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Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)
Sunday, 04 February 2018 11:48

NOTE ON BHANGAR MOVEMENT

THE latest developments in Bhangar happened as the TMC government continued to refuse any talks with the Committee leading the movement against the Power Grid. Instead in the last week of December the chief minister exhorted the TMC factions to join hands to suppress the agitating villagers in view of the impending local bodies elections. Once again, on 28th December, the TMC hoodlums with bombs and guns and police support started attacks on the villages and injured three seriously, one with bullet injury. The villagers were forced to strengthen their resistance to these attacks, barricading the villages.

Meanwhile the application for permission to hold a mass rally at Kolkata was rejected. It is then the Bhangar Committee reiterated its decision to contest the coming local bodies elections in its banner and to hold the mass rally at Bhangar on 4th January. The TMC goons intensified the attacks to thwart it and to terrorize people from attending it. So the attention was to defeat the preparations for the rally by all means. As the Bhangar Solidarity Committee called for Bhangar Chalo, all attemps were made to defeat this move.

Comrade Raju singh of Revolutionary Youth Federation of India (RYFI) and 11 comrades of Anti Power Grid Movement, Kisan Mazdoor Sangharsh Samiti (KMSS) Assam, were taken in to custody at Belghoria, Kolkata, on 4th January morning when they were proceeding to Bhangar to participate in the mass mobilization against the state terror unleashed to suppress the more than a year old anti Power Grid movement. This action by the State Task Force of the West Bengal police marked further intensification of the state terror and terror unleashed by the TMC goons against the agitating villagers and their supporters.

TMC goons were attacking Bhangar villages and people were resisting; Kolkata comrades gave the slogan: Bhangar Chalo on 4th January. When the mobilization was planned; A call was given by Red Star to organize solidarity actions on 4th January wherever possible at all India level.

Tension was mounted around Bhangar and nearby villages as hundreds of TMC goons with police forces were mobilized to attack the villagers using bombs and guns. The motor bike rally on 28th December to campaign for the Kolkata rally was attacked by the goons injuring three villagers. On 29th hundreds of villagers demonstrated against these attacks. Chief minister Mamta Banerjee called on her forces to stop internal strife and to unitedly suppress the Bhangar movement. On 30th the TMC organized a flopped public meeting in nearby area in which TMC spokesperson announced that compensation shall be given to farmers through whose areas the Grid Line passes. Though the central and state governments have not issued any orders to this effect, this announcement itself is a by-product of the people’s movement. While welcoming such an enactment by the central government, the Bhangar Committee declared that its demand is that the Grid Line through the thickly populated and cultivated area should be repealed. Until such a declaration is not there and an agreement is signed, the affected peasants are not compensated, their land is not returned and all cases are not withdrawn the movement shall continue.

Following this, the WB chief minister has threatened to arrest comrade Alik Chakraborty and all other activists. Targeting CPI(ML) Red Star a campaign was organized by TMC in South and North 24 Parganas districts. In this situation on 4th January successful mobilization was held at Bhangar. Already the martyrs’ day fund collection was disturbed in the area. The TMC leadership was threatening against the proposed mobilization on 17th January martyrs’ day also. In spite of all these provocations, the Bhangar Committee, the Red Star WB state committee and all the progressive forces supporting the movement have repeated their determination to carry forward the movement with full vigour at any cost.

This challenging situation called for all out support and solidarity actions from all party committees and friends and sympathizers of the Bhangar movement, which is still continuing for more than one year demanding the repeal of the anti-people Grid Line, creating new example of people’s resistance against the terror and encirclement by the TMC goons and police. The Central Committee of CPI(ML) Red Star appealed to all friends and comrades for contributing generously to the Rs. 10 lakh martyrs’ fund and for observing the January 17th Martyrs’ Day as Bhangar Solidarity Day wherever possible.

In spite of gun wielding, bomb throwing TMC goons, in spite of the police in numerous attires, in spite of detaining Raju and the 11 comrades from Assam, in spite of detaining the democrats who went to join the protest rally in the villages, in spite of all sabre rattling by Mamta and her chelas, thousands of villagers gathered on 4th January to affirm that they shall continue the year long struggle, declaring that they shall overcome all obstacles to achieve their demands! At Kolkata comrades worked tirelessly to mount resistance against draconian police actions. The rally was successfully concluded and comrade Raju along with Assam comrades and the democratic forces of Bengal are released. All comrades, not only those in WB but also in other states who came out in solidarity played their role for 4th January becoming a success.

Let us continue the struggle tomorrow, and in coming days till victory! Meanwhile there is good news about more struggles breaking out against Power Grid Projects from different parts of the state and at all India level, imposed forcefully against people’s wishes. Yes, it should develop in to a much bigger movement for people oriented development paradigm and people’s power at all levels! 

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