Wednesday, February 29, 2012

ML Update 10 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 10, 28 FEB – 05 MARCH 2012

International Women's Day and the Women's Movement in India

Woman is born in chains, but everywhere she is fighting to be free. It is a world-historic struggle being waged in different ways in different national settings.

In our country the peculiar Indian version of neoliberal model of growth preserves, profits from and in some cases reproduces in modified forms certain vestiges of feudalism in socio-economic structures, customs and value systems. The working people of India, women included, therefore have to suffer the worst of both worlds – feudal backwardness and obscurantism as well as modern capitalist expropriation and exploitation. Among them, it is women and children whose interests are most severely jeopardized in myriad ways, for example by the retreat of the neoliberal state from its welfare responsibilities and the state-sponsored corporate land-grab campaigns. In addition to the perennial violence of hunger, women are routinely subjected to all kinds of oppression, discrimination and sexual assaults, with people in high positions feeling free to indulge in such crimes and shielding other criminals. In this respect Congress-ruled Delhi and Rajasthan look exactly like, say, NDA-ruled Bihar and West Bengal under its first woman Chief Minister.

Attacks and obstacles notwithstanding, more and more women are coming out of their homes not only to take up traditional occupations but also to avail themselves of the new job opportunities, however limited, opened up by capitalist greed for exploiting cheap female labour. Even in the face of feudal- patriarchal opposition, they are trying to utilise the new opportunities – introduced by the provision of 50% reservation in panchayati raj institutions – for playing more active social and political roles as people's representatives. The net impact of all this is that on one hand women are drawn into a new vortex of oppression and struggle in the wider world, while on the other the new experiences equip them with a keener political awareness, a higher sense of dignity and self confidence. The taste of hard-won relative freedom generates among them a healthy urge for further extending its narrow confines.

The slow but irresistible changes in the lives and attitudes of Indian women – changes that are no less conspicuous in the countryside than in urban areas – cannot but incite the forces of feudal-patriarchal reaction into frenzied attempts to stop the wheels of history. Such attempts range from emotional appeals to 'the sacred duties and virtues' of Indian mothers and wives through all kinds of moral policing to physical assaults, fatwas, honour killings and so on. But repression only regenerates resistance and domination the determination to fight back. Braving all difficulties and pains, women of India continue their forward march. It is this cool determination and robust dynamism of ordinary Indian women that a revolutionary women's organisation tries to imbue with a communist consciousness and give the shape of an organized movement.

The practice of observing the 8th of March as International women's Day was initiated about hundred years ago by socialist leaders like Alexandra Kollontai. A grand new chapter was opened up in the history of the struggle for women's emancipation. A few years later the Communist International proclaimed in its programme complete social equality between man and woman in law and in real life, revolutionary transformation of husband-wife relationship and family code, status of social work to motherhood, social responsibility of nursing and education of children and adolescents and relentless struggle against all ideas and traditions that enslave women. Since then communists all over the world have steadfastly pursued this agenda as a most vital and inalienable component of the struggle for communism. On the occasion of International Women's Day let us all rededicate ourselves to this noble cause.

AIPWA protests growing violence on women in WB

The West Bengal unit of AIPWA is trying to build a protest campaign against the growing incidence of violence on women and the highly reprehensible anti-women role of the Administration led by the state's first-ever woman Chief Minister. On 24 February it played an active role in organising a protest march in Kolkata along with other comrades and mass organisations under the banner of CPI(ML). On 27 February a team of AIPWA leaders including state secretary Chaitali Sen went to the Writers' Buildings (the state secretariat) to submit a memorandum to the Home-cum-Chief Minister. The main demands included: Mamata Bannerjee must apologise to the people of West Bengal for shamelessly depicting the Park Street rape case as "concocted" and must relinquish the Home portfolio; removal of the Transport Minister Madan Mitra and the Kolkata Police Commissioner for their patriarchal statements; severe punishment of the criminals involved in the rape incidents and so on.

The deputation was received by a Joint Secretary of the Home Department. Comrades spaced a protest, raising slogans, both inside and in front of Writers' Building.They were eventually arrested but the protest continued in the police lock-up. After 6 PM they were unconditionally released.

India's Working Class Strike of 28 February

a Clear Mandate for Immediate Reversal of Ongoing Economic Policies

The CPI(ML) leader and General Secretary of All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) Comrade Swapan Mukherjee congratulated the working class for the unprecedented Countrywide General Strike on 28 February and termed this strike as a mandate for the reversal of ongoing economic policies of LPG.

He said that the workers ranging from organized to unorganized sector, from industrial workers to agricultural workers participated in this strike in numbers more than 10 crore, and particularly the contract workers employed in PSUs and govt. departments have played a major role in this strike. Many states witnessed Bandh during this strike. This strike is a warning to the central and various state governments that the working people of this country will not tolerate these exploitative, pro-corporate and anti-worker policies, and in the days to come they will go ahead with heightened struggles.

The demands which the Striking workers are pressing include 1) concrete measures to contain price rise 2) concrete measures for creation of employment 3) Strict enforcement of all basic labour laws without any exception or exemption and stringent punitive measures for violations, 4) universal social security cover for the unorganized sector workers without any restriction and creation of a National Social Security Fund with adequate resources 5) Stoppage of disinvestment in central and state profit-making and socially strategic PSUs, 6) No Contractorisation of work of permanent/perennial nature and payment of wages and benefits to the contract workers at the same rate as available to the regular workers of the industry/establishment, 7) Amendment of Minimum Wages Act to ensure universal coverage irrespective of the schedules and fixation of statutory minimum wage at not less than Rs 10,000/- with indexation 8) Removal of all ceilings on payment and eligibility of Bonus, Provident Fund; Increase the quantum of gratuity, 9)Assured Pension for all, 10) Compulsory registration of trade unions within a period of 45 days and immediate ratification of the ILO Conventions nos 87 and 98.

The call was given by all the Central Trade Unions in the country and was endorsed by almost all the major Independent National Federations of employees and workers.

Massive response to the call of General Strike by the workers en masse visibly impacting almost all the sectors of the economy, viz., Coal, steel, petroleum, telecom, defence, banks, insurance, electricity, transport, port & dock, anganwadis, construction, brick-kilns, beedi etc., both in organized and unorganized sector is a fitting reply to the utter neglect and insensitivity of the Government towards the problems and miseries of crores of the working masses who are keeping the country's economy running. This is also a signal that the working people and their unions would in no way accept such indifference and neglect on the part of the Govt. and carry forward their struggle to a higher pitch if their basic demands are not addressed by the Govt. through concrete remedial action.

Karnataka: AICCTU undertook an extensive and elaborate campaign around the all-India strike on 28 Feb. 2012. For the first time, the strike campaign in Karnataka was organized as a part of Joint committee of Trade Unions that comprised 10 central trade unions. In addition to that we also printed our own pamphlets explaining our political approach to the issues and also separate posters.

The tempo for the campaign was set by all trade union call of 'Jail Bharo' on 8th November. Our participation in state level convention on 30 January was also very impressive. The convention was addressed by national leaders all trade unions along with the state leaders.

 Bangalore: We could make a better presence in the campaign in areas surrounding Electronic City, Information Technology Park Ltd (ITPL) and Yelahanka. We joined Bike rallies and other propaganda meetings. In the meantime, one particular MNC workers in readymix concrete industry in Bangalore joined our union and consequently, local CITU was not willing to work jointly with us and the local joint campaign got disrupted. It was also a blessing in disguise as it evoked a sense of challenge among our workers and we organized separate bike rally and also strike enforcing rally and public meeting on the day of strike. The local CITU's refusal, in fact, resulted in voluntary mobilization of hundreds of workers in the strike rally. Workers marched through the streets of the bigger industrial belt of international capital in Bangalore and forced shut down of several companies where there was no union. The rally in surrounding areas of ITPL was very militant and culminated in a public meeting that was addressed by Com. Narayana Swamy, NCM, Somu, district secretary, Mani, treasurer, Govindaswamy, JS, Manjunath, district VP, Ashok, district JS, Sunil, JS and Kishore, Office secretary.

The rally at Veerasandra, near Electronic City was joined by AITUC workers and enforced strike in all factories where there was no union. The rallyists forced several companies to down their shutters and organized a public meeting at the end.

The rally and public meeting organized at the city centre was very militant and the traffic in the nerve centre of the city was thrown out of gear for more than 3 hours. Confrontation with the police in traffic regulation also resulted in mild lathi charge on some workers. CITU participated with full mobilization and few thousands of workers of all trade unions participated in the public meeting. Com. Shankar, all-India Vice President of AICCTU, Prasanna Kumar, state GS of CITU, Anantha Subba Rao, state GS of AITUC, Shivshankar, President of TUCC, Prakash, state leader of AIUTUC also addressed the gathering along with state leaders of other unions, HMS, BMS and INTUC. Com. Shankar called upon workers to rise in more militant struggles to give a fitting rebuff to the liberalization policies.

 Koppal District: Here too, in spite of joint call and initiatives at state level, CITU decided to go alone in strike campaign. AICCTU organized independent campaign meetings at various industrial centres in the district including Gangavati, Karatagi and Koppal. The rally on 28th was attended by more than 500 workers from rice mills, construction, brick kilns and also auto technicians and taxi and tractor drivers.

Davanagere District: AICCTU organized an impressive rally at Harappanahalli and the public meeting at the end was addressed by CPI(ML) state secretary Ramappa among others. Hundreds of construction and agricultural labour participated in enforcing the strike.

AICCTU, for the first time organized a demonstration at Harihar second major town in the district. Prasad, NECM and Manju, NCM of AISA addressed the gathering along with other local leaders Beerappa and Basavaraj.

Mysore District: AICCTU organized a demonstration jointly with AITUC at HD Kote taluk and construction and agricultural labour participated in the demonstration.

Delhi: The highly successful strike in Delhi's Wazirpur Industrial area is very encouraging for militant trade union and workers' movement. Thousands of workers (at least five thousand) were out on the streets enforcing the strike with forceful assertion. They were highly energetic in their robust actions closing the factories. The workers also clashed with the police while encforcing the bandh in factories. AICCTU played key role in organizing the strike in this area. Mike campaign was undertaken by us for a full week prior to the strike. Students from AISA's DU unit led by AIPWA's National Secretary took active part in the week-long campaign. After the strike was successfully implemented, a huge mass meeting was held by AICCTU. Speakers from AITUC, CITU and UTUC also spoke in the meeting.

In Delhi's Bhorgarh Industrial area too a very impressive rally of thousands of workers led by AICCTU and CITU was held and strike enforced. Comrade Surendra Panchal, CPI(ML)'s State Committee member led the campaign on our behalf.

In Jhilmil and Patparganj Industrial areas too it was mainly the AICCTU and CITU that led the strike and campaign. Comrade VKS Gautam, AICCTU's Delhi President led the strike and campaign in these areas.

A notable development was the dharna in support of strike by the employees' union of Lala Ramswarup (LRS) Institute of Respiratory Diseases and TB Hospital at Mehrauli. The union is affiliated to the AICCTU. Our members in MTNL and AICCTU affiliated union participated in a joint protest at Jantar mantar.

DTC was partially affected and mass meeting of 400-500 at took place at DTC headquarters. AICCTU General Secretary Comrade Swapan Mukherjee addressed the meeting among other central leaders of other central trade unions. At Okhla AICCTU took out a procession of 100 workers.

Puducherry: AICCTU, AITUC, CITU, INTUC, BMS LPF, TUCC, AIUTUC formed a state level joint action committee to carry out the 5 points charter of demands call to go on general strike on 28th. A week long campaign was conducted throughout Puducherry and Karaikal regions from 20-27 February.  At Nine centres the workers of all above central TUs courted arrest in Puducherry.

In rural area at Villlianur, AICCTU blockaded the railway track, in which hundreds of workers took part and most of them were women. Construction and agricultural workers were also present. It was led by Comrade S Balasubramanian, State Secretary of CPI(ML). All were arrested and later released in the evening.

In Puducherry town nearly one hundred and twenty five workers of various factories courted arrest. In Puducherry and Karaikal BSNL, LIC, Bank employees participated in the strike. The strike was total. A major union of state government workers namely 'Central Federation of government employees fully participated in the general strike and they took out a rally in the morning in Puducherry. Normal work was paralysed in UT of Puducherry.

Andhra Pradesh: Nine left parties held a dharna at Hyderabad and the leaders were arrested. Com. Murthy, Politburo member, was arrested from the Dharna. Nearly 100 workers took part in the dharna. In Khammam district of Andhra mainly in three mandals AICCTU held rallies. In Vijayawada, Krishna district and Visakapattnam Narasipetta rallies were held.

Odisha: CPI(ML) and AICCTU along with CITU, AITUC, AIUTUC, and HMS organised strike actions at Rayagada, Bhubaneswar, Rourkella, Kendrapara, Puri and Khurdha. Railway Sweepers Union joined at Bhubaneswar and Puri, autoworkers, Aanganwadi workers at Kendrapara and Zaro workers, Rickshaw pullers joined at Bhubaneswar along with other workers and transport workers' union at Rayagda.

At Puri Comrade Ashok Pradhan was arrested along with Dilip Samal of East Coast Railway Sweeper Workers Union. Protest was held by Maa Kalijayee Motorboat Workers Union and CPI(ML) at Balugan. At Rourkella protest was jointly held with CITU and AITUC under the leadership of Comrade NK Mohanty, President of AICCTU Odisha. At many places our comrades were arrested by the Odisha police.

The strike was a huge success in the State as towns and businesses were completely closed. The railways was affected in a big way and petrol pumps, autos, bus services were out of operation and banks and insurance companies were closed including Nabard and RBI.

Chhattisgarh: The blockade of the Maroda Gate of the Bhilai Steel Plant (BSP) began early at 5:30 a.m. Here the AICCTU, AITUC, CITU, BMS, HMS and INTUC had jointly called the strike. Joint campaign was undertaken for the success of strike. Contract workers took active part in making the strike successful. The demonstration at this Gate was on till 3:30 p.m. led by TU leaders including Comrade Brijendra Tiwari. 90 percent of the SAIL Refractory Unit participated in the strike. Our members participated in the demonstrations at other four Gates also organised by other unions.

A demonstration was held at Bhilai Municipal Corporation. Prior to this the Bogda Bridge was blockaded at 5 a.m. The CMM Mazdoor Karyakarta Samiti held blockades at various points in industrial area that helped swell the number of striking workers. Workers at stone quarries in Raipur's Bangoli-Mura participated in the strike and held rally.

500-600 workers employed at Welcome Distillery and Rayalseema Concrete Sleepers situated at Kargiroad Kota in Bilaspur participated in the strike and took out a rally before congregating at Mandi Ground for a mass meeting. The rally and meeting was led by AICCTU's National Vice President and CMM's President Comrade Bhimrao Bagde. A memorandum addressed to the President of India was handed over to the SDM.

Comrades from AIALA participated in the joint dharna in Bilaspur town. Comrade Lalan from AICCTU addressed the dharna.

400-500 workers of State Ware House and Central Ware House at Raipur participated in the strike and a rally.

Sanitation workers working as contract workers in Bhilai town participated fully in the strike despite the fact that the BSP administration and the contractors had tried to terrorise the workers.

Punjab: Contract workers of PGI, Chandigarh, affiliated to AICCTU, and mess workers of Punjab Engineering College, Sec. 16 Hospital Union, Sec. 32 Hospital Union, workers from health sector's malaria department. The leaders of the hospital unions stated that they have been forced to go on strike by the continued apathy towards their issues by the administration and the govt. Brick-kiln and rural workers in Mansa and Sangrur led by AICCTU went on strike.

Andaman & Nicobar: AICCTU, CITU and BMS jointly conducted one week long street corner meetings and public meetings place to place propagating the 28th all-India Strike and staged one day Dharna at Tiranga Park, Port Blair. Thereafter a procession was also held through main Aberdeen Bazar to Secretariat gate, Port Blair and concluded the same there with the address by leaders of Central Trade Unions. BSNL and all the bank employees went on strike in A&N Islands.

Madhya Pradesh: At Gwalior, Nagar Nigam Karamchari Kalyan Morcha (municipal employees'welfare front) affiliated to AICCTU organised a rally and meeting at Bara. Gwalior was bandh on 28th. Comrade Rajaram, CCM, was present at the Bara meeting. In Bhind, Hamal workers and other Left TUs held a joint rally and meeting. More than 200 workers participated here.

Jharkhand: Thousands of workers affiliated to the Jharkhand Construction Workers' Union (AICCTU-affiliated) started marching from the CPI(ML) State office and reached Commisioner's office passing through the main streets. After handing over of memorandum there for Labour Minister the rally returned to Albert Ekka Square where a mass meeting was held.

Rural workers in Jharkhand participated in the strike enthusiastically at many places. Rallies were held in ten panchayats of Bagodar block in which thousands of people took part. Grand Trunk road was blockaded for two hours at Bagodar town. Rallies and meetings were held in five panchayats each of Saria and Birni blocks and each comprising hundreds of people. Rallies were also held in ten panchayats of Jamua and three of Dewari. Two places in Rajdhanwar and impressive rally at Gawan.

After a long gap an impressive rally and a public meeting was held at Gandeya Assembly constituency which was attended by senior Party leaders that included Party's General Secretary Comrade Dipankar, CPI(ML) leader and MLA Comrade Vinod Singh, Politburo member Comrade DP Bakshi and other district and State leaders.

In Garhwa, where our Party leaders and members have been subjected to torture and fabricated cases resulting in arrests, protest march was held that turned into mass meeting at Ranka turn. Impressive rallies were held in Bhawnathpur to make the strike a success. At Chautha village in Hazaribagh's Bishungarh, road was blockaded. Patratu block office was gheraoed by hundreds of Party workers. Demonstration was held in Gumla.

Mugma collieries (ECL) witnessed total strike. Strike in BCCL was nearly total. Partial strike (about 50 percent) in CCL Bermo due to anti-strike stance of BMS and INTUC at grassroot level and total opposition by the Dadai faction of INTUC. AICCTU led an effective campaign and several workers came forward spontaneously that made the strike successful. CCL Hazaribagh was completely affected by the strike. Partial strike in Bokaro Steel Plant, however about half of all contract workers went on strike. Banks and LIC were completely on strike all over Jharkhand.

Bihar: Agricultural workers struck work throughout the State and workers in Industrial areas around Patna went on strike. At Bhagalpur members of all the unions affiliated to the AICCTU- Bihar State Construction Workers' Union, Kamgar Mahasangh, municipal employees, transport workers' union and many others comprising about one thousand urban and rural poor took out rallies from three different locations in the city before merging at Kotwali square and marched to the Station through main areas of the city. Half of the participants of the rally were the domestic women workers. The rally was led by AICCTU's district president and secretary Comrades SK Sharma and Mukesh Mukt respectively.

In the rural areas and villages AICCTU and AIALA jointly organised rallies and meetings that were led by local and district leaders. Here brick kiln workers went on strike.

Tamil Nadu: The workers of PRICOL, a major auto company in Coimbatore went on complete strike led by AICCTU.

More than eight thousand workers of the All India Agricultural Labourers' Association (AIALA) struck work in over 80 panchayats covering eight districts of Tamil Nadu. In Tiruvallur district the strike was led jointly by AICCTU and AIALA. NREGA related irregularities was one of the important issues here for AIALA strike. The propaganda had reached about fifty thousand workers.

Assam: Besides the strike, contract workers affiliated to AICCTU went on strike at Air Force Station and Army Cantonment area. AICCTU activists and workers were arrested in front of the DC office in Silchar.

Rajasthan: In Jaipur a joint rally of 2500 was organised. In Udaipur AICCTU played major role in organizing raliies and strike. In Ajmer and Pratapgarh also we participated in joint rallies and strike.

West Bengal: Strike was very successful in WB.

AIALA's all India Rural Strike: As part of the nationwide rural strike call given by the AIALA, meetings were held in more than four hundred panchayats. Demonstrations were held at 35 blocks and roads were blockaded at several places.

Hosiery Movement Update: Bowing down to the militant workers' struggle and a successful industrial strike, hosiery factory owners in Shobhabazar conceded to raising overtime wages by a significant amount (about Rs 30/day). Many of the factories which hitherto paid below-minimum wages to their workers, have started paying minimum wages now. The victory of our movement, albeit partial, proves once again that the working class can snatch away their demands only through protracted struggle. AICCTU has also decided to survey 400 factories of the area, so that legal battle too could be initiated.


Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Thursday, February 23, 2012

ML Update 09 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 15, No. 09, 21 – 27 FEBRUARY 2012

Punish All Responsible for the West Bengal Government's Patriarchal Offensive on a Rape Complainant

The response of the West Bengal Government to a recent complaint of gang rape in the state capital, is yet another instance that has underlined the deeply patriarchal biases embedded in institutions of power and in the state machinery.

A woman reported that she had been gang-raped at gun-point in a moving car in Kolkata. She further stated that when she sought to file a complaint, she was subjected to humiliation and sexually suggestive remarks at the hands of the police. As this incident came to the light of the public, the West Bengal Police establishment and senior leaders of the Cabinet including even the Chief Minister herself, branded the rape complaint as false.

The Police Commissioner of Kolkata, RK Pachnanda, and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, both said the rape complaint was fabricated and 'staged' to malign the Government. The Chief Minister's media adviser said that the police was looking into the rape complainant's family background, cheating cases against her father, etc. Supposed 'holes' and 'inconsistencies' in the complainant's version were leaked selectively by police to the media. In other words, the complainant herself was treated as though she were a suspect whose innocence was on trial!

Meanwhile, a close aide of the Chief Minister, Minister Madan Mitra, resorted to the age-old patriarchal strategy to discredit rape complainants: insinuating that the complainant was of questionable moral character, since she was separated from her husband and visited nightclubs. Speaking to a TV channel, Mitra said, "Why did a woman with kids at home, who is separated from her husband, go to a nightclub? For all you know, she may still be drinking at a club."

Moral judgements on a woman's personal life, and all sorts of details about her family background, were invoked in order to discredit her complaint of rape – in violation of the well-established principle, oft upheld by the Supreme Court, that irrelevant details about the rape complainant's personal life and 'character' cannot be used to undermine rape complaints.

Eventually, the rape complaint was vindicated, with the Kolkata police arresting three of the accused. The medical evidence clearly showed injuries consistent with the assault described by the complainant. Also, it emerged that so-called 'inconsistencies' and 'falsehoods' in the complainant's statement had a perfectly logical explanation.

The kind of attitudes displayed by the West Bengal police and government are, unfortunately, all too common when it comes to rape complaints, and this is undoubtedly one of the factors contributing to the rise in sexual violence on women. Recently, a DGP of Andhra Pradesh blamed women for 'provoking' rape by wearing fashionable clothes. His remarks were soon echoed by many in responsible positions in other states, too. According to such patriarchal discourse, rape is not rape, when it happens to women who do not conform to prescribed norms of behaviour. And the credibility of any rape complainant can be undermined by questioning her clothes, her behaviour, or her morality. And Governments, realising that rape cases and police insensitivity reflect badly on their regime, are often quick to stoke patriarchal 'doubts' about the rape complainant's character and credibility. Not long ago, Bihar's Deputy Chief Minister, eager to cover up allegations of rape against an MLA of his party, questioned Rupam Pathak's character on TV channels. The Delhi Police chief, responding to charges of police insensitivity in cases relating to violence against women, said that women who ventured out without a (male) guardian at 2 am, have only themselves to blame for rape.

In West Bengal itself, the statements made by Mamata Banerjee and Madan Mitra echo the remarks made by their predecessors in similar circumstances. Responding to the mass rape at Birati in 1990, a leader of the ruling CPIM's women's organisation had referred to the questionable moral antecedents of the victims. In the Dhantala mass rape case of 2003, the West Bengal Women's Commission had dismissed the rape charges as 'concocted lies.' In another instance of rape of a woman CPI(M) supporter in Cooch Behar in 2003, allegedly by CPIM activists, the then State Secretary of the CPIM had deemed the charge to be 'concocted', and had questioned the 'character and lifestyle' of the complainant. In the case of the rape and murder of Tapasi Malik in Singur, too, senior CPIM leaders had made patriarchal insinuations about Tapasi and her family, in order to defend their own cadre who were accused.

This trend of branding rape complainants as liars by invoking their 'character' is rampant in society. But when those in positions of power and responsibility do so, it is even more serious and condemnable. If such persons go unpunished, it can only encourage this trend, and embolden perpetrators of violence on women.

The West Bengal Chief Minister owes a public apology to the rape complainant, for the shameful way in which the latter was branded a liar by the Government, and by the CM personally. The Chief Minister should also relinquish the Home portfolio that she now holds, as a penalty for the way in which she sought to malign a rape complainant, and bias the police proceedings. For his highly offensive remarks, Madan Mitra must be removed from his position in the Cabinet. The charges of sexual harassment against police personnel must be speedily investigated and sternly punished. The Kolkata Police Commissioner must be dismissed for his irresponsible statements that were a great injustice to the rape complainant. It may be remembered that, following his public pronouncements justifying the honour crimes of industrialist Ashok Todi towards Rizwan-ur Rehman, the then Police Commissioner had to lose his post. This time, too, the current Police    Commissioner must go.

WB: CPI(ML)'s 9th State Conference

The 9th State Conference of West Bengal State Committee was held from 18th to 20th February 2012 at Ashokenagar, 24 North Parganas, in which 349 delegates and 31 observers and guests from all over the State participated. The delegate session was preceded by a lively cultural programme and a discussion on the present situation of West Bengal which was addressed by Nabarun Bhattacharya, eminent poet, and Party's General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya. Comrade Dipankar highlighted the specific features under TMC rule, exposed the opportunism of CPI(M)'s left democratic alternative and clarified CPI(ML)'s position on this question. He emphasised on the need of building a fighting left democratic unity and building new areas of peasant struggle. Before the delegate session, the red flag was hoisted by veteran Party leader Comrade Sankar Mitra. Central Committee members, district secretaries, leaders of different mass organisations offered floral tributes and all the delegates and observers observed a minute's silence in memory of the martyrs.

The delegate session started after Comrade Partho Ghosh, the outgoing State Secretary placed the draft document before the house. Altogether 97 delegates took part in the deliberation and various suggestions enriched the debate discussion. Comrade V Shankar (CCM) from Karnataka was the central observer, and veteran Politburo member Comrade Swadesh Bhattacharya also addressed this session. The leader of CPRM- Comrade Taramani Rai and leader of Marxbadi Manch were also present.

This conference was marked by a vibrant presence of the students, fighting peasants, workers, and all the delegates were of the opinion that the situation is impregnated with new possibilities. The conference resolved to take up the challenges to expand and strengthen the Party. The TMC-led Govt is fast losing its credibility and the real character of this Govt is gradually being exposed.

After debate and discussion, the final draft was accepted unanimously and 39-member new State Committee was elected, in which 10 new members were elected. Comrade Partha Ghosh was reelected as the State Secretary.  The conference resolved to protest against the rape incident which took place in the heart of Kolkata and expose the role of the CM who denied this shameful incident on the pretext of a conspiracy against her Govt. The conference also resolved to make success the all India general strike on 28 February all over the state.

Hosiery Workers' Struggle

Hosiery workers of Sobhabazar area in Kolkata are fighting back a decades old system of inadequate overtime wages and lack of basic workplace amenities. According to existing labour laws they should be getting 8 hours' equivalent of wages for 4 hours overtime. But whereas they are bound to work overtime almost everyday, they get a pittance overtime wage of Rs. 45/day (their minimum wage stands at Rs 164/day).

CPI(ML) Liberation's AICCTU-led Kolkata Hosiery Workers' Union has waged a struggle demanding (1) proper overtime wages and (2) revision of minimum wages, which have remained stagnant for the last 13 years. Hosiery workers of this region have to work amidst extra-economic coercion. They don't have ID cards, they lack proper sanitation facilities and they don't even have an attendance registrar. 3rd January 2012 onwards, they have started the movement, skipping overtime work. On 17th January, 3rd February and 7th February, they took out massive processions reiterating their demands. On 19th January and 8th February, workers participated in a huge mass meeting where representatives from workers and All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) voiced the workers' demands. Throughout this period the workers repeatedly attempted to have a dialogue with the factory owners' association which the latter bluntly refused.

The movement was peaceful and democratic from start till 9th February. But on the night of 9th February, factory owners sent in TMC goons to break the resolve of the workers. Workers retaliated with a massive industrial strike on the next day. They gheraoed Shyampukur and Jorabagan Police stations demanding immediate intervention by law enforcement agencies.

They rallied through the entire area, where some of the workers were beaten up. But the resolve of the workers stands undaunted and they are certain about their victory. Student activists from All India Students' Association (AISA) also joined the rallies in solidarity with the workers.

Panchayat Polls in Odisha

In the recent panchayat elections in Odisha, corporate houses, which are plundering the state's precious resources with the collusion of the Government, came to bail out the Naveen Patnaik Government, which was facing problems in the wake of outcry against corporate plunder and atrocities, of which the Pipili gang rape was the most recent instance. To top it all, the liquor tragedy, with its death toll reaching 38 till date, too took place. However, Naveen Patnaik's face-saving measures, combined with the money power backing of corporate houses, aided by the lack of credibility of Congress and BJP, managed to secure a majority of the zila parishad seats.

Though CPI(ML) Liberation could not retain three zila parishad seats, we won seven sarpanch seats, three samiti member seats, and more than 100 ward member seats in Raigada, Koraput, Puri, Kendujhar, and Kendrapada.

Reports from Madhya Pradesh

Bhind: A public meeting was held on 17th February in Bhind town centring on women's oppression, State Govt's (led by BJP) corruption and the upcoming countrywide trade unions' strike on 28th February. The 28th February strike was the main issue discussed. The meeting decided to consistently against corruption in the State and a planned propaganda campaign was decided for the 28th February strike. The organisers of the meeting were CPI(ML), AISA, AICCTU and AIPWA. The speakers at the meeting were Comrades Prabhat Kumar (Party's Central Committee member), veteran communist and Party leader Devendra Singh Chauhan and AIPWA's National Secretary Suraj Rekha Tripathi.

Gwalior: Conference of municipality employees' welfare front was held on 18th February at Bara in Gwalior that was also attended by CPI(ML) Central Committee member Comrade Prabhat Kumar besides trade union leader Comrade Ashok Khan and Comrade Haji Usman. The Conference also elected new office bearers and gave a call for making the 28th February strike successful. The Conference discussed more on the issues of sanitation workers. The workers in the conference have decided to campaign till 27th for the strike on the 28th and that they will hold a dharna at Bara on 28th wearing black badges. More than 70 delegates participated in the conference.

Make the Call by Central Trade Unions for Nationwide General Strike on 28 February

a Grand Success

Strengthen the Struggle against Liberalisation, Privatisation and Globalisation

Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist)

All India Central Council of Trade Unions



Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication, R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22442790, e-mail:, website:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

ML Update 08 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15        No. 08                                                                14 - 20 FEB 2012


Karnataka's Porn Scandal:

Shame on BJP's Hypocrisy and Insult to Women 


The recent 'porngate' scandal in Karnataka, in which three BJP Ministers were caught by a TV channel, viewing a porn clip inside the Assembly, has exposed the BJP's bankruptcy and moral double standards thoroughly. The Ministers in question have had to resign, but such damage control measures are far from adequate.

The BJP and its sister organizations in the Sangh brigade are notorious for imposing 'dress codes' on women, and assaulting women who defy these codes. In BJP-ruled Karnataka, the Government has defended and protected saffron goons who have attacked women for visiting pubs, or sitting in public with male friends. Around this time every year, there are reports of Sangh goons attacking couples who celebrate Valentine's Day. Now, the world has seen how these self-proclaimed custodians of morality and self-appointed 'protectors of Indian womanhood,' while away their time inside the Assembly, watching clips of sexual violence on women.

One of the ex-Ministers caught in the act, has claimed that, in the context of a debate in the Assembly over a controversial party, they were watching a video of such a party held in a foreign country, in which a woman is gang-raped by the men she was dancing with. In other words, the clip being watched was not just a sex video, it was a video of a gang-rape! The BJP MLA's bizarre 'defence' only underlines how much of pornography involves content that is violent and exploitative towards women. Newspapers have reported that this clip of sexual violence was shared and watched by several more BJP MLAs, before the TV cameras caught two of them on camera.

One of the MLAs caught viewing the clip, was the Women and Child Development Minister CC Patil, who, just a few weeks ago, said that women 'invited' rape by dressing indecently. A Minister holding the portfolio for women's welfare, spends his time in the Assembly watching a gang-rape video with his male colleagues – and then brazenly justifies rape by blaming it on women's 'indecency'! There could be no better proof for the fact that those who seek to police women's dress and conduct have much in common with those who perpetrate sexual violence on women.

Although the BJP, in a hasty damage control exercise, has had to get the three Ministers to resign, the MLAs and the party too remain unrepentant. The BJP has refused to expel the MLAs. The Goa Chief Minister from the BJP has said that the MLAs were 'only watching' and not 'doing anything.' The Jharkhand Assembly Speaker, also from the BJP, has said there is nothing wrong in watching videos in Assembly, and he would have taken no action on such MLAs if the incident had taken place in his Assembly! 

The contrast between BJP's moral sermonising and moral policing of women, and the conduct of its elected representatives in Assembly, is especially glaring. But violence and exploitation of women by elected representatives is common in other parties too. Former Uttarakhand CM from Congress, ND Tiwari, is accused of granting licenses for petrol pumps etc in exchange for sexual favours. In Rajasthan, Congress Minister Mahipal Maderna and MLA Malkhan Singh, are implicated in the murder of a dalit nurse, Bhanwari Devi, with whom they had sexual relations, in exchange for waiving her transfer to a remote area. A series of MLAs of the ruling BSP in Uttar Pradesh are implicated in rape, kidnapping, and murder of women. Former BJP MLA from Purnea Raj Kishore Kesri was implicated in the long-term rape and harassment of Rupam Pathak in Bihar. Between 2007 and 2010, several other BJP MLAs in Karnataka, too, have been implicated in violence towards women, including rape, blackmail, and murder.   

The resignation from Ministerial posts is far from enough. The Assembly membership of all the BJP MLAs who shared and viewed the gang-rape video inside the Karnataka Assembly must be terminated. They have violated every norm of public conduct and women's rights and dignity, and no longer have any right to call themselves people's representatives.       


Congress' Crocodile Tears for Fake Encounters

Yet again, Congress leaders are attempting to exploit public anger against fake encounters of minorities for votes – while their Government continues to defend the same fake encounters. After Digvijay Singh, it was Salman Khursheed's turn. Addressing an election meeting at Azamgarh, Khursheed claimed that Sonia Gandhi broke down and shed tears when shown photographs of the Batla House killings, and asked him to take up the matter with the Prime Minister.

NHRC norms require that every 'encounter' be treated as a murder unless proved by a judicial probe to have been in self-defence. Yet, in spite of a host of unanswered questions regarding the Batla House killings, no probe was allowed. The very agencies that carried out the 'encounter', have given themselves a clean chit, and the Home Minister in Congress' Central Government repeatedly assures that the 'encounter' was 'genuine.'

Why, in spite of Sonia's tears, did the Home Ministry and UPA Government refuse to allow any impartial probe into the Batla House 'encounter'? Khursheed explained to his Azamgarh audience that though the Congress sincerely wished to probe the killings, they dropped their plans to do so, fearing an impact on the 2009 parliamentary elections! In other words, Khursheed is saying that for the Congress, justice for victims of fake encounters can be, and in fact was, sacrificed for fear of jeopardising electoral prospects!     

The minority youth of Azamgarh have borne the brunt of the worst witch-hunt and communal profiling in the wake of the Batla House killings. Azamgarh has been branded 'atankgarh' (bastion of terror), and Muslim youth from the area have found their safety, dignity, and job prospects badly affected by state-sponsored prejudice. When the very same Congress whose Government has prevented any probe that might establish inconvenient truths about Batla House, and whose investigative agencies are spearheading the witch-hunt of Muslim youth in a host of cases, claims to shed tears for the Batla House victims on the eve of elections, it adds insult to injury.


AIPWA 6th National Conference Held at Vijaywada

The 6th National Conference of All India Progressive Women's Association (AIPWA) took place on 8-9 February at Vijaywada. The entire city was decorated with colourful posters and flags. The women, from around 20 states, marched in a spirited rally from the railway station to Thomalapalli Kalakshetram (renamed Panchadi Nirmala Hall, while Vijaywada was renamed Snehalata Nagar after the martyrs of the Srikakulam movement). Throughout the rally, women raised slogans in Tamil, Hindi, Kannada, Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, Hindi, Telugu and other languages, demanding women's rights and equality. Cultural teams of the Andhra Pradesh Jansanskritika Mandali and of women of the Lambada tribe of Andhra Pradesh, danced in front of the procession, and were spontaneously joined by many women comrades from various states.  


Inaugural Session

On reaching the Thomalapalli Kalakshetram, veteran AIPWA leader Comrade Meera hoisted the AIPWA flag, and AIPWA's National and State-level leaders paid floral tribute to the martyrs' memorial, after which a minute's silence for the martyrs was observed.

The inaugural session began with a revolutionary song performed by the Andhra Pradesh Jansanskritika Mandali. AIPWA leaders and guests were seated on the dais – including AIPWA President Srilata Swaminathan, General Secretary Meena Tiwari, Sanjila Ghising, General Secretary of the Democratic Revolutionary Women's Front (DRWF) of Darjeeling, Durga Bhawani, State Vice President of NFIW, Challapalli Vijaya, State President of the Stree Vimukti Sangathan, AIPWA Vice Presidents Saroj Chaubey and Pratima Engheepi, National Secretaries Nagmani, Chaitali Sen, Shashi Yadav, Sunita, and AIPWA leaders from all states.

The Conference was inaugurated by AIPWA National President Srilata Swaminathan. In her inaugural address, Comrade Srilata said that governments and the powerful sections of society are only giving women discrimination, violence, and insults. But women are determined to resist all this, and will fight and win jobs, freedom, and dignity. She spoke of the many forms of discrimination and violence being faced by women in India, and of AIPWA's struggles against the same.

Addressing the gathered women, Comrade Nagamani, State Secretary of AIPWA in Andhra Pradesh, spoke of women's struggles against exploitative MFIs, against rapes and acid attacks in the state. She said women from all over the country had rejected and protested the shameful statement by Andhra Pradesh DGP Dinesh Reddy, that women 'invited' rape by 'provocative' clothes.

Comrade Durga Bhawani, State Vice President of NFIW, and Challapalli Vijaya, State President of the Stree Vimukti Sangathan addressed the inaugural session, expressing good wishes for the Conference, and calling for united struggles by women and women's groups against the many challenges faced by the women's movement.

Comrade Sanjila Ghising of the DRWF spoke of the dual struggle of the women from Darjeeling: for their national identity, as well as for women's rights. After her speech, comrades of the DRWF felicitated all the AIPWA leaders and guests by draping scarves representing the Gorkha cultural tradition.

Comrade Meena Tiwari, National General Secretary of AIPWA, gave the concluding address at the Inaugural session. She said that the women marching on Vijaywada's streets, were raising slogans in different languages – but their spirit was the same: they were determined to resist oppression and win women's rights. She said that the Prime Minister and President had recently said that India's scores on sex ratio, maternal mortality, and other social indicators of women's well-being are a 'national shame.' But, she said, these leaders had no right to call the situation of women a national shame, because their own policies are responsible above all for this shameful state of affairs.

Not only the market, but even the Government, she said, were treating women like cheap labour and objects of exploitation. Not only is their labour inside the home unpaid, even their work outside in Government schemes, remains shamefully underpaid. She said, "History is witness that whatever rights women have achieved have only been through women's own struggles. We'll carry forward that legacy, and fight and win jobs, freedom, and dignity for women."

The Inaugural session was conducted by AIPWA National Secretary Kavita Krishnan.


Delegate Session

The delegate session of the 6th National Conference continued in the evening of 8 February as well as on 9th February. 425 women delegates from 17 states discussed their experiences of struggles, and to plan how to confront the challenges facing the women's movement today. A presidium comprising Comrades Saroj Chaubey, Gauri De, Gunni Oran, Bhadrawati, Jasbir Kaur, Mona Lisa Tissopi, Thenmozhi, Gandhimati, T Aruna and Kavita Krishnan conducted the Conference.

Solidarity Messages from the South Asia Solidarity Group (London) and Working Women Alliance of Bangladesh (Bangladesh Sramajibi Nari Moitree) were read out at the Conference.

Women workers in ASHA, anganwadi, and mid-day meal schemes in Bihar, Jharkhand, Uttarakhand, Assam and other states shared their experiences of how they work in crucial health and education schemes of the central government, yet they are paid only a pittance of honorarium and no regular salary, with no job security. It was decided that AIPWA would intensify its efforts to organise these lakhs of women workers to secure their rightful place as government employees.

Women delegates discussed their experiences of struggles against many instances of atrocities against women by police officers and powerful people, including MLAs. They noted that in many cases of rape and harassment, we saw that the perpetrators get open protection of police stations and MLAs. It is difficult even to lodge an FIR, and even if one succeeds in lodging an FIR, the accused are not arrested.

Women from Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Punjab discussed the phenomenon of 'honour' killings. In these states, 'khap panchayats' have harassed and even killed couples who marry by choice, breaking caste traditions. Women from other states said that in fact, this phenomenon is spreading across the country. If women marry by choice, they are either forced to marry someone else, or killed. The Conference stressed that is needed to resist such assaults on women's right to decide about their own life.

Women discussed the struggles of women who are members of SHGs and exploited by Micro finance institutions. They demanded a ban on MFIs and easy government bank loans for women.

The Conference stressed the need to struggle for women's right to dignified and secure jobs, which are crucial for women's self-reliance. The Conference also condemned the Law Ministry's proposal to dilute and dowry harassment law (Section 498 A).    

The Conference elected a 95-member National Council, which in turn elected a 31-member National Executive. Comrades Srilata Swaminathan and Meena Tiwari were re-elected National President and Secretary, while Comrades Saroj Chaubey, Tahira Hasan, Kumudini Pati, Rati Rao, Medha Thatte, Mukta Manohar, Bharti S Kumar, Pratima Engheepi, Susheela Tigga, Anju Borkataky, Premlata Pandey and Sudha Choudhury were elected Vice Presidents, and Comrades Sunita, Anjali, Shashi Yadav, Chaitali Sen, R Nagamani, and Kavita Krishnan were elected National Secretaries.

The Conference passed resolutions demanding cancellation of the Assembly membership of the BJP MLAs of Karnataka Assembly who were caught watching a gang-rape video inside the Assembly; demanding that the Andhra Pradesh DGP who blamed women for provoking rape, be made to quit; condemning the Norway government's decision to separate two children of Indian origin from their parents on flimsy grounds; rejecting the Government's food security bill as a farce, and demanding a genuine food security bill that would truly address the widespread malnutrition and hunger, especially of women and children; expressing protest against the gang rape and murderous assault of a dalit girl by goons of the ruling BJD in Odisha, and condemning the Odisha Women's Commission report that denied the gang rape took place; expressing solidarity with the struggle for a separate Gorkhaland and Telangana; and condemning the violence on anti-nuclear protestors including a large number of women at Koodankulam, and demanded scrapping of the Koodankulam project.

Comrade T Aruna delivered a vote of thanks to all those who helped to make the Conference a success. CPI(ML)'s Andhra Pradesh Secretary, Comrade Murthy, expressed good wishes for the AIPWA Conference and confidence that AIPWA would grow stronger in the days to come.

Delegates at the Conference responded to a call for funds for the forthcoming 9th Party Congress of the CPI(ML), and contributed to a collection in the Conference hall itself.

All the volunteers from Andhra Pradesh and other states were warmly felicitated and thanked for their immense efforts in making the Conference a success.   


Cultural Evening

On the evening of 8 February, a cultural evening was organised, in which women from almost all the states participated with great enthusiasm, expressing the progressive and struggling cultural aspect of the women's movement very well. The artists depicted their local struggles through folk dances and songs, as well as in individual compositions and poetry. The music and dance expressed struggles against the corporate plunder of land and resources, repression on people's resistance, women's resistance against inequality and violence, and their struggle for dignity and rights. 

In the morning, Lambada women dressed in their traditional costume, and comrades of the Andhra Pradesh Jan Sanskritika Mandali dressed in red with red flags aloft, had led the Rally, while women from many states spontaneously joined them in dancing.

The cultural evening began with a graceful Bihu dance by Assam AIPWA comrades. Comrade Nagamani of Kakinada along with her team members, presented rousing songs that had the audience clapping to the beat, and also performed a musical play. Tamilnadu's AIPWA comrades presented a song and dance, and Jharkhand's women's cultural team, Prerna, presented a traditional 'jhoomar' dance. Narender Kaur and Kiran of Punjab, Sunetra Sengupta of West Bengal, Kusum Verma of Varanasi recited poetry related to women's lives and struggles. The team of Karbi Anglong women comrades presented progressive and revolutionary Karbi songs. Many women comrades sang individual songs –in Kudukh and Santhali languages, in Tamil, Assamese, Kannada and in many of the languages of Bihar. Comrade Meera Chaturvedi of West Bengal sang several songs in Bhojpuri, Bengali, Nepali, and, when requested by the audience, in Assamese too.

In response to 'Why this Kolaveri,' ('kolaveri' means 'killer rage' in Tamil), Comrade Srilata Swaminathan sang a spirited 'We want Kolaveri,' on the women's movement and AIPWA's struggles. 

The cultural evening was conducted by AIPWA National Executive member Uma Gupta. The number of women participants in the cultural evening kept growing longer, and eventually, the programme had to be regretfully concluded, though the songs and dances continued even at the places where the delegates were staying! What was remarkable was that the participants ranged from 20-year-old Lakhimani from Jharkhand to 70-year-old Lakhrani Kunwar from Bihar.  

An important part of the cultural aspect of the Conference was a painting exhibition on the theme, "Women's oppression, Women's Resistance," by two young artists, Anupam Roy and Bablu Paul, and a poster exhibition by Kusum Verma from Varanasi. The exhibition of posters and paintings began on the first day, and continued till the end of the Conference. The paintings, prepared over a period of two months of painstaking and tireless efforts by the artists, were appreciated by several intellectuals as well as by the delegates from various states.      


Protest March at Garhwa Against State Repression

On 13 February, a massive and spirited protest march took place against the ongoing state repression and witch-hunt of ordinary villagers and CPI(ML) activists in the name of combating Maoists. Defying rain, and heavy intimidatory police deployment, thousands of men and women participated in the march and mass meeting.

Marching with red flags aloft, protestors demanded the release of CPI(ML) comrades Ramdas Minz (elected mukhiya of Badgad village), and Fida Husain, and an end to the harassment and repression of villagers and CPI(ML) activists in Garhwa and the rest of Jharkhand in the name of combating Maoists. Comrades Ramdas Minz and Fida Husain had been arrested in the course of a struggle on a local issue, and were subsequently tortured and booked for collusion in a land mine blast conducted by the Maoists. While both were taken into police custody on 21 January itself, their arrest has been shown on 23 January and they were produced in court on 24 January.

CPI(ML)'s Comrade Sita Paswan's family has not yet been provided with the seizure list of items confiscated during the police raid, though the police has claimed that false currency was found during the raid.

Recently, facts came to light regarding the brutal killing of a deaf and mute cattle herder, Lucas Minz, by CRPF personal in Latehar district of Jharkhand. The incident reportedly took place on January 31, 2012, during the joint operation by the CRPF and District Police, who claimed to be conducting an operation against Maoists. Lucas Minz, who was herding cattle near Koel River, was reportedly shot dead when, being mute, he failed to respond to queries by CRPF and Police Jawans. Having shot him dead, the security forces buried him in the sands. His family hunted in vain for him, and only on 6 February, villagers found the body and identified it. But the police then threatened the villagers and Minz's family with dire consequences, and forced them to bury the body again. Only on February 12, did the family, assisted by CPI(ML)'s Latehar comrades, forced the police to file an FIR against the brutal killing. In another incident on January 1, a driver named Rajendra Yadav was also branded a 'Maoist' and gunned down by police. The CPI(ML)'s protest march on 13 February demanded justice for Lucas Minz and Rajendra Yadav, and severe punishment for their killers.    

Marching at the head of the procession were Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, General Secretary of CPI(ML), Comrade Janardan, State Secretary of the party in Jharkhand, Rajaram Singh, Central Committee member of CPI(ML), Vinod Singh, CPI(ML) MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly, Sushma Mehta, Zila Parishad Chairperson, Rahina Begum, pramukh of Danda panchayat, Comrades Sogra Bibi, and Kishore Kumar. The mass meeting was presided over by Comrade Kalicharan Mehta. Comrade Ravindra Rai conducted the proceedings. The chief speaker at the meeting was Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, and other speakers included Comrade Vinod Singh, Comrade Rajaram Singh, Comrade Rahina Begum, Comrade Sogra Bibi, Comrade Kanhai Singh of Latehar, and Suneeta Kerketta, wife of Comrade Ramdas Minz.    

Jharkhand CM Arjun Munda had visited Garhwa on February 12 and was in Garhwa till the morning of February 13. The protestors raised spirited slogans against Munda, and demanded that the CM answer for the killing of Lucas Minz and arrests of innocent villagers and CPI(ML) activists.

Edited, published and printed by S. Bhattacharya for CPI(ML) Liberation from U-90, Shakarpur, Delhi-92; printed at Bol Publication,
R-18/2, Ramesh Park, Laxmi Nagar, Delhi-92; Phone:22521067; fax: 22518248, e-mail:, website: