At the call of JJBPRC (Jomi Jibika Bastutantro O Poribesh Raksha Committee/ Committee for Protection of Land, Livelihood, Ecology and Environment) the second Martyr’s Day was observed on 17th January of this year at Tapoban Maidan in Bhangar, West Bengal. Thousands of committee members worked day and night for over a month to make the day successful. According to the decision of the Central Council of JJBPRC three martyr’s columns were erected across the vast stretch of the struggle area. The first column was erected at Shyamnagar, the place in the northern side of the stretch where Alamgir became a martyr. The second column was erected in Kamarbari where Mafizul became a martyr and the third column was erected in Natunhat where Hafizul was murdered by the goons led by the notorious Trinamool leader Arabul Islam. The Martyr’s Day programme started at 10 ’o clock in the morning with the unveiling of the martyr’s column at Shyamnagar by Comrade Pradip Singh Thakur, veteran central committee member of CPIML (Red Star). Com. Thakur had taken an active role in initiating the Bhangar movement and consequently been arrested in the night of 25th January, 2017 by the state police. He was slapped with UAPA along with comrade Sharmistha Choudhury, another leader of Bhangar movement.
Several thousand people gathered in Shyamnagar. Comrade Alik Chakraborty, the leader of Bhangar movement and spokesperson of JJBPRC, made the introductory speech. Amidst slogans and songs the leaders of the movement, the family members of the martyrs, the central and state leadership of CPIML (Red Star) including Comrade K.N. Ramachandran, the General Secretary of the party and Comrade R. Mansaiyya and Comrade Tuhin Dev, the Politburo members, offered garlands and flowers in the column. Students from Presidency and Jadavpur universities and other institutions offered homage to the martyrs. All the participants vowed to continue the struggle to retain the achievements of the movement.
Then, a huge rally started to proceed towards Kamarbari where the second martyr’s column was unveiled by Comrade Abdul Aziz Mallick, president of JJBPRC. Comrade Sharmistha Choudhury addressed the gathering. Mr Jalaluddin Ahmed, leader of the Welfare Party, addressed the gathering. Next, the giant rally proceeded to Natunhat where the third column was unveiled by Comrade K.N. Ramachandran. The students, Comrade Bandana and her team sang spirited songs. Comrade Biswajit Hazra, leader of MKP and one of the committee members, joined the programme and paid homage. Comrade Alik Chakraborty addressed the gathering. The leaders of some of the associated organizations were also present in the programme.
After a short lunch break a huge public meeting began. Several left leaders like Comrades Sumit Bhattacharya, advocate Bharati Mutsuddi, Dipali Bhattacharya, senior advocate Bikash Ranjan Bhattacharya and others attended and spoke in the meeting. They emphasized on the importance of Bhangar movement and the task to continue the struggle through the zigzags of the movement. They criticized the sundry efforts to belittle the Bhangar movement. Eminent writer Kinnar Roy attended and addressed the meeting. Veteran trade unionist and communist leader Comrade Kushal Debnath, one of the conveners of Sanhati Committee, attended the meeting. Comrade Sankar Das, another convener of Sanhati Committee, also spoke in the meeting. Comrade Biswajit Hazra addressed the meeting. He said, Bhangar is a piece of land where the people control the developmental works. It is like a free land of the people. Comrade Basudev Nag Choudhury, the convener of People’s Brigade, addressed the gathering. Comrade Abu, state secretary of Revolutionary Youth Federation of India, Comrade Fatema Bibi, the state committee member of the Party and leader of All India Revolutionary Women’s Organization, Comrade Pradip Singh Thakur from All India Krantikari Kisan Sabha and Comrade R. Manasaiya from Trade Union Centre of India addressed the meeting. JJBPRC leaders like Ahad Ali Mollah, Asura Bibi, Jahanara Bibi, Sattar Molla and many others made speeches reiterating the pledge to hold high the banner of resistance and continue the fight for people’s democracy so that the sacrifice of the martyrs would not be in vain.
Comrade KNR said in his speech that the Bhangar movement had created history by challenging the neoliberal system and put forward an alternative model. He stressed upon the importance to develop a country-wide people’s alternative from the inspiration of Bhangar movement. Comrade Alik coordinated the session while Comrade Sharmistha Choudhury was the last speaker.
At 7.30 pm the cultural programme began with songs presented by famous mass singer Comrade Asim Giri. Several singers sang and the show was led by Comrade Asim Giri and Comrade Lida Chakraborty. Lida sang some of the mass songs of legendary Hemanga Biswas. Finally, a drama – ‘Adab’ – based on the subject of communal harmony and written by famous communist writer Samaresh Basu was staged by the cultural troop of People’s Brigade. n