Monday, February 16, 2009

Solidarity To Lalgarh Movement

Wednesday (11 Feb, 2009) Chatradhar Mahato, spokesman of Peoples Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA) and other three members of the committee meet the press and representatives of different mass organizations and progressive individuals in Kolkata. PCAPA has started its struggle since November 2008 to resist state repression in Lalgarh and other villages of Janglemahal, the hilly and forest region of West Midnapur-Bankura-Purulia of West Bengal. The committee specifically demands (i) apology from Superintend of Police (SP) and other police personnel responsible for atrocities; (ii) Compensation of Rs 2,00,000 to each of the victims of state repression; (iii) Unconditional release of villagers arrested for suspected link with Salboni mine blast (iv) Cancellation of the charge-sheets filed against villagers for alleged Maoists link (v) End of indiscriminate arresting villagers without warrant etc.

Chhatradhar Mahato described how CPI(M) goons along with police force killed three people by indiscriminate firing on 3Feb, 2009. Supporters of PCAPA were gathered in a field for a public meeting and suddenly the convoy of vehicles carrying armed goons and the dead body of Nandakumar Paul, a CPM leader murdered on previous day came at the place. As PCAPA has called for police boycott they appealed to move them without police force in that area. In response, the goons and police resorted to indiscriminate firing, gunned down 3 supporters of PCAPA and couple of supporters severely injured.

PCAPA has extended its support to the families of martyrs. Gopinath Murmu, who was murdered on 3 Feb, was a daily wage labourer. Chhatrodhar Mahato said "It is our duty to fully support this family as they do not posses any land; Gopinath was the only earning member." But PCAPA and its supporters have limited financial strength. Moreover, they refused any financial support from any political party. "With financial support, political parties actually purchase the movement", Mr. Mahato said. PCAPA has decided to take support only from the people.

From Mr. Mahato, we have heard how people of Lalgarh and other forest region have been exploited by forest department. When forest department cuts the jungle, only 25% of the profit comes to the people of the village. In the whole procedure the control of villagers is limited and the whole process is not at all transparent. Finally in one year a meager Rs 500 becomes the earning of a villager. Can we imagine? Forest is being destroyed and people are loosing their livelihood in expense of Rs 500 ($10) per villagers per year.

In Lalgarh, Belpahari and other areas of West Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia PCAPA has been formed at village levels. Female represents half of the committee members. Village committees function under area committees and the highest body is the central committee of PCAPA. PCAPA has called for 'Police boycott' to protest police atrocities in the villages and it has been successful till date.

People of Junglemahal, the forest and hilly region of West Midnapur-Bankura-Purulia of West Bengal have been fighting a heroic struggle to establish their right over the forest-land-water, to abolish the root of police atrocities and state repression. The same struggle was fought by Sidhu-Kanu and other Martyrs. They have been fighting the same battle which many of us like to fight. After hearing Mr. Mahato, no wonder, it took only a few minute to form "Lalgarh Movement Solidarity Forum" with of representatives of different progressive mass organizations and individuals. Solidarity forum will build support and raise fund for Lalgarh Movement.

Support And Raise Fund For Lalgarh Movement

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