Demonstration against Murder of Anti-liquor Activist in Uttarakhand

Sangita Malda was murdered on 29 May 2013. She was spearheading a movement against liquor smugglers in Uttarakhand – the land of anti-liquor movement with the slogan of “Nasha Nahin, Rozgar Do”. She was an ASHA worker in Mandalsera village of district Bageshwar. On 20th May, she led a protest demonstration of women at SDM office, Bageshwar demanding action against liquor smugglers in the village. Then on 24 May she submitted a memorandum with DM in which she gave the names of liquor smugglers and demanded protection for her and other women comrades. But the district administration ignored her demands. As a result of the callous and apathetic attitude of district administration, on 29th May she was murdered in her house by liquor mafia when she was alone. After murdering her, the culprits tried to convert the murder into a suicide scene by forcing pesticide into her mouth, and their agents went on to propagate that she has committed suicide owing to financial fraud done by her with women group and lodged a case of suicide. But these concocted charges were refuted by the treasurer of women group Ramuli Devi who informed that the entire fund is safely lying in bank.

Demanding punishment to the murderers of the martyred Sangita, who bravely fought against liquor mafia and for the dignity of women, hundreds of women, members of ASHA union, anganwadi workers and villagers under the leadership of CPI (ML) and AICCTU staged a militant demonstration on 4 June at DM office. They demanded lodging of murder cases against the accused, immediate arresting of the fourth accused, punishment to administrative officers and policemen who did not take any action despite repeated submission of memorandum and information, prohibition of legal and illegal sale of liquor in the entire district, arrest of all liquor smugglers and compensation and job to the dependent of the deceased. The militant demonstration forced the DM and SP to come out of office to face the demonstrators and to give clarification to every demand raised. They had to confess in front of the demonstrators that the police ignored the facts and were also conceded to the demands raised in the demonstration and declared that the case of murder will be registered after the enquiry into this incident by high officials. The district administration was given an ultimatum of 10 days with a warning of Chakka Jam if the demands are not met.

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