CDRO tribute on the untimely death of three civil and democratic rights activists


February 1, 2013, Sanhati

The member organisations of CDRO are saddened by the death of three democratic and civil liberty activists in the last one week – Professor Dipankar Chakroborty, Vice President of Association for Protection of Democratic (APDR), West Bengal; Chandrasekar (47), civil right activist and a popular human rights lawyer in Andhra Pradesh and Pradeep Sapolia, Secretary of Association for Democratic Rights (AFDR), Dist. Mansa Unit, Punjab.

Professor Dipankar Chakroborty (71), popularly known as Dipankarda passed away on 27th January when he was being taken to the hospital after he developed respiratory problem. A great intellectual and Human Rights campaigner, Dipankarda was born in Dhaka on 14 December, 1941. He grew up in Murshidabad and then completed his education in Bahrampur and Kolkata. He taught economics and retired from Krishnanath College at Baharampur. A veteran of the Left movement since the sixties, he began publishing and editing Aneek in 1964 when ruptures in the CPI on ideological and political issues led to split and birth of the CPI(M). In the wake of the Naxalbari uprising three years later that had triggered another split and birth of the CPI(ML), Chakroborty did not join the new party. But he devoted himself to publishing Aneek. When APDR was formed in Calcutta on 25 June 1972, Dipankarda took the initiative to form one of its first branches outside Calcutta in Murshidabad in 1974. Since then, till his last breath he was one of the stalwarts who steered APDR through many turbulent periods. With promulgation of Emergency in 1975 APDR was banned and Dipankarda was arrested. He spent 19 months in prison and was released in 1977 and since then throughout his life he engaged himself in the publication of Aneek and participated in the socio-political activities in Bengal and other parts of India as an individual and also assumed various responsibilities in APDR. During the Singhur movement when the police was illegally evicting the Singur people by brutal force, Dipankarda stood by the side of the people. He was arrested from the Singur farmlands along with many activists such as Medha Patekar, Amitadyuti Kumar and Sumit Chaudhary. At the time of his death he was Vice President of APDR.

Chandrasekar (47), a popular human rights lawyer passed away on 22nd January. He is known for his significant role in getting the death sentence of Chalapati Raju and Vijayvardhan commuted to life imprisonment. Chalapati and Vijayvardhan were accused of setting a bus on fire in which 23 people were killed. He also played an extraordinary role as a public prosecutor in Tsundur Carnage case in which dalits were hunted and killed by upper caste people. It was by his effort that accused were convicted in this case. Chandrasekar always played a leading role in taking up the cases of dalits and the downtrodden. He did so from a deep sense of conviction, and his life was dedicated to the cause of providing justice to the downtrodden and dalits. His concern and hard work in fighting extra judicial murders (fake encounters) in the state unnerved the police establishment. He approached the High Court and Supreme Court and National Human Rights Commission for justice in extra judicial murders and continued his fight till his death. He abhorred death penalty and played a key role in the campaign to abolish this system in Andhra Pradesh.

Pradeep Sapolia (48), an advocate by profession died on 26th January. As a pro-people advocate, Pradeep always showed an interest in providing legal assistance to the struggling farmers and agricultural labourers in Mansa and other districts of Punjab. Many of the people oriented organisations felt at ease in approaching Pradeep for seeking legal assistance. His closeness and sympathetic attitude towards these organizations can be seen from the fact that all these organizations active in Punjab attended the memorial service in his memory on Jan. 31. In the recent time, when AFDR was reviving its activities in Punjab, Pradeep took keen interest and played an active role in its Dist. Mansa unit. Pradeep took keen interest and actively participated in the two recent fact finding reports against police repression on the people which AFDR brought out.

Their loss would create a void both within the civil liberties and people’s movement and the organizations in which they were tirelessly contributed their time, intellect and resources. CDRO pays homage to their memories and their pro-people activities.

Paramjeet Singh (PUDR)
Kranti Chetanya (APCLC)
Tapas Chakravorty (APDR)
Parminder Singh (AFDR)
Phullendru Komsam (COHR)
(Coodinators)

 

#RIP -Dipankar Chakraborty (1941-2013)


January 29, 2013, Sanhati

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Dipankar Chakraborty, leftist author and activist, and editor of the Bengali political magazine ‘Aneek’, passed away at 10.05 PM on 27th January, at his Teghoria residence in Kolkata following a cardiac arrest. He was one of the founder members of APDR (Association for Protection of Democratic Rights). At the time of death he was one of the Vice Presidents of APDR. Aneek was launched in 1964 and has been published uninterruptedly since; except for the 19 months when Chakraborty was in jail during the Emergency. He had been a dedicated supporter of and participant in peoples’ movements in West Bengal, while not holding back from criticizing what he felt were failings of these movements. His loss would be sorely felt in the movemental and intellectual space in Bengal.

Press Release from Aneek

Mahasveta Devi, Sankhaya Ghosh and others condoled the death of Dipankar Chakroborty, the editor of Left journal ‘ANEEK’.

Dipankar Chakroborty (71), the founder-editor of the independent Left journal, ANEEK, passed away on Sunday night. A cardiac patient, he had suffered respiratory problem last evening and died on the way to hospital. He is survived by his wife, son and daughter and grandchildren.

He was born in Dhaka in 1941 and grew up in Murshidabad after the partition. Educated in Baharampur and Kolkata, Chakroborty taught economics at Krishnanath college at Baharampur. he later settled in Kolkata.

A veteran of the Left movement since the sixties, he began publishing and editing ANEEK since 1964 when ruptures in the CPI on ideo-political issues led to first split and birth of the CPI(M).

In the wake of the Naxalbari uprising three years later that had triggered the second split and birth of the CPI(ML), Chakroborty did not join the new party. But he made ANEEK an independent forum for debates on contemporary communist movement, both national and international.

Under his stewardship, ANEEK has become one of the leading left periodical in Bengal and among the few ‘little magazines’ which have survived five decades against all odds. He himself was an accomplished political commentator and had several books to his credit. Chakroborty was jailed by the S.S Roy government during the Emergency. A life-long defender of human rights, he was also one of the founders of Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and its vice-president.

He was always active in the campaigns of release of political prisoners irrespective of the creed of the ruling parties and governments since the seventies. He stood by peoples’ movements and joined protests in their support despite his failng health– from Maruti to Nonadanga.

He was also one of the founders of Peoples’ Books Society, a major publication house and a enthusiast of Little Magazine movement in Bengal.

Noted novelist and activist Mahasveta Devi who knew Chakroborty closely expressed her ‘profound shock’. ” I am deeply grieved. It’s an irreplaceable loss for the human rights movement as well as for me,” the octogenarian writer said. Poet Sankhaya Ghosh, also mourned Chakroborty’s death. ” I feel like losing a near and dear one,” he said.

More than 1000 farmers commit suicide every year in Bengal


KOLKATA, Jan 27 – Although the Chief Minister of Bengal has ruled out the recent farmer’s death in the state but according to the State Agriculture Minister, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, last year there were 1,200 farmer suicides, while in 2009 and 2010 there were 1,054 and 993 farmer suicides, respectively.

The CM‘s rejection came a day after Bengal Governor stated that farmer’s suicide is an ‘unfortunate’ incident. The CM claimed that there was only one farmer’s death since she came to power. There were reports of 26 such incident in last eight weeks alone.

Mr Bhattacharya, however, admitted that they were handicapped by severe fund crunch, adding that the poor condition of the state exchequer and failure to set up sale counters across the state delayed paddy procurement.

Although the government ruled out distress sale leading to farmers suicide at a mass scale, it has decided to take a special drive and conduct camps in the next one month to procure additional paddy.

The state food and supplies department plans to procure around 1000 metric ton of paddy through camps that would be held on 27 and 29 January. Similar camps would be held next month as well. Till now, the government has procured 3.67 lakh metric ton of paddy and is yet to procure 13 lakh metric ton. The Food Corporation of India targets a procurement of 4.5 lakh metric ton within September.

Ms Bannerjee also rejected the suggestion of CPI-M MLA that an all party team should visit the place. Congress and CPM, both, criticized this decision of Bannerjee.

By- Jitendra, Newzfirst at http://www.newzfirst.com/web/guest/

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