Thursday, May 17, 2012

ML UPDATE 21 / 2012

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  15      No. 21                                        15 - 21 MAY 2012

SIT Closure Report on Gujarat

Shameful Cover-Up of Modi's Role

The closure report filed by the Supreme Court-appointed SIT on the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat has belied all expectations that it would help justice be done, by shamefully attempting to cover up the role of CM Narendra Modi. In its desperation to defend Modi from the complaint filed by Zakia Jafri, the SIT often contradicts its own preliminary report of 2010, and endorses some of Modi's worst communal statements.

The SIT goes out of its way to discredit intelligence officer Sanjiv Bhatt's evidence that he witnessed Modi at a meeting on February 27, 2002, instructing police officers to allow Hindus to vent their anger. In the SIT's preliminary report, several police officials claimed that they could not recall if Bhatt had been present at the meeting. But in the closure report, the memories of these same officers has magically improved, and they categorically state that Bhatt was not present!

Worse, the SIT closure report states that even if Bhatt's evidence were assumed to be true, "mere statement of alleged words in the four walls of a room does not constitute an offence." Which means that according to the SIT, even if a Chief Minister instructs police officers in a closed door meeting not to act against Hindu perpetrators of violence, it would not amount to a crime!     
In 2002, Narendra Modi had infamously justified the communal violence with talk of 'action-reaction.' The SIT closure report approvingly quotes Modi's 'action-reaction' logic, claiming that by firing at the mob, Ehsan Jafri 'provoked' it to massacre those sheltering in the Gulberg Society. The fact that Jafri fired on a mob armed with weapons, firearms, petrol and incendiaries, after waiting in vain for police to respond to his desperate calls, has been blithely discounted, and Jafri's action branded as one of provocation rather than self-defence.  
The SIT closure report does not even make much effort to appear credible. For instance, in order to back up its claim that Modi was unbiased and committed to cracking down on communal violence, it cites five public statements by Modi where he promised 'exemplary punishment' for those guilty for the attack on the train at Godhra. The complaint by Zakia Jafri says that Modi passed an order that ensured that police did not punish post-Godhra rioters. The SIT's answer is to show that the Modi wanted exemplary punishment for the Godhra train attack! It does not cite a word by Modi promising punishment for the perpetrators of violence against Muslims.
Further, the SIT report ignores blatantly communal public speeches by Modi, such as the one in which he referred to relief camps for riot-survivors as "children-producing centres," saying 'We 5, our 25.' The SIT's preliminary report had refused to accept Modi's explanation that this statement was a general one on family planning, saying that it was clearly a reference to Muslim's supposed population growth. But the closure report discounts the communal implications of this speech.
In trying to defend Modi, the SIT report actually ends up further strengthening the case against him, since it justifies his 'Let Hindus vent their anger' remark and echoes his 'action-reaction' remarks. It is urgent that the evidence pertaining to Modi's role be re-examined afresh, and steps taken to ensure that truth and justice are upheld. Narendra Modi must be held accountable and punished for his role in the Gujarat communal violence!
AILC Delegation Visits Kerala to Protest Killing
An AILC delegation comprising Comrades Mangat Ram Pasla, General Secretary of CPM (Punjab), Swapan Mukherjee and Shankar V, Central Committee Members of CPI(ML) visited Onchiyam, Vadakara and Calicut on May 11, 12 and expressed deep condolences and solidarity to the party and bereaved family of the martyred comrade TP Chandrasekharan (TPC), the secretary of Left Coordination Committee (LCC) in Kerala.
Despite the gruesome killing and the CPI(M)'s politics of intimidation, the family members and comrades of Com. TP remain ever more committed to the courageous path he had chosen in forming the RMP and joining the AILC to strengthen the Left movement in the country. During the delegation's visit to their house at Onchiyam on May 11, they could witness the determination to fight back the politics of killing and intolerance. Visitors of various political hues, including Chief Minister Ommen Chandy and VS Achuthanandan of CPIM, have been visiting their house ever since the incident. VS was of course the lone CPI(M) leader to visit the family.
On the same evening, at the LCC organized condolence meeting in Vadakara town hall, people turned out in huge numbers despite heavy downpour. CPI(M) party activists too turned out in good numbers defying party dictates. Com. N Venu, the newly elected Onchiyam secretary of RMP (Revolutionary Marxist Party), presided over the meeting.
Com. Swapan Mukherjee condemned the killing in unequivocal terms and said that such killings can never halt the onward march of alternative and genuine Left movement in Kerala and in the country. He said that a clique of corrupt and degenerate leadership has taken over the CPIM party affairs in Kerala. CPI(M), instead of mobilizing Left and democratic forces as declared by their party Congress, is, in fact, acting against the genuine and alternative Left. He also called upon the people to rejuvenate the Left movement by upholding the legacy of historic struggles of Punnapra Vayalar and Onchiyam.
 Com. Mangat Ram Pasla deplored and denounced the growing intolerance within the CPI(M) leadership and their reliance on intimidation and killings and refusal to face the growing ideological-political debate against the CPI(M)'s departure from the principles of the Left movement and surrender to neo-liberal policies. He said the CPI(M) had unsuccessfully tried similar means in Punjab too to try and stop the CPM Punjab which has emerged as a stronger alternative to the official CPI(M) unit in Punjab. The condolence meeting was also addressed by leaders of various political parties barring CPI(M) and also by Left and democratic intellectuals in the district.
The AILC delegation along with comrades Hariharan and Kumaran Kutty addressed the press on May 12.
This was followed by an impressive convention of political and cultural activists at Calicut condemning the killing of Com. TPC. People from all walks of life and with various political affiliations participated in the meet. Renowned writer Mahasweta Devi inaugurated the convention. Speaking on the occasion, Com. Mangat Ram Pasla asserted that TPC was not a 'traitor' as Vijayan wants to portray him but a brave fighter upholding the legacy of the communist movement in Kerala.
The state convener of Left Coordination Committee (LCC), Kerala, Com. KS Hariharan presided over the meet. Minister for Panchayat and Social Welfare MK Muneer, Socialist Janata (Democratic) leader MP Veerendrakumar and writers from various parts of the State attended the programme.
Comrades Hariharan, state convener, Kumaran Kutty and Prakashan, state leaders of LCC, John K Erumeli, state secretary, Venugopal and Joy Peter, State Leading Team Members of CPIML in Kerala, Javaraiah, State Leading Team member of CPI(ML) in Karntaka, Manju and Sunil of AICCTU of Karnataka also accompanied the visiting delegation.
JNUSU Takes Up Cause of Myanmar Refugees
Around 2000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar, from 623 families from the northern Rakhine state in Myanmar have been in India for the past two years, forced to wander from one place to another in search of shelter and survival. They had been in Delhi since 9 April, to take up the matter of their refugee status with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
JNUSU took up the matter of their shelter, relief, and right to humanitarian treatment as refugees. After several relocations, these refugees were staying on the open grounds of a mosque in Sultangarhi near Vasant Kunj, where they faced eviction by police as well as communal threats. In their camp, there was neither proper shelter, nor water, sanitation or medical facilities. Children were severely malnourished, and two women delivered babies under the open sky, open to sun and rain. 
JNUSU and JNU students had been arranging drinking water, medical camps, and other relief measures, and on 10 May had held a demonstration along with the Myanmarese refugees at the UNHCR office. The UNHCR, following a dialogue with the JNU Students' Union on 10 May, gave a date of 15 May for consideration of their petition. But the Delhi Police kept trying to evict them from Delhi even before they could get a hearing at the UNHCR. 
Since 12 May night JNU Students' Union members were not allowed by police to meet the refugees and hand over a relief amount that had been collected for them. On 13 May, all day, there was tension, as the police attempted to load the refugees on buses and take them to an unknown location. In the course of the day, hundreds from local villages in the area, accompanied by the local BJP MLA, gathered to demand removal of the refugees. The fact that the refugees are Muslims, has made them especially vulnerable to being targeted as 'infiltrators.' The VHP issued a press release demanding 'deportation' of 'Myanmarese and Bangladeshi' refugees, whom they branded as infiltrators and a 'security threat'. JNUSU refused to be intimidated, and continued to try and explain matters to the villagers. Several intellectuals and concerned people including former Chief Justice Rajinder Sachar, senior journalist Kuldip Nayar, advocate Sanjay Parikh, Dr Sunilam, Anand Swarup Verma, Wilfred D Costa, Anil Chaudhary, Pushpraj, and Gopal Krishna, urgently faxed the Delhi Police Commissioner asking that the refugees be allowed to remain in Delhi safely till the UNHCR heard their case. Eventually, these efforts succeeded, and the JNUSU could hand over relief to the refugees by evening.
On May 15, JNUSU SSS Councillor, Shivani Nag along with human rights lawyer went to Sultangarhi to accompany the refugee leaders to UNHCR. Two journalists were also present. However, they had to face considerable hostility from the police personnel stationed there who consistently tried to instigate the refugees against the presence of JNU students. The refugees however didn't get influenced by the instigation and continued to insist that the lawyer and the JNUSU representative be included as the participants in the meeting. Police however and didn't even allow the refugees to speak to the JNUSU representative and took them to the UNHRC Office in three separate cars. The JNUSU representative, the lawyer and the two journalists nonetheless reached the UNHRC office in a separate vehicle to monitor situation.
The meeting transpired for nearly three and a half hours during which the JNUSU representative, lawyer and journalist were subjected to highhanded behaviour by the police not even being allowed stand in the vicinity of the office premises. After the meeting, the refugee representatives were whisked away by police, and two of them were detained by the police illegally for hours, with other refugees and JNUSU having no knowledge of their whereabouts.
On May 15, the JNUSU leaders along with Myanmar refugees' representatives also met Delhi CM Sheila Dixit, and Congress MP Digvijay Singh.
At a separate briefing to concerned parties including the JNUSU, the UNHRC Chief assured that they would continue to work towards ensuring that the basic rights of safety, education and health facilities are not denied to refugees once they return to the places in India from where they had come. They also assured that concrete steps would be taken to ensure that all the rights available to those with the Asylum Seeker's Card which included that they are not unduly deported or detained are guaranteed.
JNUSU will keep up the mobilization and vigilance that have been built up during these days to ensure that the government, government agencies, UNHRC continue to honour their commitment towards protecting the rights of the refugees.
First Uttarakhand CPI(ML) Conference
The first State conference of CPI(ML) in Uttarakhand was held at Haldwani on 13-14 May. The Conference site was named in memory of late party leader Comrade Dipak Bose who had initiated the work of building the CPI(ML) as an organised party in Uttarakhand.
On the first day, an open session was held with a seminar on the challenges of building an Uttarakhand free of corruption and mafia rule. Speakers at the Seminar included CPIM State Secretary Com. Vijay Rawat, Uttarakhand Jan Sangharsh Vahini Shamsher Singh Bisht, and several other intellectuals from Haldwani. The main speaker was CPI(ML) General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya.
In-charge of the Uttarakhand Leading Team, Comrade Raja Bahuguna, presented a detailed document on the political situation, the party's history in Uttarakhand, its initiatives after state-formation, and an assessment of its work and organisation. The report was adopted by the house after being discussed and debated enthusiastically by the delegates.
Party GS Comrade Dipankar, addressing the Conference, warmly congratulated the comrades for holding their first state conference, saying that the party's long-standing work in a hill state like Uttarakhand had added a valuable chapter to the all-India party's experiences. The party had been active at the time of the movement for separate statehood. After formation of the new state, big capital and mega projects are making inroads into the state, bringing mega loot in their wake. We must champion the struggles to resist the loot of water, forests, and land, and organise workers, peasants, and women in mass movements. He stressed the need to give a strong organisational shape to the party's mass struggles in Uttarakhand, and said that the party would gain strength from forging closest possible unity with the masses.         
Under supervision of Central observer, CCM Com. Dhirendra Jha, a 13-member State Committee was unanimously elected by the house, which in turn unanimously elected Comrade Rajendra Pratholi as State Secretary. The rest of the State Committee comprises Comrades Raja Bahuguna, Purushottam Sharma, Bahadur Singh Jangi, Nishan Singh, Indresh Maikhuri, KK Bora, Kailash Pandey, Jagat Martoliya, Anand Singh, Man Singh Pal, Malti Haldar, and Surendra Brijwal.
Addressing the Conference, State Secretary Comrade Rajendra Pratholi said that the newly elected committee would strive to implement the directive adopted by the Conference, and to build a strong revolutionary party in Uttarakhand.       
Central observer Comrade Dhirendra Jha said that there is a strong team of leading comrades in Uttarakhand, who will certainly take on the challenge of ensuring continuity of workers' and peasants' struggles and building the party on firm foundations.
The Conference passed several political resolutions including a demand of CBI enquiry into the 121 scams which took place in the past decade of BJP-Congress rule; condemning CM Vijay Bahuguna's support for NCTC, SEZs and anti-people hydroelectric projects and his move to hold a Cabinet meeting at Gairsain without declaring it as the permanent State Capital; withdrawal of all false cases against CPI(ML) activists and other people's movement activists since state formation; and demanding punishment for those responsible for the brutal police assault on AIKM leader Comrade Rajaram Singh.
Bihar Bandh
The May 10 Bihar Bandh called by the CPI(ML) demanding dismissal of the DM and SP responsible for the brutal police assault on protestors against Aurangabad's Chhotu Mukhiya, especially the attack on CPI(ML) CCM Comrade Rajaram Singh, received a very warm response. Several train routes were blockaded, and the GT Road as well as other national highways and state highways and main roads connecting district HQs with blocks, were blockaded for hours.
In the state capital, Patna, the first contingent of Bandh supporters marched from Patna Railway Station to Dakbangla Crossing, which they completely blockaded. This contingent was led by CCM Comrade KD Yadav, AIALA National President Rameshwar Prasad and General Secretary Dhirendra Jha, RYA GS Kamlesh Sharma, State Committee members Umesh Singh, Satyanarayan Prasad and others.  
The main contingent led by party GS Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, PBMs Ramjatan Sharma, Nand Kishor Prasad, Amar, State Secretary Kunal, Central office secretary Prabhat Kumar, AISA State Secretary Abhyuday, and others marched from the south gate of Gandhi Maidam at 11 am and converged at Dakbangla Crossing, where a mass meeting was held, addressed by Comrade Dipankar, AISA-RYA leaders Comrades Abhyuday and Kamlesh, and other senior party leaders.  
AIPWA State Secretary Shashi Yadav and Patna town committee member Murtaza Ali led a sizeable procession in the Chitkohra-Aneesabad area, which blockaded the junction for hours. Another huge procession led by AICCTU State Secretary Ranvijay and party town committee member Pannalal closed shops and markets in Kankadbad. This procession too reached Dakbangla Crossing and joined the main gathering there.
AIPWA State Joint-Secretary Anita Sinha and party town committee member Satyendra Sharma led scores of bandh supporters to blockade the Bailey Road at Ashiyana turning for two hours, holding a mass meeting there. In Patna City, CPI(ML)'s Area Committee secretary Naseem Ansari, peasant leader Shambhunath Mehta, RYA leaders Ramnarayan Singh and Suresh Sahni led a massive procession which closed down shops in the mandi area, and then blockaded Shaheed Bhagat Singh crossing.      
Addressing the mass meeting at Dakbangla Crossing, Comrade Dipankar said that the successful bandh, supported by all sections of people, is a challenge to Nitish's rule, and that the struggle to ensure justice for the victims of Forbesganj firing, Comrade Bhaiyyaram, Comrade Surendra Yadav, Mukhiya Chhotu Mushwaha, and to ensure a CBI enquiry into the Aurangabad murder and police barbarism, dismissal of the DM and SP of Aurangabad, and immediate release of the 29 jailed protestors including Comrade Rajaram Singh, and justice for Bathani Tola victims, would continue.
Scores of bandh supporters were arrested all over Patna, and including Party General Secretary Comrade Dipankar Bhattacharya, State Secretary Comrade Kunal, and several PBMs and CCMs.    
The Purva Express was stopped at Ara, truck traffic was completely stopped at Jehanabad, and the Patna-Gaya train line could not function. Trains were stopped at Darbhanga, Vaishali, Biharsharif, Forbesganj, Siwan, Sikta, Gaya, Kaimur and West Champaran. Huge processions stopped the functioning of Courts at Gopalganj and Jaynagar. Buses, schools, and shops remained non-functional under pressure from bandh supporters at many places all over the State.
District secretaries of Samastipur, Biharsharif, Bhabhua and CPI(ML)'s Rohtas leader Jawahar Yadav were among those arrested while blockading highways and streets, and mass arresting took place at Madhubani, West Champaran, Bhabhua, Chhapra, and Ara. 

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