Vol. XLIII No. 04 January 27, 2019
WEST BENGAL: Two-day March of Determination in Terror Zone

From our Special Correspondent

IN another show of defiance, thousands of people joined a two day march in one of the worst terrorised areas of West Bengal. With TMC coming to power in 2011, the entire stretch of Arambagh-Tarakeswar-Goghat in Hooghly district, has turned into terror zone. The area in Hooghly-Bankura border witnessed series of attacks on Left activists and supporters. Almost all CPI(M) and Left parties offices were forcibly closed. Many such offices were seized by the ruling party. Hundreds of houses were attacked and a large number of Left cadres and supporters were forced to leave their living places. Lands were occupied; students from Left sympathisers’ houses were barred from attending educational institutions too. Women were openly thrashed. There was not even an iota of normal voting in any kind of elections. In the last seven years, the reign of culprits has affected the life and livelihood of people.  

Left Front has organised a two-day Tarakeswar-Kamarpukur march on January 20-21, through this terror-affected route. Despite grave threats, thousands of villagers attended the 43 km march with courage and grit. On the first day, the march covered 29 kilometres from Tarakeswar to Arambagh. Surjyakanta Misra, Rabin Deb and other leaders attended the rally. Among the participants, many were direct victims of physical attacks, false cases and included those who lost their lands. Villagers were threatened not to attend the Red Flag march, but they defied with extraordinary enthusiasm. People gathered beside the roads to see the rally of the Red Flags and expressed their solidarity.

On the second day, the rally crossed through Goghat, despite the TMC declaring that no such rally would be ‘allowed’. Villagers collected rice, vegetables and other foods for the rallyists. But the TMC armed gang broke into the CPI(M) Kamarpukur office and looted the entire collection. They even locked the office from outside. CPI(M) activists again unlocked the gates and after the rally, the villagers supplied whatever foods they could gather. TMC set up ‘camps’ on the road, threatening the people not to go near the rally. CPI(M) district secretariat member Asit Mukherjee’s village house was ransacked. In many places, they started playing loud music (including songs written by Mamata Banerjee) to disturb the rally.  But the determined wave of people and the mood of the rally prevented them from attacking the rally. Biman Basu led this march which reached Kamarpukur as scheduled. Many like Mani Bhandari, Syed Mohammed Yasin joined in the rally who were attacked a number of times in the last seven years.

The march raised the demand of remunerative price for peasants, decent wages for agricultural workers, payment of stalled wages in MNREGA and restoration of democracy. The rally also called upon the people to join the February 3 rally at Brigade in large numbers.