Dissident Trinamool MP Kabir says Maoists helped Mamata win Assembly polls


Express news service Posted online: Sat Jan 05 2013,
Kolkata : Fresh Row: CPM demands CM to explain ‘TMC-Maoist nexus’Dissident Trinamool Congress MP Kabir Suman on Friday told a news channel that Maoists were very much involved in the Nandigram movement and that Mamata Banerjee’s party would not have won a single seat in West Midnapore had there been no Kishenji or Maoists.

“What I have learnt from my political friends is that if there were no Maoists or Kishenji, Mamata would not have won a single seat in West Midnapore. This is what I feel even though I do not know much about politics. People on the streets have helped me understand this,” Suman said.

After trouble broke out in Lalgarh, the CPM had repeatedly claimed that the Trinamool had a nexus with the Maoists in West Midnapore —- a charge that was dismissed by Mamata.

Referring to the Nandigram movement, Suman told the news channel that neither Mamata nor the Trinamool was (initially) in the Nandigram mass upsurge.

“Naxalite leader Sumit Sinha and many others including Siddiqullah Chowdhury were there in the Nandigram movement. The Maoist outfit was not banned in the country (when the Nandigram movement took place). They were declared banned much later. They operated openly (in Nandigram). Among others, Maoists were also there (in Nandigram). Maoists were there (in Nandigram) like many other independent persons. This is not a confession. I am stating the truth,” Suman said.

“If you ask me whether I have seen any Maoist leader building organisation (in Nandigram), I will say that I have not seen anyone,” he added.

Although Trinamool has not reacted to Suman’s statement, sources said the party neither wants to give importance to the rebel MP, nor to his allegations of a nexus with Maoists. This was evident from party secretary general Partha Chatterjee’s statement. Asked to comment on Suman’s statement, Chatterjee said, “I have not heard anything. I am busy in office.”

CPM central committee leader Mohammed Selim demanded that Mamata explain how she had “used the Maoists”.

“Land was not the real issue in Nandigram. The extremists and fundamentalists from both Hindu and Muslim communities got united at that time only to oust the CPM. The Maoists too were co-partners and were used by the Trinamool. The Maoists have accepted this. Now Mamata must explain how she used the Maoists,” Selim said.

 

#India – Wrongful acquisition spurs Naxalism: SC


 

Nov 5,2012, DNA

The Supreme Court has slammed the Maharashtra government for denying compensation to a landowner whose plot it acquired in 1981, and it has taken strong objection to a related Bombay high court judgement, warning that such “pro-state” verdicts helped the spread of Naxalism in the country.

On Friday, the apex court scrapped the Bombay high court judgement of November last year which had found fault with the landowner Tukaram Kana Joshi for not filing a petition for compensation from the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC).
The SC directed the MIDC and the Maharashtra state government to pay compensation to Joshi at the prevailing market rate.

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court observed that it was also because of such “pro-state” judgements that the country faced an increase in Naxalism in the industrial and mineral belts.

Justice SB Chauhan and justice Jagdish Singh Khehar said the attitude of some courts in matters of land acquisition had been pro-state till the Nandigram events when they realised that the people would not accept such “anti-poor” judgements.

The judges also ruled that matters relating to land compensation to farmers or landowners squarely fell within the “purview of human rights”.

Earlier, the court had examined the affidavit filed by the Maharashtra chief secretary, explaining the circumstances due to which Joshi was not paid compensation.

In its judgement, the high court had noted that in 1981, there was no legal requirement for issuing notice under section 4 of the land acquisition law and that it was only in 1984 that the amended law made it mandatory to pay compensation.

The HC had also pointed out that Joshi didn’t file any petition or application making a claim, but filed a law suit only in 2009.

“The petitioner (Joshi) is guilty of unexplained laches and therefore, in the extraordinary jurisdiction of this court, under article 226 of the Constitution, he cannot be granted any relief,” justice DK Deshmukh and justice Anoop V Mohta had ruled.
(‘Laches‘ is the legal term for an unreasonable delay in pursuing legal remedy.)

 

 

Immediate Release-Statement of concern on prolonged police custody of Debolina


WSS STATEMENT OF CONCERN ON PROLONGED POLICE CUSTODY OF DEBOLINA,
MATANGINI MAHILA SAMITI, KOLKATA

WSS is extremely concerned by the continued police custody of activist Debolina Chakrabarty, secretary of the Kolkata based women’s
organization, Matangini Mahila Samiti, and the recent reports in the press that she has developed some eye problems while in CID custody. The manner in which her custody was sought by the CID and then granted by the Magistrate is also very disturbing; it only heightens our apprehensions and anxieties of ill-treatment and torture of Debolina. In view of the blatant lawlessness in the custodial torture of Soni Sori in Chhattisgarh, we fear the worst during such `interrogation’ by the police; it could very well be the same or a worse form of `intimidation’ and torture.
Earlier, on 4th April the Kolkata police had brutally lathi-charged a peaceful protest rally of slum-dwellers who had been evicted over the previous week from their hutments in Nonadanga in south Kolkata.  Among those subjected to this indiscriminate lathi-charge were children and a pregnant woman.  On 8th April another peaceful demonstration against this eviction was broken up by the police, and nearly 80 people, including a child were arrested from this demonstration; Debolina and six other activists were also arrested along with these people.
All seven activists were produced in court on 9th April and remanded to police custody till 12th April. They have been charged with unlawful assembly and assault on police.  On 12th, when they were produced in court, all were sent to jail custody till 21st April.   In the evening when the lawyers of the accused were about to leave, the CID put up papers in a secretive manner for the police remand of Debolina in three other cases — two of which are old and allegedly connected with incidents that supposedly took place in Nandigram and Bishnupur, for which charge-sheets had already been submitted, and the third in connection with a case of 2011 in Nandigram for which an FIR was secretly filed in the P. S. The magistrate granted the custody to the CID, without even listening to the response of the lawyers of the accused. Despite the protests by the other arrested activists, Debolina was forcibly taken away by the CID in a police car to Bhabani Bhawan for `interrogation’, while the other six prisoners were sent to Alipur Central Jail.  Debolina has also been tagged in a murder case under the draconian UAPA.
Debolina is a former student of the International Relations Department of Jadavpur University, and has been associated with
several mass movements.  She has participated in the people’s movements of Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh, and has been a member of
many fora, including the SEZ Birodhi Prachar Mancha.  She has also been a member of various fact-finding teams. Debolina has been with
the people’s movement for quite some years, functioning openly and participating in various mass movements that took place from time to time.  According to press reports, Debolina has started a hunger strike in CID custody.
While we welcome the granting of bail on April 17, 2012 for the release of Partho Sarathi Ray from Alipore Central Jail, Kolkata, we
strongly protest the continued detention of the other activists, especially the prolonged CID custody of Debolina.
We join the other organisations in expressing our solidarity and support to Debolina and the other five prisoners – Debjani Ghosh,
Samik Chakraborti, Manas Chatterjee, Siddhartha Gupta, and Abhijnan Sarkar; and demand that the fabricated charges against all of them be dropped, that they be released immediately, and Debolina be given immediate medical treatment.
WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE & STATE REPRESSION (WSS)

19.04.12

West Bengal evicts ecological refugees occupying prime real estate in Kolkata


Author(s): Sayantan Bera, Down To Earth, April 11, 2012

Seven hundred rendered homeless; activists demanding homes for them branded Maoists
image
Mahadev Mandal came with his family to Kolkata after the Aila super-cyclone hit Sundarbans in 2009. He works as a rickshaw-puller and is one among the 200 families in the squatter colony

Nearly 200 squatter families living in Nonadanga in east Kolkata for the past few years are in the process of being evicted by the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA). On March 30, the slum was bulldozed amid heavy police presence and some hutments were set on fire. The recurrent thunderstorms over the past few days has meant sleepless and soiled nights for nearly 700 people who have been rendered homeless. They work as house helps, rickshaw pullers and construction labourers. Many of the families came to Kolkata in search of work, after the Aila super-cyclone ravaged Sundarbans in 2009, Down To Earth found on its visit to the site. Several families were former squatters who were evicted earlier from the Tolly Canal, for expansion of the Metro Railway and from a cement factory site in south Kolkata.

tsunami
Evicted families have refused to move without rehabilitation

While the government claims the squatters settled only two months back and are not eligible for either compensation or rehabilitation, the families have started a resistance movement backed by civil rights groups. On April 4, as the families took out a protest march they were caned by the police, injuring among others a pregnant woman and children. Nearly 70 people were arrested and released later, except for seven who the police accused of having Maoist links and “possibly stockpiling arms” at the eviction site. They include prominent civil rights activists, Partha Sarathi Roy of Sanhati and Debolina Chakrabarti of Matangini Mahila Samiti, who were part of the Singur and Nandigram movements that led to the toppling of the 34-year-old left rule in the state. After winning a landmark victory last November, chief minister Mamata Banerjee had declared her plans to transform Kolkata into London. This does not augur well for slum colonies. According to a 2003 UN Habitat report, one-third of Kolkata lives in more than 5,500 registered and unregistered slums.

Read more  here

PUDR – Condemns Attack on Nonadanga slum dwellers by West Bengal Police in Kolkata


Statement from PUDR – Condemn Attack on Nonadanga slum dwellers by West Bengal Police in Kolkata

10.04.2012

PUDR strongly condemns the violent demolition of the Nonadanga slums on March 30th in Kolkata, and the subsequent police brutality on peaceful anti-eviction protests followed by the vindictive arrest of activists.

Nonadanga is the area where the Kolkata Metropolitan Development Authority (KMDA) has been resettling slum dwellers evicted from various parts of Kolkata over the past five years under the BSUP (Basic Services to Urban Poor) scheme of the JNNURM. The resettlement projects have been run by KMDA and the Kolkata Environmental Improvement Project (KEIP) jointly. Preliminary reports indicate that slum residents also include refugees from Singur and Nandigram, as well as people displaced by Cyclone Aila. So, by no stretch of logic are these slum-dwellers ‘encroachers’ as claimed by the state government. In fact, the land in Nonadanga is very close to a prime city location and the present drive to clear the space by the Trinamool government is the first step towards its plans of handing over this land to real estate companies for ‘beautification and development’.

The brutality of the State police force in dealing with peaceful demonstrations, openly captured by television crews, needs to be strongly condemned. Such as the lathi-charge on the protest rally by slum residents on April 4, that left many injured, including a pregnant woman, Rekha Patra, and a 3 year old child, Joy Paswan. On April 8, a peaceful sit-in demonstration by the residents and activists was broken up by the police despite them having prior permission from the authorities. The police have resorted to mass intimidation of slum dwellers and other protesters along with arrests of activists opposing the demolition. 7 activists of whom 2 are women have been charged under sections 353 (assault on public servant), 332 (voluntarily causing hurt to public servant), 141 (unlawful assembly), 143 (punishment), 148 (rioting armed with deadly weapon) and 149 (common objective of disruption) of the IPC and are in police custody till the 12th of April.

PUDR notes with concern that this demolition, attacks and arrests come in a continuum of a worsening democratic rights situation in West Bengal. Another alarming phenomenon is the bringing out of the ‘Maoist’ bogey to define all democratic movements as if that gives the state unmitigated rights to disregard the law and crush people’s movements and aspirations with armed might.

Condemning the blanket ban announced by the State Government on all protests on this issue throughout the state, PUDR demands:

* That the eviction drive be stopped,
* The immediate and unconditional release of all arrested activists and the withdrawal of false charges against them,
* That the demolished slum be rebuilt with proper facilities in the same spot
* That the guilty Police officials be punished, and
* That the Government stop attacking the fundamental right of people to voice their protest against injustices.

Signed
Preeti Chauhan & Paramjeet Singh, Secretaries PUDR

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