Bhangar: Make Kolkata Raj Bhavan March on 8th May a Great Success

05 May 2017
THE more than six months old struggle of the displaced peasants and villagers of Bhangar in South 24 Parganas of West Bengal to get the Central Power Grid Project in the area scrapped has reached a significant phase. The TMC government continues its negative attitude for a dialogue with the People’s Committee on the one hand, and continues its suppressive policies by arresting more members of the People's Committee.

Protesting against this, thousands of people participated in a mass dharna on 19th April in front of Alipore Post Office to give mass memorandum to the District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas. The DM, even after informed about the program well in advance, left for Diamond Harbour. But the pressure from the people of Bhangar was so much that he had to return and to agree to meet the delegation and receive the mass petition.

The mass dharna from 5th April and the declaration of a Raj Bhavan March on 8th May, to be followed by the People’s Tribunal on 13-14 May, at its culmination on 11th evening have shown the people’s determination to continue the struggle. From the beginning the state government went on suppressing the movement, resorting to lathi charge, police firing and arrest of large number of villagers and leaders including comrades Pradip Singh Thakur, state secretary, Sharmista Choudhury and Sankar Das, Central Committee members of the CPI(ML) Red Star, com. Kushal Debnath, one of the leaders of the Solidarity Committee and the leaders of the Jomi Jeebika Vastutantro and Porivesh Rakha Committee. It has resorted to some sort of encirclement and suppression policy. Large number of state forces, TMC goons and intelligence sleuths are deployed around the area.

This struggle has inspired many struggles against displacement, for land and environmental protection in different parts of the state. It has inspired movements against the imposition of neoliberal policies by the TMC government including imposition of UAPA like black acts on leaders of people’s movements. The Bhangar People’s Movement has created a platform for the unity of all political parties, people’s movements and various mass organizations opposed to the TMC government’s policies to come together.

This unity started emerging with the launching of Jomi Jeebika Vastutantro and Porivesh Rakha Committee and the solidarity movement in support of struggling Bhangar people. It had started taking broader shape with the Raj Bhavan March at Kolkata on 22nd December and the people’s mobilization at Bhangar on 11th January. The martyrdom of Mofzil Khan and Alamgir during the police repression and police firing on 17th January was followed by the massive protest march at Kolkata on 30th January and other follow up actions. While the state repression continued including arrests of movement’s leaders imposing UAPA, the people’s resistance also went on strengthening as reflected in the big mobilization during the mass dharna at Bhangar from 5th to 11th April and the increasing number of movements expressing solidarity with it. All these have developed in to broadest unity of democratic and struggling people’s movements at the state level.

It is in this situation the representatives of all political parties, except BJP, and various mass movements who attended the mass dharna on 11th April discussed and decided to organize the march to Raj Bhavan on 8th May. We appeal to all political parties, mass organizations, people’s movements, democrats, students and all progressive sections who support the Bhangar people’s movement and oppose the autocratic, anti-people policies of the TMC govt. to join the this mass march and make it a great success.

The CPI(ML) Red Star calls on all party committees to observe 8th May as All India Solidarity Day and to organize programs in all states mobilizing all likeminded forces
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The Communist movement in India has a history of almost a century after the salvos of October Revolution in Russia brought Marxism-Leninism to the people of India who were engaged in the national liberation struggle against the British colonialists. It is a complex and chequered history.