Com. Prayag Vishwakarma
Comrade Prayag Vishwakarma breathed his last at 12.30 in the night of 18 April at the age of 50. Com Prayag joined the Party after his matriculation in 1983 and started participating in local struggles. Due to his involvement in anti-feudal peasant struggle he had about half a dozen false cases slapped against him. He spent 23 days in jail in 1997. He was again framed in the 1999 Usri carnage and spent 34 months in jail before he was released. Those were the days when police repression was at its peak in Arwal district and witch-hunting and third degree torture were used to create an atmosphere of terror. In 2000, he was once again falsely implicated after a fight with the Ranveer Sena. After being released from jail he used to throw himself with vigour into Party activities. Large numbers of people including leaders, traders, and people’s representatives participated in his last rites.
The demise of two active and dedicated Party leaders, comrades Prayag Vishwakarma and Ashok Ram, in Arwal district within the space of two days has dealt a big blow to the Arwal District Committee. Both comrades were strong pillars of the Party and were engaged in Party programmes with a proper understanding of the changed circumstances in today’s new context.
Com. Ashok Ram
Com Ashok Ram of Kamta village in Kaler block in Arwal district passed away on 17 April in a grievous incident of electrocution. He had joined the Party in the 90s. In 2004 the party struggled for and won a victory on issue of feudal repression and gairmajrua land in which Ashok Ram was the victim. Since then Com Ashok has worked as a dedicated activist for the Party. He was exemplary in submitting self-criticism after he contested against the official candidate in the Mukhiya elections and in the post-election review meeting he candidly identified his weaknesses and pledged to correct them. He had an important role to play in shouldering the responsibilities of Kamta panchayat. His sudden demise came as a shock and an irreparable loss. Several Party leaders and large numbers of people accompanied him on his final earthly journey on 18 April.
Com. Jagdish Tanti
Labour leader Comrade Jagdish Tanti passed away at his home in Surkhikal at the age of 65 on 12 April 2017. He had been battling cancer for the past two months.
A mason by profession, Com. Jagdish came into contact with AICCTU in 2002-03 when the process of building the ‘Bihar State Construction Workers’ Union’ was on in Bhagalpur. Despite being illiterate he quickly grasped the significance and necessity of unions and soon became an important part of every union activity. He took membership of the CPI (ML) in 2005-06 and from then till his last breath has been active in all Party and AICCTU activities. His vitality, guilelessness, alertness and dedication to the organization will always remain a source of inspiration to us.
AICCTU National Vice President SK Sharma, State Secretary Mukesh Mukt, and dozens of leaders along with hundreds of women and men attended his final journey.
A memorial meeting was held at the AICCTU office and tributes were paid to Comrade Jagdish Tanti and Comrade Ramesh Chandra Pandey (Baba) and it was resolved to carry forward the work of both late leaders.