“WE do not want war. Many wives like me will lose their husbands in war. Many daughters like mine will also lose their fathers. I want the guilty to be punished. The Govt. must ensure safety and security to those who are fighting for the country”, said Mita Santra, the wife of Bablu Santra when a CPI(ML) team from Howrah district committee visited the family near Bauria, Howrah.
Even under extreme grief and pain, perhaps this was the strongest message of peace and humanity - an antidote to the Sangh brigade continuous campaign of hate and warmongering. Head Constable Bablu Santra and Constable Sudip Biswas from West Bengal were among those 44 CRPF Jawans who were killed in the deadly terror attack in Pulwama on 14th February. 39 year old Bablu Santra, survived by his wife, six year old daughter and mother, had served CRPF for 20 years. He was supposed to take retirement in the coming year and settle down at his own city. After reaching their home on 17 February, Comrades Mina Pal, Debabrata Bhakta, Nilasis Bose, Kalyani Goswami, Sanatan Mani and Rajib Datta met with the family members and paid tribute to the departed soldier. The grief-struck family mourning his death has no clue how to survive in future. While speaking to us, Mita’s eyes were full of pride for his husband’s sacrifice while standing strong against bloodshed and war.
On 18th February another party team from Nadia consisting of Comrades Subimal Sengupta, Kajal Datta Gupta, Bilwamangal Chatterjee, Bablu Haldar, Sunil Datta, Saikat, Dilip Majumder and Bidyan visited to the family of Sudip Biswas, at Tehatta of Nadia district. 27 years old Sudip belonged to a poor, marginalized background and was the only earning member of his family with a job. After paying off his family debts, Sudip was planning to complete the construction of their new house and start his family just when the horrific attack took his life. CPIML team paid condolences to the family and promised to stand by them whenever required.
In West Bengal, several progressive and democratic forces voicing against war frenzy upholding peace and harmony have been subjected to verbal abuse, online trolling, physical harassment, mob attacks, rape threats, suspension from job and even police arrest. A Kolkata based Kashmiri doctor was threatened to leave the city by few hooligans due to his ‘Kashmiri’ identity. A team of Suman, Joheb and Amit from ‘Sohomon’, met with him and also contacted police authorities to facilitate measures to protect Kashmiri people in the state.
A Kashmiri shawl trader was also attacked in Taherpur, Nadia, where the local people came in support to save him from the mob. A helpline team has been formed by CPIML on social media for necessary help to the Kashmiri people in any distress or difficulty in Bengal. CPIML, AISA and other mass organisations took part in peace march in Moulali, Jadavpur, Behala, Siliguri and other places in Bengal mourning the death of soldiers and appealing for peace, communal harmony and security of the citizens of the country. One of these rallies, called by APDR in Kolkata even faced attack by a mob of right wing where an AISA activist, Reza Alam got injured. CPIML strongly condemned such attacks and demanded strict action from the Government and administration of West Bengal.