Wednesday, July 24, 2013

ML Update 31/2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16, No. 31, 23 – 29 JULY 2013

Midday Meal Tragedy in Bihar – Innocent Victims of Callous Governance

he midday meal tragedy at Gandaman village of Masrakh block of Bihar's Chhapra district has come as a severe blow to the tall claims of the powers that be in both Delhi and Patna. The central government treats the midday meal (MDM) scheme as a great innovation that has improved enrolment and retention rate of students at primary level in rural areas while ensuring some basic nutrition to children. And Nitish Kumar is always busy congratulating himself for the great turnaround he claims to have brought about in Bihar. Both these claims lie shattered in the wake of the Masrakh MDM massacre of at least 25 kids (some local people however claim the figure is no less than 29).

The state government instituted a routine probe but even before the probe could reach any conclusion, the education minister of Bihar who recently lost in the Lok Sabha by-poll in the same area, started invoking the conspiracy theory. The school principal who fled away the moment children began to fall ill is apparently related to some leader of the RJD and the minister would want us to believe that the whole tragedy was actually a grand conspiracy hatched by the opposition to discredit and destabilise the government of Bihar. Forensic reports have indicated the presence of a pesticide in the food served to the children, and chances are that the soyabean curry served to the children was actually cooked in pesticide and not edible oil.

The probe must get to the bottom of the tragedy and everybody found guilty or negligent must be punished. But it will clearly be wrong to treat it as an isolated instance – in fact, the very next day there were reports from Madhubani of a similar incident, where children fell ill after taking their midday meal apparently because a lizard had fallen into the food, and from Gaya, where a student died after being administered Vitamin A. The MDM malady is not confined to Bihar – Tamil Nadu too reported a major MDM mishap even as Bihar was reeling under the shock of the Gandaman tragedy. Clearly, the entire MDM scheme is designed and administered in such a flawed and irresponsible manner that the scheme has turned into a scam and tragedies like the Gandaman one can happen almost anywhere anytime.

The Masrakh massacre must lead to a thorough overhauling of the MDM scheme. The midday meal scheme is a key component of the Union government's flagship education programme Sarva Siksha Abhiyan (SSA). Yet there is no guarantee that that the materials used for cooking are fresh and the cooking takes place in a hygienic environment. It is also time the school system, and especially teachers, were freed from the MDM burden. Critics of the MDM scheme rightly point out that education has taken a back seat while the whole focus is on implementing the MDM scheme. And above all, there is this all-important question of how the system deals with the people, especially the poor. The utter contempt with which the poor are treated in every sphere of life can be seen most glaringly in schemes like MDM. It is the rural poor who are forced to send their children to MDM schools and the governments think the poor will put up with anything.

As far as the Bihar government is concerned, it has long been known that like the NRHM in UP, MDM has become a victim of official negligence and pervasive corruption. A few years ago when the government was found guilty of a huge mismatch between its withdrawal and expenditure accounts, considerable irregularities were found in the realm of MDM and SSA. Recently the state government returned an unspent sum of Rs. 462.78 crore received between 2006-07 and 2009-10 ostensibly for building kitchen sheds and purchasing utensils for the MDM scheme. Now in the wake of the Masrakh tragedy, the Union HRD Ministry has started talking of systemic failure in monitoring the MDM project in Bihar.

It is not just the MDM scheme and the education system that have nearly collapsed in Bihar, the systems of healthcare and disaster management also stand brutally exposed. The children had fallen ill at midday on 16 July and effective medical care for critical cases could begin only in Patna and that too after an unpardonable lapse of more than twelve hours by which time the death toll had already reached near twenty, and four more died on the way and two more patients died soon after being admitted in the Patna Medical College and Hospital (PMCH). This shows the state of the healthcare system in districts and the quality of the disaster management response of the state government. Could not the government rush a well equipped medical team to Chhapra from elsewhere? Could not the government use helicopters to airlift critical cases patients to Patna?

The biggest crisis that is being felt in Bihar today is the crisis of governance – the very plank that had brought Nitish Kumar to power. And underlying this crisis of governance is a total absence of sensitivity and accountability. Nitish Kumar who treats the people as subjects who must come to him in the 'Darbars' he holds in Patna or in the course of his periodic 'yatras' (the petitions submitted in such 'darbars' seldom yield any result though) is never to be seen by the side of the people when they are aggrieved, be it a case of police repression or any disaster or calamity, natural or man-made. And ever since the BJP ministers were 'dismissed' it is Nitish Kumar who is holding on to all those ministries and that includes the crucial department of health. Pushed into the opposition, the BJP is now obviously desperate to make political capital of every failure of the government, but it has had an equal share in promoting the official culture of apathy, arrogance, negligence and non-performance masked by phrases like 'good governance' and 'development with justice'. It is significant that the people of Masrakh turned away BJP leader Sushil Modi.

Redesigning of the MDM scheme, a thorough overhaul of the welfare mechanism, and fixing of appropriate accountability for the enormous crime that led to the MDM tragedy at Masrakh – that's the least that we owe to the innocent children whose lives were cut short so tragically by the 'welfare' arm of the state.

CPI(ML) GS Attends Dharna Against Custodial Killing in UP

CPI(ML) General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya on 22nd July attended and addressed a dharna organized by the Rihai Manch, a platform struggling for the release of innocent Muslims framed in false terror charges and demanding probe into the role of security agencies in it. This indefinite dharna that completed 62 days on the 22nd July, has been demanding justice for Khalid Mujahid, a youth jailed on terror charges and killed in police custody even after the UP Government had recommended his release.

Addressing the dharna Comrade Dipankar said that after killing Khalid Mujahid, the UP government is trying to bury the report of RD Nimesh Commission, which had found discrepancies in arrest of Khalid Mujahid and Tariq Qasmi, accused in 2007 serial blasts.

Questioning the role of security agencies, he said there are many instances in which the security agencies have framed innocent people in fake terror charges, and demanded more transparency and reform in functioning of police and security agencies.

Accusing BJP and RSS of trying to polarize people on communal lines, he said that the country cannot be run on Modi's model of mass murders and culture of fake encounters, which were a smokescreen to draw attention away from Modi's policies promoting corporate plunder.

He also said the Samajwadi Party government in Uttar Pradesh, like the Congress nationally, is also hoping to benefit from the polarisation of communities in the state. This explained the SP's collusion with communal forces. "There is Khalid Mujahid in UP, Ishrat Jahan in Gujarat, Qateel Siddiqui in Congress-ruled Maharshtra; the pattern everywhere is the same, regardless of the party in power. It has become a pattern of the Government of India, which only highlights its pro-US policy of Islamophobia," he said.

He also said that Rihai Manch's protest is a "fight not just about the release of innocents who are locked in jails, it is as much about the release of democracy".

 AICCTU's Country wide protests held on 18 July

Picketing in front of showrooms/offices of Maruti Suzuki

All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) held Country-wide protest demonstrations by Picketing in front of showrooms/offices of Maruti Suzuki and organizing rallies in several major cities on 18 July 2013- the day which marks the completion of one year of the determined resistance of workers Maruti Suzuki, Manesar against all out repression and blatant attack on their rights by nexus of Haryana's Hooda government and Maruti management.

On 18th July, several workers of AICCTU and students and youth of AISA and RYA from Delhi and NCR participated in the call of "Manesar Chalo" (Go to Manesar) given by Maruti worker. On this day again the Haryana government and administration exhibited their loyalty to the Maruti administration by imposing section-144 in Manesar region and several parts of Gurgaon. In this situation a mass meeting and demonstration was held near IFFCO Chowk, Gurgaon in which large number of people from civil society also participated. A memorandum was submitted to DC of Gurgaon from this demonstration.

Notably, at the initiative of AICCTU, in Chennai, a massive all-TU joint demonstration was held in which members of AICCTU, CITU, AITUC, HMS, LPF, INTUC, AIUTUC and WPTUC took part. Also, in Mumbai, workers from various trade unions and mass organizations including AICCTU, Sarva Shramik Sangathan, AISA and unions of Blue Star, Reliance Energy, Godrej, Jagruk Kamgar Manch, Kamgar Aghadi, Kachara Vahatuk Sangathan held a rally and convention.

The Chennai demonstration was presided over by Com. Kumaresh, state VP of AICCTU and was addressed by Com. Iraniappan, state secretary of AICCTU, among others. More than 500 workers participated including workers from sectors like Railways, State transport, Electricity board, Ashok Leyland, TI Diamond chain, Carborendum, Gymkhana Club, and some Hospitals and Hotels and also from unorganised sector. In rest of Tamil Nadu, programmes were held in 12 districts. There was a public meeting at Sriperumputhur of Kanji district in which workers including Hyundai participated. At Coimbatore, there was a demonstration at gate of both plants 1 and 3 with a large participation of workers. A strong demonstration was held at Salem with participation of HMS, AITUC and TUI and addressed by Com. Chandramohan, state VP of AICCTU. Also, there were demonstrations at Namakkal and Kanyakumari. In Tanjore construction workers wore demand badges when they assembled for the day's work. In Tirunelveli too, workers of unorganised sector like auto drivers, washer men and others wore demand badges. In Tiruchi Ordnance factory, both permanent and contract workers wore badges in support of Maruti workers' demands.

On 18 July, Bangalore City Committee of AICCTU organized an impressive demonstration in the city centre in solidarity with struggling Maruti workers as a part of the all-India call. The demo was addressed by AICCTU leader Comrade Shankar said that the case of Maruti is the worst example of central and state governments openly siding with MNCs and corporate capital against the working class in the era of globalization and liberalization. Com. Appanna, state secretary, district leaders Krishna Golla, Ashok Gowda and Raghavendra also addressed the demonstrators. Com. Puttegowda, district secretary led the demonstration.

On the same day, another demonstration was organized at Ganagavati in front of Maruti Show Room. Com. Bharadwaj, state president hailed Maruti struggle as a symbol of unity of entire working class defying artificial divisions of contract and permanent. Com. Basavangowda, NCM, Virupakshappa, taluk president and Raghavendra of RYA addressed the demonstrators among others.

In Ranchi, capital of Jharkhand, a strong demonstration and a mass meeting, preceded by a rally, was held in front of show-room of Maruti company, led by leaders of AICCTU including Shubhendu Sen, Sukhdev Prasad and Bhuneshwar Kewat. The demonstrations were also held at steel city of Bokaro and coal belt of Dhanbad and Ramgarh.

In Bhagalpur, Bihar a big demonstration, led by Com. SK Sharma, national VP of AICCTU, was held and an effigy of Hooda government and Maurti management was burnt with participation of hundreds of workers, particularly unorganized workers. In Puduchery, a massive demonstration was held in front of Maruti Showroom in the leadership of AICCTU state secretary, Com. S. Motilal and national secretary, S. Balasubramanian.

The demonstrations were also held in front of Maruti showrooms in Kanpur in U.P. in the leadership of AICCTU's national VP, Hari Singh and in Bhilai, Chattisgarh in the leadership of national leaders of AICCTU JP Nair and Rajendra Parganiha.

Memoranda were sent to CM and Governor of Haryana, Union Labour Minister and Chief Labour Commissioners (Central) from various states.

The demands raised in these country-wide demonstrations were:

Immediately reinstate all terminated workers of Maruti Suzuki Manesar Plant, Suzuki, Powertrain India and Suzuki Motorcycles; unconditional release of the 147 workers lodged in Gurgaon Jail for the past one year and 10 workers and other people lodged in Kaithal jail since 18th May 2013 and withdrawal of all fabricated charges against them; a high level Judicial probe into the violation of labour laws by Maruti and other employers in Gurgaon Manesar belt; an independent, high level Judicial enquiry into the incident of 18 July 2012; Prohibition of the employment of bouncers by employers and regularization of contract labour and other non-regular workers who are engaged in works of a perennial nature and equal pay for equal work.

Mashrakh MDM Massacre:

Nitish Government Has Blood of Children on Its Hands

(A report by CPI(ML)'s Bihar State Secretary Kunal)

The massacre of 23 school children through the mid-day meal on 16th July in Dharmasati Gandaman village of Mashrakh block in Saran district has not only completely exposed the Nitish Government's empty boasts about development, it has also brought to the fore the total insensitivity and irresponsibility of the Government.

When the CPI(ML) team led by General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya reached the place on 17th July afternoon, the village was grief-stricken and also seething with anger. 4 government vehicles had been torched and reduced to cinders by the roadside. In the open maidan of the Dharmasati temple, JCB cranes had been employed to dig graves for the burial of the children. Two children had already been buried and 21 had been placed in the burial pits.

As soon as we entered the village we came upon the house of cook Manju Kunwar whose family was wailing for their dead. 9 children from the family had been killed. We were told that immediately upon consuming the meal, the children tottered, fell to the floor and lost consciousness. They were immediately taken to the Block level hospital at Mashrakh. Seeing no facilities for treatment there, the children were taken to the District HQ in Chhapra. By evening a dozen children had lost their lives. 4 more children died on the way to Patna Medical College Hospital. 27 children were admitted to the hospital, of whom 2 died on the morning of 17th July. 25 children survived the tragedy.

Dharmasati Gandaman village has a population of about 200 families, most of whom are poor and small farmers from the Yadav and Noniya castes. The primary school has no building of its own and is run in the small community hall situated in the open temple complex. Meals were prepared and eaten in the open. On the day of the incident, the cook complained about the foul smell of the oil, and many children refused to eat the food due to its bad smell and poison-like taste but the Principal Meena Devi threatened the children and forced them to eat the food. Now the forensic report has confirmed the presence of large quantities of the pesticide organo-phosphorus in the meal. This pesticide has been banned in 50 countries including the USA but it is still widely used in India. It is so poisonous that it can even enter the body through the pores of the skin and cause death. The villagers tell us that one of them, Bigeshwar Mishra, had submitted a written complaint 6 months ago to the district education officer regarding the pathetic state of the mid-day meals but the authorities took no notice.

The incident has exposed the wretched condition of school education in Bihar. The school education system has failed completely due to lack of an independent system for organizing the mid-day meal scheme, as this has now become one of the main duties of the schools themselves. The State has 8600 primary schools which have no buildings but function under trees, in dilapidated houses, community halls, back yards etc. Moreover, these schools are open to the risk of tragedy at any time through the mid-day meal. There are no arrangements for hygienic cooking and serving of food to the children. There is also huge corruption and scams involved in the scheme.

The mid-day meal played a big role in the recent AC/DC scams which flourish under the politician-bureaucrat-village chief-Principal nexus. The meal is cooked for 100 children but the attendance register records show 200-300 children. Nowhere is the meal cooked according to the prescribed menu. Neither is the directive followed that the cook and teachers must taste the food before it is served to the children. Nowhere in the implementation of the scheme is there any sense that the purpose of the scheme is to feed nutritious food to little children. That is why from all across Bihar (and other states) we get reports of worms in the food, children falling ill and even dying from eating the food.

After this incident children in hundreds of State government schools have refused to eat the food and the mid-day meal scheme is closed at present. What is needed is to develop a system (independent from the teaching work) to cook and serve hygienic and nutritious meals to the children. The administration should be made accountable and stringent action should be taken where regulations are violated.

This incident has also exposed the poor state of the medical system in the State. Apart from the capital (Patna), there are no basic life-saving emergency facilities available anywhere. There were no facilities even for a saline drip in the District hospital at Chhapra and no compounder was available to administer drips. Even in the Patna MCH, the leakage of gas in the AC system caused a panic and the parents/guardians of the children from Mashrakh had to run out of the hospital with the sick children in their arms. Nitish Kumar has repeatedly made announcements of opening a new medical college and increasing the number of seats but these remain on paper only. The Mashrakh incident has thoroughly exposed the sorry state of the medical facilities in Bihar.

The Mashrakh incident has also exposed the pathetic state of Disaster Management in Bihar. Nitish Kumar boasts of having constructed good roads by which one can reach the capital from any corner of Bihar within 4 hours. Then why did it take over 14 hours to bring these children to Patna? Helicopters are available for the CM and his Ministers to tour extensively but not for saving the lives of the poor children of the State. A team of doctors could have been sent to the place or the children could have been shifted to Patna without delay, saving many lives.

The whole of Bihar falls within the risk-prone earthquake zone. There had been a destructive earthquake in 1934. Geologists have warned that at any time Bihar could be the epicentre of a future earthquake. Floods occur and boats capsize every year but the Disaster Management of the State works not to save lives but to fish out dead bodies and is unsuccessful even in this endeavour.

This incident has also exposed the utter heartlessness of the Nitish govt. The CM, who embarks on various yatras at the drop of a hat, neither visited Dharmasati to console the victims nor went to the Patna hospital to meet them. All his Ministers were busy in preparing for the coming elections. All limits were crossed when the Education Minister shamelessly put forward the theory of the incident being the result of a political conspiracy to malign the government. Nitish Kumar considered his duty over when he announced a compensation of 2 lakhs each to the victims.

In all, the repeated acquittal of perpetrators of carnages, the incidents at Forbesganj, Aurangabad, Madhubani, Bagaha and Purnea and now the murder of school children at Mashrakh have brought out the total failure of the Nitish govt. Nitish Kumar has no right to continue to remain in the seat of power in Bihar.

Women Protesters Arrested in Purnea

On 20th July, 1000 women under the banner of AIPWA had protested in Purnea demanding schooling, education for girls who are rape survivors, and freeing of Purnea's adivasi women who remain in jail. The SDO stopped the procession by force, snatched AIPWA flags and banners and beat up the protesters. Following this the women surrounded and soundly beat the SDO, broke the gates of the DM's office and entered the DM's office in full strength. The administration did not have the courage to arrest the women then. But when the women were returning from the city, police picked up some 150 women from various places on their way home! Most of the women resisted the arrest boldly, and were eventually released under pressure from local people. As we go to press, around 50 women are still in custody.



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, July 18, 2013

ML Update 30 / 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol. 16, No. 30, 16 – 22 JULY 2013

Modi-Vani is the Voice of Communal, Corporate-Backed Fascism in India

n an interview to the international news agency Reuters – his very first since becoming Chief of BJP's Campaign Committee – and in a subsequent speech, Narendra Modi has exposed his communal fascist character more thoroughly than any political opponent could have done. Modi's image-managers claim he is a hero of 'development', far above any communal politics. But Modi has brazenly affirmed that contempt, hatred, and violence towards the Muslim minorities is inextricable from his imagery, his metaphors, and his politics.

When asked about the Gujarat massacre of Muslims in 2002, Modi used the analogy of 'kutthe ka baccha' (a phrase that translates as 'puppy' but is also a common term of abuse in Hindi). The ominous implications of the analogy are inescapable. By comparing it with the death of a pup in an accident, Modi is trivialising the 2002 Gujarat massacre and mocking its victims who are seeking justice. He is clearly indicating that in his 'Hindu nation', the cold-blooded killing of Muslims – in communal massacres in which Modi's top Ministers, police officers, and even he himself are implicated, or in staged 'encounters' – will have no more consequences than the 'accidental' death of pups under wheels.

In the interview, Modi has proclaimed that he is a Hindu nationalist; and this, he claims, follows from being a Hindu and a nationalist. This is a complete fallacy. In the history of India's freedom struggle and since, there have been many Hindu who have been Indian nationalists to the core, but have expressly rejected any notion of 'Hindu nation.' The 'Hindu nation' was always a figment of the fascist imagination of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, of which Modi is a proud product.

In the same interview, Modi equated authoritarianism with the qualities of a 'decisive leader'! From advocating 'Hindu nationalism' to justifying authoritarianism, Modispeak is a brazen and arrogant attempt at corporate marketing of fascist imagination. Contrary to BJP's claims, Modi's words are not being twisted out of context; it is he who is seeking to twist India to suit his fascist model marked by genocide, fake encounter killings and unbridled corporate plunder.

On the heels of his 'puppy' analogy, Modi used the 'burqa' metaphor in a speech, saying that the Congress is hiding its failures behind the 'burqa' of secularism. Again, the use of the 'burqa' (rather than the word 'purdah' which is used by Hindus and Muslims alike) metaphor is a very deliberate jibe aimed at the Muslim minority. It is a metaphor calculated to provoke contempt for 'secularism' by equating it with Muslims. Modi's 'sadbhavna' and 'India First' posturing just can't hide the fact that for him, the very thought of 'Muslims' and 'secularism' are associated with 'kutte ka baccha' and 'burqa.' Clearly Modi considers secularism to be a dispensable veil, but India needs it as an essential ingredient for survival and progress. The Congress says it prefers the 'burqa' of secularism to naked communalism. The Congress thus concurs with the BJP that secularism belongs to the realm of form and not essence. For all democratic people, however, secularism must be a non-negotiable aspect of the essence of modern India.

In an earlier phase of BJP's life, Advani was assigned the task of communal fascist hate-speech, while Vajpayee was the 'mukhauta' – the mask of 'governance', or the fig leaf that could allow allies like the JD(U) to justify their support for a BJP-led Government. Even then, the 'mask' was a farce, and both Advani and Vajpayee were simply two sides to the same communal fascist coin. Today, Modi is trying to play both roles: to appease the core Hindutva constituency by brazen boasts of communal violence, fake encounters, and hate-speech, while also posturing as the representative of 'development' and 'governance'.

A leading newspaper has advised Modi to 'improve' his communication and avoid 'gaffes' like his puppy analogy, which the paper admits is 'insensitive' and 'atrocious'. Modi's 'puppy' and 'burqa' remarks are not 'gaffes' – they are the core of his communal fascist temperament and agenda, that no 'development' mask can hide. Modi's corporate well-wishers, as well as the likes of Yashwant Sinha in the BJP, know this all too well – but they still advice that he mask his language and intentions sufficiently enough to pass off for a contender for India's PM, rather than just the 'Hindutva Hriday Samrat' (King of Hindutva Hearts). The likes of Yashwant Sinha – who can perhaps be said to represent the 'Advani' school of thought' – are concerned that Modi is falling into the Congress trap and allowing questions of governance and corruption to be eclipsed by the communalism-secularism debate. But the fact is that secularism and justice cannot be incidental to governance in any democracy. And Modi, just as much as Congress, would like to deflect attention from the questions of corporate plunder that underpin every massive scam that has been promoted by the UPA Government and Congress and BJP states governments alike.

We must resist the attempt by the Congress and BJP alike to turn the Lok Sabha polls into a choice between an outright communal and corporate-backed fascist on the one hand, and, on the other hand, a corrupt, authoritarian regime for whom 'secularism' is simply a cynical, opportunist alibi for all its crimes.

Solidarity with Maruti Workers

A Convention in support of Maruti workers was organized by AICCTU at Coimbatore, marking a year since their incarceration in jail and continuing struggle. N Krishnamurthy, District President of AICCTU, presided over the Convention. NK Natarajan inaugurated the convention. Other speakers included Comrade V R Balasundaram, District President of INTUC, Comrade Arumugam, District General Secretary of CITU, Comrade Sivasamy, District Secretary, Mill Workers' Union affiliated to AITUC, Comrade Subramanian, District President of HMS, Comrade Thiruvengadam, District President of LPF, Comrade Sundaram, President and Comrade Chandran, Treasurer of LMW workers and staff union. Comrade Kumarasamy, National President of AICCTU concluded the convention with his address. Hundreds of workers belonging to various industries attended.

The following resolutions were adopted at the convention signed by all participatory unions.

1) The Convention prevails upon the Haryana Government to take immediate action to get bail for the jailed workers.

2) Government should cancel the unfair labour practice of contract system of employment in Maruti.

3) The Convention unanimously declared its solidarity for the fighting workers of Maruthi.

A protest rally was organized by AICCTU in favour of Maruti Manesar's sacked employees on 11th July in Rally Ground, Chandigarh. Workers associated with various unions affiliated with AICCTU participated from Mansa, Sangrur, Bathinda, Gurdaspur and Chandigarh. Workers of Maruti also participated in large numbers. More than 400 workers from PGI Contract Workers Union, PEC Contract Workers Union, Krantikari Kamkaji Mahila Sangathan, Ordinance Cable Factory Employees Union, Chandigarh Club Employees Union, Punjab Kisan Union, AIPWA participated in the protest. A delegation including Mahaveer Dhiman, Rajpal from Maruti Union and Gurmeet (AICCTU), Sukhdev and Sanjeev went to give demands letter. Demand letter was received by Mr. Kapoor, OSD to CM Haryana, who though assured of arranging a meeting with CM Haryana but was speaking the same language of Maruti Management. Addressing the gathering Com. Kanwaljit said that the victory of Maruti workers will be victory of Indian working class and defeat to neo-liberal policies. A fund of Rs. 50,000/- was also handed over to Maruti workers Union as support from AICCTU. Among others Com. Gurmeet Singh Bakhtpura(AICCTU), Com. Satish(AICCTU), Com. Sanjeev(PGI Union), Com. Sukhdev(PGI Union), Com. Isha(KKMS), Com Gurnam Bhikhi(PKU), Com. Jasbir Kaur Natt(AIPWA) and leaders of Chandigarh Club addressed the rally. Adv Harish from Punjab & Haryana High Court also participated in the rally.

Ambattur Residents Strike for Hospitals, Schools

(report appeared in The Hindu, July 14)

Residents and members of various associations sat on a day-long hunger strike in Ambattur on 13th July, demanding a government hospital and government schools in the locality.

Nearly 250 persons participated in the demonstration organised jointly by All India Students Association, Uzhaipor Urimai Iyakkam and Revolutionary Youth Association. People living in western suburbs between Padi and Tiruvallur either have go to Tiruvallur government hospital or Kilpauk Medical College Hospital for treatment.

There are no government hospitals on the 35 km-stretch between these two localities connected by the accident-prone Chennai Tiruvallur High Road.

R. Mohan, district president of Uzhaipor Urimai Iyakkam, said that the few health posts of Chennai Corporation or the Avadi municipality were not sufficient to meet residents' requirements. Several residents, who cannot afford treatment in private hospitals, travel for over an hour on the CTH Road for medical care in the nearest government hospital. A government general hospital in Ambattur was necessary.

Other long-pending demands included the sanction of more government schools, especially for boys and a government college. He said that Ambattur had only a government girls' higher secondary school. Boys, who cannot afford education in private and government-aided schools, tend to drop out, he added.

At least four government schools were essential for students in Kalyanapuram, Mangalapuram, Kamarajapuram, Indira Nagar and Thiruvalluvar Nagar.

K. Bharathi, national secretary of Revolutionary Youth Association, said that many Chennai Corporation-run schools in Ambattur were either primary or middle schools. The civic body must upgrade some of them to higher secondary schools. The private schools must also display on notice boards information about the admissions made under the Right to Education Act. Residents said they had to travel for over an hour to get access to quality healthcare.

AISA-RYA Spearhead Protest against Changes in Banking Exam Criteria

AISA and RYA have spearheaded countrywide protest against the newly imposed criteria of Institute of Banking Personnel Selection (IBPS). IBPS, which conducts a common entrance test for recruitment in almost all nationalized banks of India except SBI, has changed its criteria for appearing in Bank P.O./Management Trainee Examination. The new criteria says

• The Candidate must be having degree (Graduation) with 60% (55% for SC/ST/PWD) marks in any discipline from a recognized University or any equivalent qualification recognized as such by the Central Government. Earlier it was a degree (graduation) in any discipline.

• Minimum: 20 years Maximum: 28 years i.e. a candidate must have been born not earlier than 02.07.1985 and not later than 01.07.1993 (both dates inclusive). Earlier the maximum age was 30 years.

This arbitrary move will exclude lakhs of students from the chance to even appear in the exam and elitise the whole process of selection in banks that is the biggest nationalized sector in India. This kind of arbitrary criteria has been brought in such a time when lakhs of student are preparing for this examination from last 3-4 years. Most importantly, IBPS is taking this step oblivious of the fact that it already has a standard entrance examination for recruitment. Banks like SBI have done away with such criteria.

As soon as the changed criteria came to light, AISA and RYA gave a call for countrywide protest on 12-13th July. On 12th July, protesters under the banner of AISA-RYA were lathicharged at Patna. Protests took place at Patna, Ara, Samastipur, Darbhanga, Bhagalpur in Bihar; and Banaras and Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. On the 13th, students at Allahabad protested.

On 15th July, a delegation of AISA-RYA met the Under Secretary of Department of Financial Services at the IBPS Headquarters at Mumbai and have given him an ultimatum to take back IBPS's arbitrary decision before the commencement of registration on 22nd July and warned that if this decision was not taken back AISA-RYA will organize nationwide protest and boycott the competitive exams at mass scale.

On 15th July, AISA and RYA assembled at Jantar Mantar and marched towards the department of Financial Services, Jeevan Deep Building on Parliament Street. Students from different localities of cities, who prepare for competitive exams, as well as students from Delhi University, Jawahar Lal Nehru University and Jamia Millia Islamia took part in this protest demonstration.

On 16th July, around 700 students under the banner of AISA-RYA protested at Lucknow. On the same day, vigorous Rail Roko Rasta Roko protests were held at Patna, Ara, Darbhanga, and Bhagalpur.

AISA and RYA have called for a protest in Delhi on 19th July, where protesters will gather at India Gate and march towards the Finance Ministry.

Joshimath Dharna to Save Pack Animals

(Report from The Hindu)

Some mule owners and residents of Uttarakhand's Chamoli district began a fast-unto-death on Sunday evening to press the authorities to rescue over 1,200 mules and horses stranded on the riverside in Govindghat, Chamoli. The protesters, including mule owners, and members of Communist Party of India and Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist), are fasting in front of Joshimath Sub-Divisional Magistrate Anup Kumar Nautiyal's office.

CPI (ML) member Atul Sati, one of those on fast, said: "Around 35 to 40 mules are dying every day due to lack of fodder." The authorities do send fodder for the mules, but it serves only around 400 mules, he said. Some residents held a meeting with Mr. Nautiyal and advised him to build a makeshift bridge to rescue the animals. It was agreed that work on the bridge would start in a day or two.

Representatives of the Tehri Hydro Development Corporation, the National Thermal Power Corporation and the Jaiprakash Power Ventures Ltd. — the hydropower companies operating in the area - agreed to provide financial and technical assistance for the rescue. But, the chief engineer of the Public Works Department rejected the idea, saying the bridge could not be constructed for another 15 days as the work could start only when the construction materials reached Govindghat. That, according to him, would happen only when the Badrinath highway was unblocked. "We have requested the concerned authorities to give strict orders to the PWD to agree on makeshift trolleys to rescue the mules. The hydropower project authorities also have agreed on rescuing the stranded mules through trolleys. However, this idea of trolleys was rejected by the PWD chief engineer who is adamant on bridge construction," Mr. Nautiyal said. Talks were on and a breakthrough would be made in the coming days, he added.

 Dindigul Collectorate Gheraoed by MNREGA Workers

More than 300 workers mostly women gheraoed the collectorate for Government-declared wages of Rs. 148 for the workers and to do away with the practice of measurement system of work done. Women workers told media persons that soil is too hard without rains and it is very difficult to meet measurement guidelines by government. They said Government is paying Rs.40 only when 1 Kg onion is selling at the rate of Rs.40 per Kg.

The Demonstration and Gherao was led by Comrade Manivel, district organiser of AICCTU, Comrade Vallymayil and Janaki and other leading women comrades of the district.

Supreme Court-appointed Panel's Findings on AFSPA in Manipur

(Based on reports in The Hindu and the TOI)

In a severe indictment of the AFSPA and its defence by the Indian Government, a Supreme Court-appointed Judicial Commission has noted that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act or AFSPA has failed to tackle insurgency and is providing a shield of impunity to the armed forces to indulge in gross violation of human rights.

Noting that the use of the AFSPA was being done by making mockery of law, the Commission has noted that there was gross abuse of the Act and encounters being carried out in the North-eastern State were not genuine. "It would appear that the security forces believed a priori that the suspects involved in the encounters had to be eliminated and the forces acted accordingly," the report added.

The Commission, which was headed by former judge Santosh Hegde with former Chief Election Commission J.M. Lyngdoh and retired IPS officer A.K. Singh as its members, was formed by the apex court to investigate alleged cases of extra judicial killings in Manipur. In September last year, the Extrajudicial Execution Victim Families' Association (EEVFAM)) along with Human Rights Alert (HRA) submitted a list of 1,528 cases of killings in Manipur since 1979 before the Supreme Court and demanded investigation into the deaths.

Encounters not genuine: In its 100-page report, the Commission pointed out that the six sample cases of encounters it investigated, it found that they were "not genuine" and that "maximum force" was used to kill people. "Though the Act gives sweeping powers to security forces even to extent of killing a suspect with protection against prosecution, it does not provide any protection to the citizens against its possible misuse…Normally, the greater the power, the greater the restraint and stricter the mechanism to prevent its misuse or abuse. But in case of the AFSPA in Manipur this principle appears to have been reversed," the report added.

In January 2013, the Justice Verma Committee, in its report setting forth measures to curb sexual violence, had also highlighted the misuse of the AFSPA by Army personnel and recommended that "sexual violence against women by members of the armed forces or uniformed personnel must be brought within the purview of the ordinary criminal law."

"We notice that impunity for systematic or isolated sexual violence in the process of Internal Security duties is being legitimised by the AFSPA, which is in force in large parts of our country. It must be recognised that women in conflict areas are entitled to all the security and dignity that is afforded to citizens in any other part of our country," the report said.

Shocked by the report, a bench of Justices Aftab Alam and Ranajana Desai said a major portion of the blame lay at the door of the Centre, saying "This is not the best way to integrate (north-eastern) people. It is the best way to alienate them."

They said security forces and police threw caution to the wind while following guidelines in conducting such "operations". They said the security forces have conducted raids and resorted to firing merely on the basis of source information without bothering to cross-check even once the authenticity of the 'source'. The Bench sought responses from the Centre, Manipur government and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to the Hegde panel's report within five days.

The court lauded the effort of the three-member inquiry committee for meticulously collecting evidence from complainant, witnesses, security forces and police before concluding that "none of these six incidents qualified as a genuine one".

It said, "What we find distressing is that the elaborate guidelines laid down by the Supreme Court, series of guidelines issued by Army headquarters, NHRC and the Manipur government have been confined to the papers. Nothing is followed in practice (by armed forces and police while carrying out the operations)."

The bench said, "The Army authorities have issued a series of dos and don'ts. But, unfortunately none of the guidelines or the dos and don'ts is followed in actual operations. One of the issues before the court is how to ensure the state police and security forces follow the guidelines".


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:

Friday, July 12, 2013

ML Update 29 / 2013

ML Update

A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine

Vol.  16                          No. 29                                     9-15 JUL 2013

Intensify the Struggle for Justice for Ishrat Jehan   

The chargesheet filed by the CBI in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case is a belated and partial step in the direction of justice for a young 19-year-old girl, drugged and gunned down in cold blood with 3 others by Gujarat cops in connivance with IB officers. The ugly details of this heinous murder now stand confirmed by the testimony of some Gujarat policemen themselves. 

Nearly a decade ago, the Gujarat police displayed the bodies of Ishrat Jahan and 3 others, claiming they were terrorists killed in an encounter, and that they had been aiming to kill Narendra Modi.

Subsequently, in 2009, the Ahmedabad Metropolitan Magistrate SP Tamang termed the encounter as "fake". In 2011, the Court-appointed SIT also concluded that the encounter had been staged. The Tamang report, the SIT report and the findings of the CBI enquiry ordered by the Court, have all confirmed what Ishrat's mother and family maintained all along: that Ishrat was killed in cold blood. The killing was staged to fit in with the script of an FIR that was prepared prior to the killing!  And there are also leads to suggest that Gujarat Home Minister Amit Shah (today BJP's campaign in-charge in UP) and the Chief Minister Narendra Modi gave a green signal for the killing.

Testimonies of Gujarat cops to the CBI, including a sting operation by one of the cops, reveal the involvement of Gujarat's senior-most police officials, as well as senior officers of the Intelligence Bureau (IB), those known to be very close to Amit Shah and Narendra Modi. 

It is clear that this particular fake encounter was not just a case of some trigger-happy cops. There are all indications that there is an elaborate political plot behind the killings. The fact is that a series of 'encounters' in Gujarat – of Sohrabuddin, Kauser Bi and Tulsiram Prajapati, of Sadiq Jamal, of Samir Khan – now established as fake by investigating agencies, all played out to a certain political script. The same team of Gujarat cops led by DG Vanzara are implicated in all these killings, which were all aimed at promoting the myth of Modi as the target of terrorist attacks by Muslims. The question of who ordered all these killings that benefited Modi politically, and that were carried out by Gujarat's top cops needs an answer.     

The BJP has been accusing the CBI of acting as a tool for the Congress-UPA Government to target Narendra Modi. But the truth is that the Congress-UPA Government itself seems interested in a cover-up. The Home Ministry, which in the past done its best to help cover up the Ishrat fake encounter, has made it clear that they are seeking to protect the IB officers implicated in the case, by claiming that the CBI will need 'sanction' from the Ministry in order to prosecute the IB. The IB cannot continue to remain a shady institution that acts without any accountability to the Indian Constitution. Lawlessness by IB officers must be punished as severely as lawlessness by any citizen.   

The CBI's chargesheet has not named IB officer Rajendra Kumar and other IB officers as accused. Yet the chargesheet states that Rajendra Kumar assisted in managing the illegal custody of Ishrat Jahan; and had, along with top Gujarat cops including Vanzara had met Javed and Ishrat during their illegal custody. With such material in the chargesheet, there can be no excuse for failing to book Rajendra Kumar. The BJP, and even the Samajwadi Party have been accusing the UPA Government of weakening the fight against terror by allowing the CBI to 'demoralise the IB'. Fake encounters cannot help identify or punish real terrorists – and the shameful politics of condoning murder in the name of IB 'morale' must be exposed and resisted.

Suggestions by media commentators that India must institutionalize 'controlled killings' or that 'order' may not be compatible with 'law' are extremely dangerous. In any genuine democracy, and in the spirit of the Indian Constitution, Courts, not cops, get to decide who is guilty of crime or terrorism. The pleas for condoning or rationalizing extra judicial executions in any form must be firmly resisted by democratic citizens.            

The IB has tried to claim that they have tapes of phone conversations between LeT terrorists which prove that Ishrat was a terrorist; they also claim that David Headley confirmed that Ishrat was an LeT operative. None of these claims are backed up by any facts. The so-called tapes of LeT phone calls have no mention of Ishrat, plus the IB can't answer why these tapes, if genuine, were not handed over to the Tamang enquiry or the SIT during their investigations. The claim that Headley named Ishrat as a terror operative during interrogation by the NIA is yet to be confirmed by the NIA itself. And even the sentence attributed to Headley by sections of media by no means confirms that Ishrat was a terrorist.

Failing to establish a definite terror link, the BJP is now falling back on sexist slandering of Ishrat's character. BJP spokesperson Meenakshi Lekhi has been saying that Ishrat, a young woman, travelled alone with men, and this in itself is suspicious. She also said that since Ishrat was a young woman from a poor family, she was an ideal candidate to be a terrorist.      

The political slanging match between BJP and Congress cannot hide the fact that the Congress simply has not walked its secular tall talk – be it in the Ishrat Jahan case where the Home Ministry has continuously helped to cover up the fake encounter, or in other cases of communal violence and fake encounters, where Congress Governments have never taken decisive action to punish the perpetrators. Congress governments have also been involved in fake encounters and false framing of innocent Muslims in terror cases: witness Batla House, Malegaon, Mecca Masjid cases. And Congress governments took no action against Advani and other BJP leaders in the Babri Masjid demolition case even after the recommendations of the Liberhans commission, or against Bal Thackeray in the Bombay riots case after the recommendations of the Srikrishna Commission. The Supreme Court has pulled up the Manipur Government for a series of fake encounters, while in Kashmir, mass graves stand as grisly evidence of hundreds of fake encounters. Any progress in the Ishrat Jahan case is due, not to the Congress government, but to the courageous efforts of her family and rights activists.

We must struggle to ensure that the killers – as well as the political conspirators behind the killing – are punished in the Ishrat Jahan case. Justice for Ishrat Jahan can pave the way for justice for victims of extra judicial killings in the whole country.    

Resolutions Adopted by



The All India Left Coordination (AILC) held a meeting on 6th July 2013 in Delhi, attended by representatives of constituent parties.

The meeting expressed condolences for departed Left leaders: Comrades Jagjitsingh Lyallpuri, Comrade Satyapal Dang of CPI, Com. Saudamini Katre of LNP(L), Comrades Kala Tamang and Bhim Sher Thapa of the CPRM, and Comrade Brij Bihari Lal (Mahashayji) of CPI(ML). 

The resolutions adopted at the meeting are as below:

1.  The AILC expressed condolences at the flood calamity in Uttarakhand, and resolved to intensify the efforts to collect and disburse relief to the survivors of the tragedy. The people of Uttarakhand are struggling to rebuild their lives in the aftermath of the disaster, and relief efforts by the State and Central Governments are extremely inadequate. The AILC will pursue the question of relief and rehabilitation with the governments. The AILC also demands a thorough review of the model of development being followed in Uttarakhand and other ecologically sensitive areas of the country, since it is apparent that the environmental devastation is at the root of natural calamities.

2.  The AILC welcomed the filing of a chargesheet in the Ishrat Jahan fake encounter case, which exposed yet again the communal and undemocratic character of the Modi model of governance. The AILC said that over the past nine years, Ishrat's family and rights activists had struggled for justice in the face of all odds, while not only the Gujarat Government, but also the Central Government's Home Ministry had conspired to cover up the crime. Even now, the Home Ministry's reluctance to allow prosecution of IB officers implicated in this heinous crime was condemnable. The AILC said that the political conspiracy behind the encounter must be laid bare, and all those involved in staging the fake encounter – including Gujarat police officials, IB officers, and political leaders – must all be identified and booked. The AILC said that governments of every hue have been complicit in extra judicial killings and the witch-hunt of innocent Muslim youth. The AILC called for resisting this politics of Islamophobia tooth and nail, and hoped that justice in the Ishrat Jahan case would pave the way for justice in other cases of fake encounters in Gujarat as well as in the rest of India. 

3.  The AILC condemned the attempts of the UPA Government to bypass Parliament and pass a diluted Food Security Ordinance instead of a truly effective Food Security Act. The Ordinance reduces the entitlement of food; limits the rations to cereals alone; opens the door for cash to replace food rations; does nothing to boost procurement and revitalize agriculture; denies maternal benefits to mothers with more than two children; and continues with the dubious method of 'targeting' the needy, which excludes large sections of the poor. The Ordinance claims to cover 67% of the population. The Arjun Sengupta report had found that 77% of India's people spend less than Rs.20 per day. The Government is yet to refute these findings, and clearly, at least 77% are undoubtedly poor, while even those spending more than Rs 20 are also poor and needy. Therefore AILC demands universal food security coverage, which instead of seeking to identify the poor can target and exclude only the obviously rich – those who enjoy property and salary above a certain ceiling. AILC demands an effective Food Security Bill to be passed in Parliament, which ensures at least 50 kg of foodgrains for each family at Rs 1 per kg; other essential food items such as millets, pulses and oil; absolutely no option of cash transfer replacing food rations; no weakening of maternal entitlements; and measures to boost procurement and revitalise agriculture.   

4.  The AILC condemns the UPA Government's craven attitude of endorsing US spying operations, and denial of asylum to whistleblower Edward Snowden who exposed the spying. The AILC hails the offer of asylum to Snowden by Bolivian President Evo Morales, and condemns the shocking and unprecedented violation of international protocol by Governments of France, Portugal, Spain and Italy in denying permission for the plane carrying President Evo Morales of Boliva through their airspace. AILC demands that India resist US snooping operations and also stop its own attempts to violate the right to privacy of Indian citizens.

5.  The AILC will hold a Convention on 11 August at Constitution Club marking the Centenary of the historic Ghadar movement, which represents a unique revolutionary legacy.

Meeting Demands Justice for Ishrat Jehan

A public meeting was held by the Justice for Ishrat Jehan campaign at Constitution Club on 6th July in Delhi where activists demanded justice for Ishrat. There was an attempt by Hindutva activists to violently disrupt the meeting, but this was thwarted by women activists. The meeting was addressed by Ishrat Jahan's sister Mussarat Jahan, her mother Shamima Kausar, and her uncle, as well as by her lawyer Vrinda Grover, who together have made the remarkable effort to pursue justice and expose the truth.

The meeting, conducted by Shabnam Hashmi of Anhad, was also addressed by CPI(M) Politburo member Brinda Karat, CPI(ML) Politburo member Kavita Krishnan, CPI leader Annie Raja, historian Dr. Uma Chakravarty, Prof. Kamal Mitra Chenoy, Manisha Sethi of JTSA, JNUSU President Lenin Kumar, and many others. Syeda Hamid, Gauhar Raza and Mohammad Farooqui rendered poems on the occasion. The meeting was followed by a candlelight vigil for Ishrat.       

Advocates' Demonstration Demands CBI Enquiry Into Ilavarasan's Death

Democratic Advocates Association (DAA) of Madras High Court held a demonstration before the Madras High Court on July 5th demanding arrest of those responsible for Dalit youth Ilavarasan's suspicious death that TN police is claiming to be a suicide.

DAA also held Ramadoss, Anbumani Ramadoss and Kaduvetti Guru of PMK responsible for not only for attacks on dalit dwellings in Dharmapuri and Marakkanam but for the death of Ilavarasan death also and demanded their immediate arrest.

Speakers in the demonstration came down heavily on the state government which failed miserably in providing security for the dalit masses in the state and particularly for Ilavarasan whose life was in obvious danger.

More than 100 advocates of Madras High Court participated in the demonstration led by Com.Bharathi, Convenor, DAA. Senior Advocates SankaraSubbu and Tamilinian who spoke in the demonstration also held the proceedings of the court in the habeas corpus case responsible for Ilavarasan's death.

The demonstration in its course turned into a road roko and the main road was blocked for a while. The speakers called for powerful mobilization of advocates against caste oppression in the state.

Demonstrations on these demands were also held in two centers in Pudukottai district. Com.Pala.Asaithambi, SCM of the Party led the demonstrators.

Dalits in TN Assert Defy Untouchability, Assert Right to Enter Temple

Pudukottai district in Tamilnadu is known for continued untouchability. CPI(ML) has waged struggles in this area for the rights of dalits since its inception.

Dalits were prohibited from entering into Azhageri Amman temple situated in Periakottai village since time immemorial. Com.Govindasamy, District committee member of CPI(ML) is the elected President of the Panchayat of this village now and dalits were determined to enter into the temple for the festival this year. Castiest forces belonging to all backward communities do not want this to happen, and they mobilised MPs, MLAs and bureaucrats behind them. When peace talks convened by the Tahsildar failed, he announced cancellation of festivities.

CPI(ML) declared that cancelling the festival means succumbing to untouchability or 'untouchability by the backdoor', and organised a wider campaign to pressurise the district administration to take a stand against the castiest elements.

After a few rounds of discussion with district administration and police authorities it was decided to give protection for dalits to worship. Strong police pickets were posted and thousands of dalits entered the temple. There were minor skirmishes but police restrained both sides. Com Asaithambi, CPI(ML)'s district secretary, State Committee member Valathan and other district committee members of the party played an active role.

Dalit Landless Lay Claim to Gairmazarua Land in Siwan

Resist Armed Assault By Landlords Led by BJP MLA  

In Chilmarvan village of Guthni block of Siwan, Bihar, dalit landless poor led by CPI(ML) has been conducting a 'Allot Land, Give Papers to Allottees' campaign. Recently, the dalit landless bravely resisted armed assault by BJP-supported landlords. The landless poor had laid claim to 12 bighas of gairmazarua land, and erected hutments on 1 bigha of the land. The Nitish Government's promise of allotting land to mahadalits has proved hollow, but when the mahadalit landless poor themselves took the initiative to claim land, the administration came to evict them. CPI(ML) leaders had talks with administration on the night (9 pm) of 5th July. During the talks the administration assured that having checked the land records and ascertained its gairmazarua status, the poor would be given legal rights to the land. CPI(ML) leaders Amarnath Yadav and Amarjit Kushwaha returned after the talks. But even as the administration conducted talks, there was firing by BJP-backed landlords, which the police did nothing to stop.

The next day, 6 July, the landlords and their hired goons, at the behest of BJP MLA Ramayan Majhi, returned shouting 'Long Live BJP' and again attacked the settlement of landless dalits, armed with firearms and sticks. There were preparations to terrorise and massacre the dalit poor, and the administration was missing in action, doing nothing to apprehend those who came in a mass to attack dalits in their homes. The dalit poor had no choice but to defend themselves, and thanks to their brave resistance, two of the landlords' hired goons were killed.              

Subsequently, the administration is trying to fix false charges against Bihar AIALA State President and former MLA Satyadev Ram, and RYA National President Amarjit Kushwaha. CPI(ML) leaders were not even present at the site, having returned following an assurance by the administration that the land would be allotted to the dalits. Why, then, were CPI(ML) leaders The administration should answer why they took to action to prevent an armed mob of landlords and goons from launching an assault on dalits? Given the absence of police and administration, would the Nitish Government prefer that the dalits fail to defend themselves, and allow themselves to be massacred?

On 9 July, AIALA and RYA held a statewide protest day demanding withdrawal of the false cases against ML leaders and demanding arrest of BJP MLA Ramayan Majhi. In Siwan, scores of youth led by Amarjit Kushwaha marched in protest and burnt an effigy of the CM Nitish Kumar, braving repression by the police. When the police stopped protesters at JP Chowk, protesters kept JP Chowk blockaded for hours, till they were arrested. Protests were also held at Patna's JP Golambar, as well as at districts and towns all over Bihar.  

TN AICCTU In Support of Struggling Maruti Workers

At a demonstration cum rally organized by the Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union in Faridabad, Haryana on 7th July 2013, a solidarity fund of Rs. 50,000/- was handed over to the leaders of the Union by three worker leaders of AICCTU from auto companies of Tamil Nadu – Coms. John Sundaram, President Pricol Workers' Union, K. Palanivel (CWC member of AICCTU) from Diamond Chains, and Gokul Krishnan from MRF, who came all the way to Delhi to donate this fund to Maruti workers.

This was the first installment of fund of one lakh rupees collected by the workers of these auto companies in Tamil Nadu in support of struggle of workers of Maruti Manesar on the call of Tamil Nadu unit of AICCTU. The 2nd and final installment of this fund will be donated to them on 11th July in Chandigarh (capital of Haryana and Punjab), where AICCTU's Chandigarh and Punjab units have organized a big demonstration programme with the  participation of Maruti workers to raise their voice in the seat of Haryana government.

In continuation of their struggle, the Maruti union has taken up a series of programmes since 1st July which will culminate in indefinite sit-in and hunger strike at Manesar from 18 July, the day when last year 147 workers were thrown into the jails and 2300 workers were terminated under the pretext of an incident of violence in Maruti, Manesar Plant.

In this series of programmes, on 7th July 2013 in Faridabad, Haryana, the union organized a rally and demonstration before the residence of Labour Minister of Haryana. The mass meeting held at Pyali Chowk before rally was addressed by, among others, the national secretary of AICCTU, Rajiv Dimri. He said that the last years' 18th July incident and subsequent repression unleashed on Maruti workers is yet another proof to the fact that the democracy in India, known as the largest democracy in the world, is the democracy only for the big corporates and MNCs such as this Japanese company owning Maruti, but at the same time an autocracy, a regime of repression and oppression for working class, the down-trodden and the toiling people of the country. While saluting the heroic struggle of Maruti workers in the face of repression of all kinds, he exhorted them to make the 11th July demonstration in Chandigarh and indefinite sit-in cum hunger strike at Manesar from 18 July a resounding success. He reiterated AICCTU's continued support for them in all situations and declared that AICCTU will organize an all-India protest Day on 18th July by picketing in front of Maruti's Showrooms and offices in all major cities including Delhi, apart from joining in large number the sit-in at Manesar. At the end of his address, he introduced the comrades of Tamil Nadu to the Maruti workers after which the solidarity fund was handed over to them with short speeches by them. In the mass meeting and rally, ten banners containing signatures of thousands of workers of auto companies, lawyers, and intellectuals from Tamil Nadu in support of the struggle of Maruti workers were displayed and handed over to them.

The rally was participated by leaders and activists of AISA, RYA, All India Kisan Mahasabha and Jan Sanskriti Manch including Sandeep Singh, Aslam Khan, Prem Singh Gehlawat and Kapil Sharma.

At the end of rally, a big section of demonstrating workers forced into the house of Labour Minister of Haryana led by a delegation comprising of leaders of Maruti union-  Katar Singh, Mahavir, Rajpal and others; Prem Singh Gehlawat, vice president of Kisan Mahasabha and AICCTU leaders Santosh Roy, Ranjan Ganguly and Rajiv Dimri. The delegation then submitted a memorandum demanding the Minister's urgent intervention for release of all workers and other people lodged in Kaithal jail on 18-19 May, release of 147 workers lodged in Gurgaon Jail for last one year, reinstatement of all terminated workers and an impartial inquiry into the 18th July 2012 incident.

The next day i.e. on 8th July the leaders of Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union visited the central office of AICCTU and met the President and General Secretary Coms. S. Kumarasamy and Swapan Mukherjee to thank them for the support and to discuss further course of action.  

CPI(ML) Protests Arrest and Custodial Killing of Adivasi Youth in Mirzapur, UP

A 22-year old adivasi man Mahesh of Rampur village, Madihan thana in Mirzapur had left the village some days back with a married woman from the same community. The police apprehended both some days back, and then arrested Mahesh. CPI(ML) and AIPWA leader Jeera Bharti and other CPI(ML) leaders had protested the arrest and gheraoed the Patehra police chowki where he was being held. Jeera Bharti along with the woman's family were trying to facilitate the woman's divorce from her husband, and marriage with Mahesh, in keeping with her wishes. But the police, far from releasing Mahesh, instead brutally beat him all night, even as protesters remained gathered outside the chowki. In the morning of 8th July, Mahesh was dead – killed by brutal beating in police custody.

The police have been trying to cover up the case by filing a 'non cognizance report' and claiming the death to be a suicide. CPI(ML) intensified the protest, led by CPI(ML) CC member Mohd Salim and local leaders, and other parties too joined the protest. As a result of the protest, an FIR with murder harges has been lodged, and some cops suspended, but the killer cops are yet to be arrested.   

Uttar Pradesh is gaining notoriety for custodial deaths – the death of Khalid Mujahid in police custody is still being protested, and meanwhile, Mahesh has been killed in custody. Even the arrest of Mahesh was completely illegal, since he had committed no crime requiring arrest by having a consensual relationship with a married woman.

Relief Work in Uttarakhand

CPI(ML) activists along with local people have been at the forefront of remarkable relief efforts in remote areas of Dharchula, Pithoragarh as well as at Kedarnath. Detailed first hand reports from the ground will be carried in the next issue.  

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: