Tapasi We Have Not Forgotten You, We Never Will

They came from all corners of the country, they came with a warm message of solidarity. At a time when Mamta Banerjee's Trinamul Congress is engaged in cheap and stale theatrics in the name of continuation of the Singur movement, nearly hundred women delegates attending the Eighth Congress of CPI (ML) in Kolkata marched to Singur on 17 December to pay homage to Tapasi Malik on the eve of the first anniversary (18 December) of her martyrdom. Led by Party and AIPWA leaders Kumudini Pati, Srilata Swaminathan, Mina Tiwari, Saroj Chaube, Krishna Adhikari and others, a militant procession reached Bajemelia village winding its way through ricefields and village lanes and raising slogans. The procession was attractively decorated with banners, placards etc. A memorial meeting was organised near the Ujjal Sangh club. Two minutes silence was observed and floral wreaths placed at Tapasi's photograph. Speaking on the occasion, AIPWA general secretary Kumudini Pati and West Bengal state secretary Chaitali Sen pledged to continue the movement till the killers were brought to book and the policy of eviction of peasants in the name of industrialisation was revoked. The meeting was also address by Tapasi's father Manoranjan Malik while her mother took part in conducting the meeting.

After the meeting the procession moved again and went up to the walled construction site of Tata factory. Policemen guarding the wall were persuaded to allow entry and the processionists accompanied by mediapersons went inside to reach the spot where the hapless teenager had been raped and burnt to death. Flowers were offered and slogans raised demanding punishment to the killers, resignation of the Chief Minister of West Bengal, and repeal of the SEZ Act. Local people including the secretary of the Ujjal Sangh club participated in the programme with great enthusiasm. Describing her impressions of her visit, Medha Thatte, leader of the LNL(L) from Maharashtra said that the villagers accounts of how the CPI(M) tried to slander Tapasi and her whole family after her rape and killing brought the Khairlanji killings to mind. She said that in Tapasi’s mother’s eyes, the pain of the past year since the loss of her daughter could be seen.

Amar Gram, Tomar Gram, Nandigram!

A team comprising leaders of the CPN (UML), Comrade Abdus Salam, PB member of the Workers’ Party of Bangladesh, Comrades Suba Singh and Kanwalpreet Pannu from Punjab, as well as LNP(L) Convenor Comrade Bhimrao Bansod among others visited Nandigram on December 17. What they found there was a far cry from the claims of ‘normalcy’ and ‘peace’. Comrade Bansod said the people continued to live in terror of further retaliation by the CPI(M). He said that villagers who spoke to them said there was no Maoist presence in the area. He said that just as Congress backstabbing of the workers’ movement paved the way for the Shiv Sena in Maharashrta, the CPI(M)’s policies were weakening the :Left and making room for the right wing forces – and in this context only bold initiatives by the genuine left forces like CPI(ML) could save the Left movement in W Bengal. He described the visit to the home of Biswajit Maity, one of those killed by the CPI(M) cadre in January last year. He said Biswajit’s family had been closely associated with the communist movement since the tebhaga movement days. 

Liberation Archive