A CPI(ML) Weekly News Magazine
Vol. 18, No. 35, 25 – 31 AUGUST 2015
Intensify People's Resistance against the Aggression of the BJP-Ranveer Sena Nexus
The Cobrapost released its video investigation about the Ranveer Sena in Delhi on 17 August. The very next day we saw Modi address a rally at Ara in Bhojpur, and quite characteristically Modi attempted to brush the entire truth about the BJP-Ranveer Sena nexus under the carpet with the theatrical announcement of the so-called Rs. 125,000 crore Bihar package. But the truth was out again after forty-eight hours when BJP-Ranveer Sena goons killed CPI(ML) leader Comrade Satish Yadav near Agiao. The BJP's campaign for the Bihar Assembly elections had begun, much the same way as during the Lok Sabha elections, when Comrade Budhram Paswan, another popular leader of the CPI(ML) was killed in a similar fashion.
Comrade Satish Yadav was a young popular leader of poor peasants and sharecroppers. He was a key leader of the recent agitation conducted by the CPI(ML) and All India Kisan Mahasabha to compel the administration to procure paddy from small farmers and sharecroppers. The procurement agitation was followed by a second round to secure payment of dues for the paddy sold. Be it the issue of irrigation for farmers, ration for the poor, electricity supply to the hamlets of the poor, education for local children or dignity of the oppressed, Comrade Satish was always in the forefront of the campaign to serve the people and fight for their rights.
The Ranveer Sena has always sought to justify its murderous campaign against the rural poor in Bihar in the name of 'protecting the interests of the peasantry'. But once again it has been caught red-handed killing a popular leader who fought as much for the peasantry as for rural labourers and stood for the broader unity of the aggrieved agricultural population. When they could no longer sustain the politics of massacres, the feudal-criminal nexus epitomised by the Ranveer Sena began targeting individual CPI(ML) leaders. It started with the assassination of Comrade Manju in Arwal in November 2003, and more recently we have lost Comrade Bhaiyaram Yadav (member of Party State Committee and secretary of Rohtas District Committee), Comrade Budhram Paswan (member of Bhojpur District Committee), and now Comrade Satish Yadav. Comrade Upadhyay Yadav, popular leader and Zila Parishad member of Jahanabad district survived a lethal attempt on his life in May this year and is now recovering from serious bullet injuries.
Serial massacres, targeted killings of CPI(ML) leaders and activists, attacks on Dalit students and hostels in the wake of the killing of Brahmeswar Singh, brutal assaults on women (the gangrape of Mahadalit girls in Kurmuri of Bhojpur in October 2014 and the recent attack on dalit women in Shiromani Tola in Parbatta block of Khagaria on 27 July this year are two horrific instances in recent months) – such has been the track record of the feudal-criminal forces patronised by the BJP in Bihar. And the BJP in turn has been appeased by the JD(U) till as recently as 2013 – the disbanding of the Amir Das Commission and the dumping of the Land Reforms Commission Report having been two most conspicuous examples.
Even when the RJD and now the JD(U) have been claiming to oppose the BJP, more often than not they have capitulated to the BJP, if not connived with it, in targeting the fighting rural poor and the Left, CPI(ML) in particular. The BJP in Bihar is not imported from Gujarat, nor is it an external power represented by the Modi government at the Centre. First and foremost, the BJP is the organic political representative of feudal power in Bihar. It is easy to treat the BJP as an external power and talk of Bihari pride; but challenging the feudal-communal roots and designs of the BJP within Bihar and resisting the growing corporate-communal offensive that it is unleashing on a countrywide scale is an altogether different proposition. Those who collaborate and connive with forces like the Ranveer Sena can only pay lip-service to the task of checking the BJP.
Ever since its inception, the CPI(ML) has challenged the domination of feudal forces in Bihar most courageously, comprehensively and consistently. The Janata Dal of course emerged as the dominant political force in the post-Congress political order of Bihar, but its record of complicity with the anti-poor anti-Dalit offensive of the feudal camp has only emboldened the feudal forces to rally more aggressively around the BJP. But the people of Bihar are not going to take this feudal aggression lying down and we have witnessed intense popular anger against each and every recent instance of feudal violence – be it the attack on Comrade Upadhyay Yadav in Jahanabad, the assault on the women of Shiromani Tola in Khagaria or the killing of Comrade Satish Yadav in Bhojpur. The CPI(ML) and the Left must transform this anger and resolve of the people into a powerful political force against the aggressive BJP-NDA and the opportunist JDU-RJD-Congress combine.
Comrade Satish Yadav Killed in Bhojpur by Feudal Forces
Sea of People Join Final Journey, Bid Farewell
On 20 August 2015, CPI (ML) leader comrade Satish Yadav was ambushed and brutally killed by Ranveer Sena goons as he was returning at around 6 pm from Badgaon in the Agiaon assembly segment after conducting a 'Jan davedaari Sabha'. The rising political claims of the poor, just before the Bihar elections, has clearly created frustration and disquiet amongst the feudal forces in the state. These forces, operating with impunity under the patronage of the BJP as well as some leaders from the grand 'secular' alliance, are hell-bent on stopping the increasing mobilization the poor, dalits, farmers, and working sections of society at any cost. They are thus once again training their guns on CPI(ML) leaders in their frustration. A few months ago, a popular CPI(ML) leader, comrade Upadhya Yadav, was mortally attacked by feudal criminal forces in Jehanabad. In this latest incident, popular Party leader from Bhojpur comrade Satish Yadav has been murdered by Rinku Singh's gang, known to have close links with the Ranveer Sena as well as the BJP.
This killing has come at a time when strong agitations across the state have been demanding the arrest of Ranveer Sena leaders who have openly confessed their roles in the mass carnages of Laxmanpur Bathe, Bathani Tola and other gruesome massacres. The recent Cobrapost sting reveals the open secret of the role of the Ranveer Sena in these massacres, and also of their patrons in the BJP such as BJP leaders Sushil Modi, CP Thakur, and others. A few days ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a public meeting in Ara, which served to boost the morale of feudal criminals and comrade Satish Yadav's murder only highlights the chilling arrogance and impunity with which feudal-casteist forces seek to instill terror. Eyewitnesses say that the killing was done with the connivance of the Ajeemabad police station in-charge Shyamdev Singh. When Satish Yadav made his way from the jan davedaari sabha in Badgaon, the police followed on the same road just a few minutes later. They went into the village, and almost immediately news came of comrade Satish's murder. Clearly, people's leaders are being regularly attacked and killed with the connivance of the BJP and the Nitish government's police.
The news of comrade Satish's killing left people stunned, and a wave of grief spread throughout the entire district of Bhojpur. CPI(ML) called for a Bhojpur bandh on 21 August, and demanded the immediate arrest of the killers. His final journey took place on 22 August, and it was an unprecedented event. It began at the Ara Party office where Party leaders (including PB member Swadesh Bhattacharya, State Secretary Kunal, PB member comrade Amar, CCW member and former State secretary Nand Kishore Prasad, district secretary Jawahar Lal Nehru, Sudama Prasad, Raju Yadav, Manoj Manzil and others) paid floral tributes to the beloved departed leader.
The last voyage then began. From Ara to Ajeemabad, hundreds of motorcyclists led the way, a convoy of cars followed, and people lined both sides of the road to catch a last glimpse of their beloved leader.
Comrade Satish Yadav: A Life SketchComrade Satish Yadav, who was killed by feudal-casteist forces, was only 40 years old. At this young age, he had already become very popular amongst the people due to his commitment to struggles. Comrade Satish was born in the Kamariya village of Agiao block in a farmer's family. His father, comrade Judge Yadav, was a popular leader and in 1990 he fought the elections as a Party candidate from the Badhara seat and secured about 25,000 votes. From childhood, comrade Satish came into contact with the struggles by the poor, led by the CPI(ML). That was the time when the historic Baga Math fight took place, which left a strong impression on the young Satish and resulted in his decision to dedicate himself to revolutionary struggles. He became a member of the CPI(ML) in 1995. That was the phase when the bloodthirsty Ranveer Sena was spreading terror in Bhojpur and carnage after carnage was being perpetrated. Comrade Satish took up the fight against the Ranveer Sena and fought several historic battles as part of the Party's propaganda squad. His capabilities soon made him a popular leader within the Party as well as with the people.
After the decline of the Ranveer Sena phenomenon, he led several movements and struggles for basic issues of workers and farmers, against crime, and for developmental issues of the area. His initiatives, not only on issues concerning the poor, but also on issues concerning the middle class, became a talking point. Last year when the paddy crop in Ajeemabad was withering due to drought-like conditions, Comrade Satish led a 4-day road block agitation by farmers demanding that water be released into the canal. Under pressure from this agitation, the canal from Nonaur to Ajeemabad was replenished and water came to the fields. The administration, under pressure, also sent their work proposal for implementing the Dedhua pump canal project, a long standing demand of the farmers. Comrade Satish emerged as a popular leader among the farmers. When the paddy crop was ready, he led a historic struggle for its purchase in Agiao and forced the administration to purchase 30,000 quintals of paddy from sharecroppers and small farmers.
Ranveer Sena leader Rinku Singh, a BJP leader and also the President of the Badgaon panchayat PACS, was also pressurized by Comrade Satish to purchase paddy from farmers. Even now, he owes Rs 8 lakhs to the farmers as purchase arrears, for which comrade Satish was incessantly fighting. By killing comrade Satish, the BJP has snatched away a beloved young leader from the farmers. This clearly exposes the anti-farmer character of the BJP and its protégé the Ranveer Sena.
Comrade Satish led several struggles in the area for development, and against crime. A case was filed against him in the Pawana agitation for electricity. He was also charged in the Narayanpur agitation against murder of a father-son tradesmen duo by feudal criminals. He carried out strong agitations on the issue of electricity in Narayanpur, Akauna, Pawana, Madanpur and other villages, after which electricity first came to the Mahadalit tolas. He also mobilized sand workers who were losing their livelihoods because of sand mining using JCB machines by the dominant forces in the Ajeemabad sand ghat, resulting in the ultimate victory of the sand workers. He led struggles on the issues of registering names of the poor in the BPL lists of Agiaon panchayat, and issues of ration. He was also active in agitations regarding schools and roads. He successfully led the agitation for reinstatement of teachers in the school at Poswa.
Students Demand Revocation of CBCS in AISA's "Opinion Dhamaka" in Delhi UniversityOn 21 August 2015, hundreds of students of the Delhi University (DU) marched against the Choice Based Credit System (CBCS) in AISA's "Opinion Dhamaka" rally. AISA had been conducting a "Students' Opinion on CBCS" campaign in 38 colleges of the Delhi University from 11 August 2015. During this campaign, AISA activists collected responses on different aspects of the CBCS from 24,780 students who have joined DU under the CBCS program. The results of the survey show a resounding mandate against the CBCS, and a growing disappointment with the content of the courses which have been introduced in a hurried manner in DU at the behest of the UGC and the MHRD.
A whopping 93% of students (23045) opposed the CBCS, and most students enrolled in various Honours programs reported that CBCS has devalued their courses by reducing the number of Honours papers to 14 from 18-20. 87% students complained that there was no clarity regarding text books in the Generic Elective courses. 95% felt there was no clarity regarding the method of evaluation and credit distribution for assessment. Almost all the students agreed that the colleges are not offering the choices given in the UGC course outline.
Around 600 students attended a rally in Delhi University following the announcement of the results of the survey on CBCS. Many students who attended the rally spoke of the dilution of quality, and the restriction of internal choices within the Honours degree. They also highlighted the complete chaos in the implementation of CBCS in Delhi University, and the lack of any clarity on course content and evaluation.
Dharna in Sampatchak against Increasing CrimesThe CPI(ML) Sampatchak block unit organized a dharna on 25 July 2015 at the block office on the issue of the growing number of crimes in the Sampatchak area, demanding action against criminals. The dharna was presided over by comrade Hriday Narayan Rai and the proceedings were conducted by block secretary comrade Satyanand Paswan. Hundreds of poor men and women participated in the dharna. Addressing the meeting, comrade Umesh Singh pointed out that on 6 July, Naresh Choudhry, a mahadalit, was killed in village Jaibar but the culprits, protected by the police, tried to pass it off as an accidental death. On 12 July a mahadalit woman midday meal worker was beaten up and injured by a school teacher Alok Krishna in Faislabad (Bhelwada). Similarly, a schoolgirl in Ajeemchak was molested by her teacher who tried to rape her. In all these matters, even the registering of a simple FIR had become a difficult task and could be done only after dharnas and protests were held at the police stations. The arrest of the culprits was still a very far cry. The speakers stressed on the need to organize all poor and marginalized sections against the government and the administration in a united struggle to give them a befitting lesson in the forthcoming elections.
AIPF's Convention in Tripura
On 19 August 2015, a convention was organised by AIPF and the "Tripura Border Road Organisation Civil Workers Association" at Kumarghat, in Unakoti district of Tripura. Around 175 workers attended this convention. A mass meeting was also held after the convention, which was attended by comrade Mrinmoy Chakraborty from AIPF, district secretary CPI(ML) comrade Joydeep Roy, and newly elected secretary of the TBCWA comrade Biswajit Shilsarma.
Since the past 35 years, the national highways in Tripura have been maintained by the Border Road Organisation (BRO, a Central government organisation). Around 10,000 workers from Tripura were employed as permanent or casual workers in this organisation. In 2014, the Tripura state government entered into a contract with Central government, and since then the state government has maintained the national highway in Tripura. When the BRO handed over the works to the state government, all the workers lost their jobs. The AIPF has been organising these workers.
Protests Demanding Arrest of Ranveer Sena Criminals and Their ProtectorsThe CPI(ML ) declared a two-day Vishwasghat Diwas on 19-20 August 2015 demanding immediate arrests of Ranveer Sena criminals as well as BJP, JD(U) and other Party leaders exposed by the recent Cobrapost sting. In the Cobrapost sting, various Ranveer Sena leaders openly admitted that they had perpetrated dalit massacres in Bihar in the 1990s; the role of various BJP/JD(U) leaders in supplying money and arms to the Ranveer Sena was also exposed.
The Vishwasghat Diwas was observed across Bihar, especially in Patna, Arwal, Ara, Jehanabad, Patna rural, Gaya, Rohtas, Nawada, Bhagalpur and other districts in south Bihar. In the capital Patna, a protest march from the Radio Station culminated in a meeting at JP chowk, led by Saroj Choube, Santosh Sahar, Murtaza Ali, Sudhir, Gurudev Das, Santosh Jha, Rakesh Manjhi and other leaders. Addressing the meeting, CPI(ML) leaders pointed out that once again the names of BJP/JD(U) leaders have been exposed in connection with protecting the Ranveer Sena. It is also clear that Nitish Kumar dissolved the Amir Das commission for the benefit of the Ranveer Sena criminals. They demanded that after this exposure, Prime Minister Narendra Modi should apologise to the people of Bihar and expel from BJP all those whose names have been exposed in this connection. It is significant that after the Cobrapost expose, Modi maintained a complete silence on this issue when he addressed a public meeting in Ara. In fact, one of the prime protectors of the Ranveer Sena, Sushil Modi, was present on the dais with Modi on that day. The speakers at the CPI(ML) rally demanded the immediate arrest of CP Thakur, Sushil Modi, Shivanand Tiwari and Arun Kumar and guarantee of justice to the poor.
In Jehanabad, hundreds of Party supporters marched from the Party office to the railway station and participated in a meeting. Protest marches, meetings, and effigy burnings of Nitish Kumar were also held at Arwal and at Ara, Nawada, Bhagalpur, and Bihata in Patna rural district. A two-day hunger strike was also held at Arwal, Ara, Jehanabad, Gaya, Rohtas, and Bhojpur.
On 19 August 2015, the CPI(ML) organized a protest march at Jantar Mantar in Delhi demanding the immediate arrest of the Ranveer Sena criminals and their BJP protectors exposed in the Cobrapost sting. CPI(ML) demanded reinstatement of the Amir Das commission and that its findings should be made public. The meeting was addressed by PB members Swapan Mukherjee, Kavita Krishnan and other leaders.
Agitation for Road Construction in ChandauliThe All India Khet Mazdoor Sabha (AIKMS) and CPI(ML) organized a dharna on 22 June 2015 at the Shahabganj BDO office in Chandauli district to demand construction of an access road to the dalit basti in Baraon village. The dharna also demanded construction of other roads, issue of pattas for the landless in all villages, and a social audit to enquire into the MNREGA scam in Hadaura. AIKMS and CPI(ML) have been raising these issues for some time now. On 17 July 2015, several CPI(ML) workers including Karail area local committee member comrade Sanjay Kharwar, Branch Secretary Gorao Prasad, Shabbir Ahmad, and Narad Vishwakarma sat on an indefinite dharna. Hundreds of villagers participated in the dharna.
Even though the local Administration tried to disperse the agitation by citing section 144, the agitation and mobilisation only increased. More than 600 villagers participated. Subsequently, owing to public pressure, the BDO acting under instructions of the ADM gave a written assurance for the road construction, after which the dharna ended.
Protest for Implementation of Forest Rights LawOn 22 July 2015, AIKMS and CPI(ML) protested at the office of the ADM, Chakiya in Chandauli district demanding proper implementation of the forest rights law. The Forest Department is currently digging pits and organizing tree plantation with the clear intent of displacing adivasis and forest dwellers who have for generations engaged in agriculture on these lands.
Addressing the dharna, CPI(ML) district secretary comrade Shashikant Kushwaha said that with the connivance of the Forest Department, the land mafia has captured thousands of acres of forest land in Naugarh. Adivasis and forest dwellers participated in the dharna, and demanded 4.5 acres of land due to them under the forest rights law. Under pressure from the people, the ADM was obliged to come to the dharna venue and he assured the people that action would be taken against the land mafia and the poor would not be displaced. The dharna was presided over by AIKMS district President comrade Ramkrit Kol and proceedings were conducted by Anil Paswan.
Red salute to comrade Ramapati Yadav!CPI(ML) Beguserai district committee member and Akhil Bharatiya Kisan Mahasabha district secretary comrade Ramapati Yadav passed away after suffering from a cardiac arrest at a private clinic in Beguserai on the night of 7 August 2015. His mortal remains were brought to Shrichandrapur village in Sahebpur Kamal block, where CPI(ML) and Kisan Mahasabha leaders paid their tribute. Hundreds of farmers and workers accompanied comrade Ramapati on his 5-km long last journey.
Comrade Ramapati was born on 19 December 1952, in a middle farmer's family. He was a graduate in Science. Party leaders said that his untimely death is an irreparable loss and his honesty, hard work, and dedication to the people and the Party will always remain a source of inspiration. A sankalp sabha was organized at his village on 19 August 2015.