The Uttar Pradesh unit of the CPI (ML) organized a Mahadharna on 15 June at the Laxman Mela Maidan on the banks of the Gomati in Lucknow against the increasing atrocities against dalits in Saharanpur and other parts of the State, violence against women, deteriorating law and order situation, communal polarization and attacks on democratic rights under the Yogi Adityanath regime.
The chief speaker at the Mahadharna CPI (ML) General Secretary Com Dipankar Bhattacharya said the Yogi government is as communal as it is feudal. The Modi government imposed the note ban on the country and the Yogi government started its rule with the meat ban. The livelihoods of lakhs of people in the meat trade have been snatched away. RSS goons are openly indulging in goondaism. Feudal attacks were made on dalits in Saharanpur. Protesting students in Lucknow have been thrown into jail with criminal cases slapped on them.
The dharna was also addressed by Sudhakar Yadav, Krishna Adhikari, Ishwari Prasad Kushwaha, Shriram Choudhury, Tahira Hasan, Rakesh Singh, Sunil Maurya, Shashikant Kushwaha, Ramesh Singh Sengar, Jeera Bharti, Arjunlal and others. The proceedings were conducted by Com RamjiRai and Rajesh Sahani. The Mahadharna concluded with a memorandum being submitted to the President through the DM who came to the venue.
The memorandum contained the following demands: release Chandrashekhar and all other dalits arrested in the Shabbirpur Saharanpur) issue, arrest the feudal culprits, judicial enquiry into the issue and action against guilty administrative and police personnel; unconditional release of students arrested in Lucknow for showing black flags to the CM, revoke all criminal cases against them and revoke their suspension from Lucknow University; resignation of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government in MP guilty of killing 7 protesting farmers in Mandsaur; waive farmers’ bank loans and moneylender loans and implement Swaminathan Commission report; implement recent Allahabad HC decision to issue new licenses to meat traders and open new slaughter-houses; stop harassment of meat traders under the guise of ‘legal-illegal’ trade; stop control over people’s food choices and imposition of Hindutva ideology; revoke the recent central Notification imposing cattle trade restrictions and conditions; end the eviction of long-settled poor and adivasis from forest lands, agricultural and residential lands and give them unhindered access and use of forest resources; arrest the guilty in incidents like rape and murder (Jevar-Gautam Budh Nagar), and gang-rape of minor girl (Manduadih, Banaras); stop attacks on democratic rights like dharna protests and take back cases slapped on political activists.
Large numbers of people including women participated in the Mahadharna. They came from Banaras, Ballia, Ghazipur, Chandauli, Mirzapur, Sonbhadra, Bhadohi, Mau, Devariya, Gorakhpur, Maharajganj, Lucknow, Allahabad, Kanpur, Sitapur, Lakhimpur Kheeri, Pilibhit, Bareilly, Jalaun, Banda, Gonda, Faizabad, Ambedkarnagar, Pratapgarh, Unnao, Hardoi and other districts.
Arrests of Activists in UP
The Yogi Government is habitually arresting activists who raise their voices against the Government.
On 25 May, CPI(ML) activist Manish Sharma was arrested at Banaras for organizing a protest of meat traders at the DM’s office, demanding that the DM give permission to slaughter houses as directed by Court. The DM, Yogeshwar Mishra had facilitated the riots at Mau. Thousands of meat traders have been flooding streets in Purvanchal against ban on slaughter houses – and the UP administration sought to chill the protests by arresting Manish who played a leading role in organising the meat traders at Banaras, Mirzapur and other parts of Purvanchal. He was released later, following spirited protests by people in Banaras.
On 7 June, black flags were shown to UP CM Yogi Adityanath by students of Lucknow University. They were protesting against Modi-Yogi governments and raising their voices against the privatisation of education and misuse of University’s funds for organising a political event in Lucknow – titled ‘Hindavi Swaraj Diwas – aimed at pushing the RSS’ agenda of saffronization. As an attempt to silence and intimidate these protests, serious charges were filed against protesting students and 14 students including AISA activists were arrested.