’s India. But the story unfolding in and around the sleepy small town of Rudrapur in Baduria block near Basirhat and its ramifications for the whole of West Bengal go way beyond the common script or trajectory of communal tension we have grown accustomed to witness in our turbulent times. The derogatory post shared on Facebook by a school-going student Souvik Sarkar understandably offended the Muslim community and large-scale street protests ensued. The administration intervened and the boy was arrested by the...

Read More

Pricol Workers’ End Fast on Sixteenth Day

Pricol workers in Coimbatore went on a one day strike on 25 April 2017 in solidarity with the struggling peasantry of Tamilnadu. The management illegally invoked sections of the payment of wages act and deducted 8 days’ wages from more than 800 workers. Against this the union approached the state government to resolve the issue. Kovai Mavata Pricol Thozilargal Otrumai Sangam (KMPTOS) asked the govt. to refer the issue of justifiability of the penal deduction under section 10(1) of the ID act. It also asked the govt. to pass an order under section 10-B, of the Industrial Disputes act, directing the management to pay 8 days’ wages as advance pending final adjudication of the dispute. AICCTU, AIARLA, RYA, Democratic Advocates’ Association (DAA) and many other organisations came in support of KMPTOS demand. On 19 June 2017 workers’ representatives sat on indefinite fast at Chennai and Coimbatore. The fast was inaugurated by D. Hariparanthaman, former judge of the Madras High Court, through video conferencing. AIPWA staged a demonstration in solidarity with the workers in Chennai. All central trade unions supported this struggle and issued a statement. AICCTU called for an all India protest on 22 June 2017. World Federation of Trade Unions issued a solidarity statement. In Chennai AICCTU, AIARLA, RYA and DAA members participated in the fast. In Coimbatore AIARLA comrades joined the fast. The fast was undertaken when...

Read More

Kisan Mukti Yatra from Mandsaur To Jantar Mantar

The ‘Kisan Mukti Yatra’ by the All India Kisan Sangharsh Samanvay Samiti (All India Farmers Struggle Coordination Committee) in memory of the farmers killed in police firing in Mandsaur began from Pipalyamandi in Mandsaur on 6 July. The Yatra, raising the issues of loan waiver and minimum support price at 1 ½ times the cost of crop production, is proceeding through Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana and will reach Delhi on 18 July, passing through historic farmer struggle sites like Bardoli and Khera on the way. The AIKM strongly condemned the arrest of Yatra Convener...

Read More

Severe Floods in Assam

Nearly half of Assam is facing devastation due to severe floods these days. Almost twenty districts are under floods, most affected being Lakhimpur and Salmara. So far nearly three dozen persons have died in landslides or by drowning. Many highways in the state have been damaged and road link to Manipur is cut off from rest of the country. There are other places too in the North East region facing floods. Besides loss of lives and livelihoods the floods have also caused danger to wildlife and forests, particularly the lives of endangered rhinos in Kaziranga are badly affected. These floods have become a perennial phenomenon owing to governmental policies of neglect and apathy, it is high time that the governments in Assam and in centre stop issuing statements and paying lip service and take up substantial steps to help the millions of affected citizens in Assam. This is more a man-made calamity than a natural disaster and the government must declare this a calamity of national proportion and release special funds from the centre to help the victims as well as to avoid any such recurrence in the next year or anytime in...

Read More

Statement Against Arrest of Dalit Rights Activists

The Uttar Pradesh State unit of the CPI (ML) issued the following statement against the arrest of SR Darapuri and other dalit rights activists in Lucknow on 3 July: The CPI(ML) has strongly condemned the arrest of former ADGP and social worker SR Darapuri along with other activists from the Press Club in Lucknow on 3 July. The Party terms this dictatorship by the Yogi government and said that freedom of expression and the right to dissent are under fierce attack in the BJP regime. Dalits coming from Gujarat to Lucknow to convey to the CM their protest against the distribution by the Administration of soap and shampoo to dalits in Kushingar before Yogi’s visit were forcibly removed from the train in Jhansi and arrested on 2 July. Those who stood in solidarity with them in Lucknow were arrested today. The Party said that the BJP used many ploys to lure dalits before the election to get their votes, but after the formation of the government their true face has been exposed. In other words, their actions belie their pre-election promises. The Shabbirpur (Saharanpur) incident is the biggest proof of this. The CPI(ML) demanded the immediate and unconditional release of Shri Darapuri and all others arrested with...

Read More

Nitish Government Remains Silent on Communal Incidents in Bihar

At a Press Conference CPI(ML) State Secretary Kunal said that Nitish’s support to demonetization and then to the BJP Presidential candidate has boosted the morale of Sanghi goons in the State. The people of Bihar had voted against feudal-communal policies of the BJP but Nitish has betrayed the people’s mandate by supporting the BJP. The CPI(ML) demanded to know what action the Nitish government has taken on the issue of NDTV journalist Munne Bharti who along with his aged parents, wife and children were forced by Sanghi goons to chant ‘Jai Shri Ram’ as they were returning from Vaishali to Rahimbad village in Samastipur. Only by doing so could they save their lives from the Sanghi terrorists. Mere statements on this are not sufficient; the government must take strict action in the matter. Comrade Kunal further said that after the release by the High Court of chief conspirator of the1989 Bhagalpur riots Kameshwar Yadav the riot victims of Bhagalpur live in fear. The Party demands that the government should guarantee the safety of the victims including Bashar Ali and file an appeal in the SC against the release of Kameshwar Yadav. He also said that recently two dalits were brutally beaten to death by a lynch mob on the allegation of theft in Parsiya village, Rohtas district. A CPI(ML) enquiry team visited the spot and demanded proper compensation to...

Read More

CPI(ML) Team from Bihar Leaves for ‘Azadi Kooch’ in Gujarat

To mark the anniversary of the historic dlait movement in Gujarat after the Una incident where dalits were brutalized by Gau Rakshak goons, Dalit Adhikar Manch convener Jignesh Mevani is organizing an ‘Azadi Kooch’ in Gujarat from 12 to 18 July. On his invitation a team with members from CPI (ML), RYA, and Insaf Manch left for Gujarat from Patna on 7 July. Another team also left for Gujarat from Delhi. The Gujarat Government which allows lynch and riot mobs to rampage freely denied permission to the Azaadi Kooch but the participants are determined to hold the programme as planned...

Read More

AIPWA Zonal Workshop Held at Samastipur

AIPWA activists from UP, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha attended a Zonal Workshop at Samastipur, Bihar on 8-9 July 2017, in which they discussed three topics – ‘Hindutva and the Women’s Movement’, ‘A Marxist Approach to Women’s Liberation’, and ‘Women’s Movement and the Law in India’. The participants in the workshop held group discussions on a range of commonly-faced questions relating to the Hindutva hate-campaign and widespread patriarchal ideas. A film ‘Salt of the Earth’ was screened, which also contributed to discussions on the need to make the question of social reproductive work central to trade union struggle,...

Read More

Strike by Governmental Workers in Bihar

About 10 lakhs regular, contract, out-source and incentive workers in Bihar held a successful symbolic strike on 29-30 June 2017 against the Bihar government’s implementation of the 7th Pay Commission from 1 April ’17 instead of 1 January ’17 and the theft by the government of the 15 months’ arrears due to the workers. The workers had a 13-point charter of demands including payment of wages and all other facilities to long-serving contract, out-source and incentive workers as per the Supreme Court verdict and regularization of these workers. The strike was organized by the Bihar State Non-Gazetted Workers Association (Gope group), the Bihar State Contract-Honorarium Workers Joint Front and other organizations. Many organizations of Gazetted officials lent moral support to this strike and the doctors’ organization Bihar Health Service Association gave active support. Earlier on 24 April the Joint Front had held a protest in front of the CM and warned that if the 13-point demands were not met they would hold this joint strike; if the demands were still not fulfilled an indefinite strike would be held and the government would be responsible for the consequences. 8 Block level Conventions were organized between 14 and 24 June prior to the strike and a torchlight rally was held across Bihar in which thousands of workers participated. The impact of the strike can be gauged from the fact that many...

Read More

Protest Against Closure of Jarangdih Mines in Jharkhand

A rally and protest meeting was held in Jarangdih against the closure of the underground mines of the CCL Bermo coal belt. Addressing the meeting Ajay Ravidas, Baleshwar Gope and other speakers said that the Management’s directive to close the mines is not lawful and discussions with unions should have been held before making such an announcement. They stressed the need to address basic problems the mine workers such as repair of derelict quarters, shortage of water and low voltage. If these problems are not addressed the Coal Mine Workers Union would be forced to organize serial agitations. A 14-point charter of demands was submitted to the Project...

Read More

CPI(ML) District Conference in Davanagere

Davanagere district party conference was held on 09 Jul 2017 at Harapanahalli. The conference finalised specific tasks for next two years and resolved to undertake taluk level rallies in August to raise the demands of higher wages for NREGA work, land titles to the peasants, housing to homeless, an end to anti-dalit untouchable practices in the district, etc. The conference has also planned a district level mobilisation following taluk level rallies. A work plan was presented by Com. Gopal. A 9-member district committee was elected by the conference. Com. Ramappa was elected as its Secretary. The conference was inaugurated by Com. Shankar and Karnataka state leading team member Com. Clifton addressed it as an invited...

Read More

Protests Against Attack on Comrade Jeera Bharti

Com Jeera Bharti was attacked in Mirzapur on the night of 3 July by landlord Chatru Patel and his family members when she was returning home on her bicycle. The police arrived at the village only after one and a half hours. When Com Jeera went to the thana to file an FIR, the local MLA arrived with his supporters and forced the police not to register a complaint under the SC/ST Act or the laws against violence on women. After this incident AIPWA gave a call for countrywide protests on 6 and 7 July. In Ranchi, protest marches...

Read More

Unjust Eviction of Poor in Patna

CPI (ML) State Secretary Kunal condemned the eviction of popular leader Murtaza Ali and hundreds of other poor families from their homes in Gardanibagh in Patna without making alternative arrangements. When the High Court has directed that people should not be evicted without alternative arrangements first being made, how can this government which claims to champion social justice take such an action? Only recently Murtaza Ali and others had held a 2-day hunger strike demanding at least 20 acres of the 180 acres between Road No 1 and 40 for housing for the poor, no eviction of the poor without alternative arrangements in place, distribution of ration which has been stopped, and proper compensation for the families whose homes have been destroyed. The administration had assured them of positive action but now they are continuing the same destructive action. The Party has asked for intervention by Nitish Kumar in this matter and said that the government should not go back on its promises to the people and should make permanent arrangements for housing the...

Read More

Reports from Puducherry

All India Construction Workers Federation in Puducherry took out an extensive street corner campaign on 22 June demanding uniform benefits to all Constructions Workers enrolled in state welfare board. The Campaign also raised the demand for justice to Comrade Zafar Hussein who was lynched while stopping Rajasthan govt. officials from taking photographs of women who were forced to defecate in open due to lack of toilets in the locality. The AICWF, Puducherry unit held a demonstration on 29th June (All India protest Day) in front of Constructions Workers Welfare Board Office demanding monthly pension of Rs. 7500. A memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister highlighting various important demands of Construction Workers including enhancement of 3% Cess and extensive ESI, EPF facilities to the workers. The demonstration was led by P. Murugan, Working Committee member, S. Balasubramanian, All India President AICWF, S. Purushothaman, State Secretary, AICCTU addressed the demonstrators. On 2nd July Puducherry Chapter of AIPF organised a convention on “Beef Ban and Anti-people policies of BJP government at the Centre”. The convention was presided by Prof. M.L. Thangappa, P. Muthy, Ex-MLA and Mohana sundaram. R. Vidyasagar, State Convener AIPF, Tamil Nadu was the main speaker. S. Balasubramanian, State Convener, Puducherry welcomed the participants. A large section of democratic forces participated in the convention. Protesting the nomination of 3 MLAs to Puducherry Assembly, all opposition parties and social organization...

Read More

Victorious Struggle by RDC Workers in Karnataka

Eight days of militant struggle of complete stoppage by AICCTU led RDC Workers concluded in victory on 4th July. Workers stayed day and night in the company for 8 days and successfully resisted the police force that came in support of management to run the company. Workers refused to sit at the corner to shout slogans, as suggested by police; instead they actively stopped production and movement of vehicles. In a plant in Electronic City, workers braved police lathis and arrests. Union leaders including Shankar, Clifton, Maitreyi, Raghu got workers released within hours. They had to resist police from 4 different stations as plants are spread across the city of Bangalore and had to speak to 2 SPs, 2 DCPs and 4 inspectors. In Kumbalagodu, where police attack on workers was the highest, 100s of workers of various Readymix companies assembled in solidarity with RDC workers and warned police of dire consequences. AICCTU warned of q massive strike by all Readymix company workers in Bangalore and also a massive rally of thousands of workers. AICCTU planned to contact shareholders too as the company is owned by India Value Fund, a mutual fund based company whose seed/foundation capital is owned by some Americans. The Union combined all possible means of struggle including caveats, Labour dept, handling police and finally negotiations. The management’s action of betrayal of bilateral discussions boomeranged in...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2