Kisan Mahasabha Organizes Huge Dharna in Madhubani

A huge dharna was held in front of the Madhubani Collectorate under the banner of the All India Kisan Mahasabha on 22 July 2017 to demand the re-opening of the Lohat, Sakri, Raiyam sugar mills and the Pandaul cotton mill. It was announced during the dharna that farmers and workers would launch a serial agitation on this issue. A meeting was organized at the dharna venue presided over by Kisan Mahasabha district coordinator Com. Prem Kumar Jha. Addressing the meeting, CPI (ML) district Secretary Com. Dhruv Narayan Karn said that Nitish Kumar has broken his promise of re-opening closed sugar mills and has instead sold the Raiyam sugar mill to private capitalists.

A 11-point memorandum was submitted to the Collector with the following demands: re-opening of closed mills; loan waivers for farmers and workers; payment of crop insurance benefits to farmers for 2014-16; implementation of Swaminathan Commission recommendations for profitable crop purchase price; construction of a multi-purpose dam for a solution to electricity and flood problems; a Market Committee to be formed in Madhubani for sale of farmers’ crops; completion of the Western Koshi canal project; and 90% subsidy on all agricultural machinery.

Prior to the Mahadharna, hundreds of farmers who had converged in Madhubani took out a rally through the main roads of the city, led by comrades Prem Kumar Jha and Anil Singh.

Protests in Bihar against attempts to terrorize minorities and Dalits

The CPI (ML) organized State-wide protests in Bihar on 4 August 2017 against the incident of rumour-mongering and inciting frenzy in the name of beef at Ranisagar in Shahpur (Bhojpur) and the terror inflicted in Sasaram by the team monitoring open defecation. Protests were organized in Patna, Ara, Jehanabad, Arwal, Darbhanga, Siwan, Muzaffarpur and other places.

The protest at Kargil Chowk in Patna was addressed by Comrades Shashi Yadav,

Protest March Against Arrest of Sarita Sao in Bagodar

The CPI (ML) organized a protest march against the arrest of Bagodar Deputy Pramukh  Sarita Sao early on the morning of 12 August from her village Tirla. The march started from Kisan Bhavan and proceeded through the main Bazaar in Bagodar. It was led by activists and leaders from the CPI (ML), JMS, RYA and AISA.

The march raised slogans demanding the release of Com Sarita and an end to police protection of criminals and culminated in a meeting at the Bus Stand. Slogans were raised at the Bagodar Bus Stand demanding a high level enquiry into the scam in toilet construction through MLA funds. The meeting was addressed by JMS General Secretary Parmeshwar Mahto, RYA leader Sandeep Jaiswal, Mustaq Ansari, Pawan Mahto, Puran Mahto, and Sarita Mahto. The speakers said that the Bagodar police is acting on the behest of the BJP which is why they are not arresting BJP members against whom there are warrants for coal smuggling, molestation etc. They pointed out that the death of over 60 children in Adityanath’s backyard Gorakhpur due to cutting off oxygen exposes the true face and character of Modi as well as Yogi Adityanath. They said that the RYA’s mobilization and agitation in Bagodar Birni against MNREGA loot has shaken the BJP which is why they have conspired to arrest and jail Sarita Sao who was fighting for maintaining quality in toilet construction. The police arrests Com Sarita but not the BJP criminals who have permanent warrants against them. This shows the double-faced character of the police and the administration. A large number of people participated in the protest.

Rally in Chhattisgarh

The Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha (CMM) organized a rally and meeting on 1 July 2017 on the occasion of the martyrdom anniversary of the 17 workers who were shot to death on 1 July 2017 by the then BJP government in the State. The meeting began with a minute’s silence to pay tribute to the martyred workers and garlanding of their portraits. Comrades Brijendra Tiwari and Lalan Ram addressed the meeting on behalf of AICCTU and CPI (ML). Through the meeting a memorandum was submitted to the Chief Minister through the SDM. Speakers at the meeting strongly condemned the anti-farmer and anti-worker policies of the Modi government at the Centre and the Raman Singh government in the State.

Joint Trade Union Demonstration in Bhilai

On 4 July a joint trade union demonstration was held from at the Boriya Gate of the Bhilai Steel Plant against the privatization of 3 SAIL units—Durgapur, Salem and Bhadravati. Com Shyamlal Sahu representing AICCTU addressed the meeting. CITU, AITUC, Ispat Shramik Manch, INTUC, and HMS were the unions which participated in the rally and meeting. Speakers at the meeting expressed outrage at the attacks on all Public Sector Units including SAIL. They warned that the privatization of the 3 SAIL units would be strongly opposed jointly by all the concerned Unions.

Protest in Bhilai Over Molestation of Schoolgirls by CRPF Jawans

The CPI (ML) held a protest demonstration in Ghadi Chowk, Bhilai, against the molestation by CRPF jawans of adivasi schoolgirls in Dantewada (Chhattisgarh) during a programme of Rakshabandhan and the massacre of children due to cutting off oxygen in BRD Medical College, Gorakhpur. Memorandums were sent to the President of India and the Governor of Chhattisgarh through the protest meeting.
The memorandum to the Governor demanded that the CRPF jawans guilty of molesting the adivasi schoolgirls in Dantewada should be arrested without delay; the school officials responsible for the programme should be suspended and police personnel and military jawans should be banned from entering schools.

The protest meeting was addressed by CPI (ML) State Secretary Com. Brijendra Tiwari, comrades A Shekhar Rao, Shiv Prasad, Vasuki Prasad Unmat, Adalat Ali, AICCTU leaders Shyam Lal Sahu, Jaiprakash Nair, Manoj Kosre, Chhattisgarh Mukti Morcha leader AG Qureshi and others.

Cashew Workers’ Protest in East Godavari District

On 9 August 2017, the workers working in the Raj Kamal Cashew factory held a dharna and road blockage at Chinnampeta NH 16, East Godavari in Andhra Pradesh. The workers were demanding – minimum wages, issuance of workers’ identity cards and implementation of PF and ESI. CPI (ML) district secretary Com. K. Ganesh, AICCTU district leaders- Com. P Chandram, M. Dhanababu and others participated in the protests. The agitation continued the next day too as the workers also demanded their right to form trade unions along with their demand of wage increase and betterment of facilities. The struggle concluded with definite victories as the management agreed to implement the demands of the nearly thousand workers who were protesting.

AIPF Condemns the Misbehavior with Prof. John Dreze in Jharkhand

All India People’s Forum (AIPF) has strongly condemned the calling of the popular social activist and noted economist Prof. John Dreze by a leading newspaper in Ranchi at a programme organized by them and having him insulted by the agriculture minister of Jharkhand and other BJP supporters. He was insulted for speaking on the burning issues of the masses – communalism, which shows that the government continues to attack the freedom of expression. AIPF demands the agriculture minister of Jharkhand should apologise. The fourth pillar of the country, the media should also introspect since it was in an event organized by a newspaper in which he had been invited. The attack on freedom of expression is a serious concern for the media and hence it is expected that they will also voice protest.