Friday, July 31, 2009

Women lathicharged in Lalgarh

Statesman News Service

LALGARH, 28 JULY: Shortly after a three-member team of the Trinamul Congress, including two Union ministers, visited Lalgarh demanding withdrawal of Central forces, a procession of tribal women was allegedly lathicharged by police at Dharampur and Bamal.

In protest, the Adivasis of Bagjhora, Chilgora and Tilaboni blocked the Dherua-Midnapore Road on the ministers' way back to Kolkata. Five people were arrested from Bagjhora and Chilgora areas, four of whom are Asit Mahato of Asnasuli and Mahendra Singh, Makhan Singh and Pagu Singh of Bagjhora. Several hundred activists of the PSBPC were proceeding to welcome the Union ministers of state for rural development and shipping ~ Mr Sisir Adhikari and Mr Mukul Roy ~ accompanied by the leader of the Opposition in the state Assembly Mr Partha Chattopadhyay, convenor of the Bhumi Raksha Committee, Mr Purnendu Bose, and other Trinamul leaders who had reached there to distribute relief material to the tribals.

The villagers were stopped by security forces at Bamal and Dharampur where police fired tear-gas shells to disperse them apprehending that they might be followed by Maoists to attack the Lalgarh police station. Police lathicharged them injuring many women, it was alleged. Mrs Sitamoni Hembram, Mrs Hiramoni Kisku and Mrs Bharati Hansda showed their scars to the ministers. Mr Banmali Mahato of Asnasuli, Mr Haripada Mahato of Bamal and Mrs Barun Mandal of Goaldanga narrated to the visiting ministers and the leaders how they were tortured by joint forces and how studies of school children of Lalgarh areas have been affected since 17 June.Mrs Usha Rani Rana of Bagjhora told the leaders that they could not go to the forest to collect firewood as the joint force was not allowing them to enter the forests. The villagers demanded the arrests of Dalim Pande, CPI-M’s Dharampur local committee secretary, and his cohorts as ''they had looted lakhs of government funds meant for tribal development''

The Statesman, 29 July 2009

See the photos of brutal police repression in Lalgarh.

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