Monday, February 7, 2011
February 7, 2011
Left Parties Memorandum to the Election Commission of India
In continuation of our representation before you dated January 21, 2011, we are presenting our specific area-wise concerns which pose a challenge for the holding of peaceful, free and fair elections for the upcoming West Bengal Assembly in some parts of the state.
But, at the outset, before going into these specific facts, we would like to draw your attention to certain observations from the Election Commission. That West Bengal elections have been historically violence-prone is a claim which is not borne out by facts. On the contrary, West Bengal has a very positive record of peaceful elections. Further, West Bengal’s electoral history is unique characterized by abnormally heavy voter turnout underlining the peaceful, free and fair character with massive popular participation under the strictest scrutiny of the EC. A number of times the Election Commission and its observers have put these on record. Particularly during the 2006 elections, the EC had organized it under unprecedented security arrangements. So much so, that the elections were held in five phases and both security and other election officials were largely drawn from outside the state. Unfortunately, overlooking this history and making ahistorical observations can only lead to interpretations which will help partisan interests.
The situation, as we had stated on January 21, is, indeed, serious in certain areas. This is largely due to the nexus between the Maoists and the Trinamul Congress. More developments have taken place since which bring out the brazenness of this complicit relationship. Now, this nexus is not operating covertly but quite in the open. A meeting was held in Lalgarh jointly sponsored by the Trinamul Congress and the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities (PCPA) on January 30. This was addressed, amongst others, by Shri Shishir Adhikari and Shri Mukul Roy – both Ministers of State in the Union Government and front-ranking TMC leaders. Both the print and the electronic media have reported banners, festoons and flags alongwith the actual presence of PCPA in the meeting. Incidentally, PCPA has been described by the Home Minister as a frontal organisation of the Maoists – on the floor of the Rajya Sabha itself. The CBI chargesheet in the Gyaneswari Express tragedy has established the involvement of the PCPA in the gruesome incidents where deliberate sabotage had led to the death of 150 innocent people. On January 31, two Maoists were apprehended from the so-called relief camp run by the TMC in the Congress-TMC led Midnapur municipality’s Guest House. Communications with the top Maoist leadership, including Kishanji, was recovered from these arrested Maoists. Media has also reported that questioning of these two have led to the recovery of firearms and ammunition which were hidden under the ground.
The open involvement of a major political force which is a part of the UPA coalition at the Centre with the Maoists may adversely affect the coming election process. This will create difficulties for the maintenance of a peaceful atmosphere, despite the state administration’s best efforts. Efforts by the administration have led to recovery of a large cache of firearms and other lethal weapons. The joint security operations has also been able to largely restore normalcy in large part of the affected districts. However, the new feature, as stated above, is the open complicity between the TMC and Maoists that makes the task of the security forces more difficult as seen in the resistance to arrest of two Maoists from the TMC relief camp and the subsequent insinuations by the TMC against the police administration.
We would like to further inform the Election Commission that the joint forces have conducted a thorough search for the so-called `armed camps’ on the basis of a list submitted by the opposition before the Hon’ble High Court. The Commandant of the CRPF has publicly gone on record that the operations did not establish the existence of `armed camps’. But people evicted by violence were found to be living in those camps and that their names were being listed systematically by the security forces. Arrangements must be made by the EC to ensure that such displaced voters in areas like Nandigram, Khejuri and other parts of East Midnapur are allowed to exercise their franchise. However, the improvement of the situation has not been able to stop `individual annihilation’ of CPI(M) and Left cadre which continue to take place. In fact, since the noise over `armed camps’ reached a crescendo more than a dozen Left activists have been killed by the Maoists. One cannot escape an uncomfortable conclusion that such propaganda of disinformation has only emboldened the TMC-Maoist to mount greater terror. On this 4th of February, a CPI(M) sympathizer, Baidyanath Jana, an employee of a school was shot dead by the TMC-Maoist nexus in Nayagram, in the Jangal Mahal area of West Midnapur district.
Given this, the first specific concern arises from the geographic features of the state with its long borders with Jharkhand and Orissa. In fact, these borders are in many cases under forest cover. Therefore, it is that much easier for the Maoists to cross over and conduct operations. The Ayodhya hills and its adjoining blocks of Purulia district like Bandwan, Balrampur, Arsha, Baghmundi, Jhalda-I and II and Jaipur are particularly vulnerable from the security point of view. Similarly, Khairasol, Rajnagar, Mohd Bazar, Rampurhat, Nalhati of Birbhum district have borders with Jharkhand. Of late, as the situation improved in Jangalmahal, increased operations by Maoists have been noticed in Birbhum, Murshidabad and Nadia districts. It is necessary for the EC to address this question of vulnerability in the border areas from a security point of view and may be consider the sealing of the state borders from the time of announcement of elections.
Further, we would like to draw the attention of the EC to specific assembly segments, villages and gram panchayats where terror has been let loose with an arms build up. We are attaching as annexure detailed district-wise information.
Unfortunately, the visit of the set of observers to study law and order exclusively on the basis of allegations by the opposition has created some doubts in the minds of the people. During the visit of the observers, there are complaints that even after specific efforts were made, the representatives of Left parties could not meet these observers. This was most particularly evident in Purba Midnapur district.
We hope that the Election Commission will initiate appropriate steps to address these concerns to instill the required sense of confidence.
Sitaram Yechury Nilotpal Basu
MP (Leader, Rajya Sabha) Member, Central Secretariat
Member, Polit Bureau, CPI(M) CPI(M)
D. Raja Prabodh Panda
Member of Parliament Member of Parliament, CPI
Secretary, National Council, CPI
Abani Roy Barun Mukherjee
Member of Parliament Member of Parliament
Secretary, RSP Member, Central Secretariat
259 Khandoghosh Assembly constituency:
There have been major instances of violence in Bonai Chandi Gram Panchayat. Miscreants belonging to TMC have demolished CPI (M) Party office in the village market, injured several CPI (M) activists and gutted 62 houses. Most of these belong to the poor people. Similar violence has been experienced in village Kulchura, Kamalpur and Khejurhati.
260 Burdwan Dakshin Assembly constituency:
There have been instances of violence with CPI (M) office and residences of CPI (M) workers attacked in Lakshmipurmath, Khagragarh, Badshahi Road, Mehedibagan areas of this district town. There is a strong possibility of violence in the run-up to elections.
261 Raina Assembly constituency :
The main centre which has been affected by violence is the Hijalna Gram Panchayat. As a result of violence unleashed by TMC miscreants, a large number of CPI (M) activists had to leave the village. Still over 50 supporters of the CPI (M) have to remain outside for the fear of lives. Two CPI (M) activists have been killed in this area and several grievously injured. What makes the violence most unacceptable is the fact that this is being led by a Minister of State of Government of India Shri Mukul Ray and an MP, Subhendu Adhikari who are openly seen accompanied with some of the miscreants against whom FIR has been lodged for the killings and widespread violence.
262 Jamalpur Assembly constituency:
The affected villages are Kora, Shaly and Math-Shaly. The violence took the form of physical attacks on CPI (M) local leaders, ransacking of houses and looting.
263 Monteswar Assembly constituency:
The major violence affected areas are Aruar and Mahata Gram Panchayat. Physical attacks, eviction of Party activists are taking place.
269 Purbasthali Assembly constituency :
There have been several attacks by TMC miscreants.
271 Ketugram Assembly constituency :
Khandra and Rajput grama panchayats remain affected by violence led by the TMC miscreants. Certain villages like Knartari, Ratanpur, Serandi, Dadhia under Pancha gram panchayat and Khalipur and Bamudi villages under Morgram, Bhopalpur gram panchayat also remain affected by violence. Seven villagers from Amburia and one each from Morgram, Khalipur villages have been killed during these period since last Lok Sabha elections. A large number of villagers and CPI(M) activists cannot live in their homes.
272 Mongolkote Assembly constituency : Following the killing of a CPI(M) leader and elected member of the Burdwan zilla parishad – Falguni Mukherjee an elected member of the Burdwan zilla parishad on June 16, 2009, terror has been unleashed and during the panchayat bye-elections, 12 booths were rigged by the TMC. Villages under Nakuria and Gotistha gram panchayats have been attacked by TMC miscreants. CPI(M) workers from villages like Siur, Kalyanapur, Mallikput, Amdob, Chakda, Kotalghosh have been attacked and injured. A number of CPI(M) activists have been forced out of their villages.
West Midnapur District
This district is worst affected by Maoist violence. The scale of violence can be gauged that over 259 Left leaders and activists have been killed in the three districts of West Midnapur, Bankura and Purulia as on February 4 of which 192 in West Midnapur alone. The special feature of the violence and killings in West Midnapur has been a close interrelationship between the holding of meetings by top leaders of the TMC and immediate fallout in terms of these killings. The highly publicized meeting addressed by Ms. Mamata Banerjee on August 9, 2010 in Lalgarh was followed by the killing of Santosh Datta in Belpahari, Nirmal Mahato in Therua on August 13 and Nishikanto Naik and Shankar Jana on August 14 in Nayagram block. These are all areas which have borders with Jharkhand and Orissa. In the last five months, Sukhendu Adhikari has addressed open meetings 24 times. He has addressed meetings in the Jhargram block eight times. It is immediately after these meetings, spate of killings have taken place. There have been open threats issued to the villagers by Maoists and their frontal organisation – PCPA – to attend meetings which were to be addressed by these leaders. While Maoists have imposed road blocks to disrupt normalcy, such actions have been withdrawn to facilitate the movement and visits of Shri Adhikari. Maoist squad members have been arrested even from the vehicles of TMC leaders. Dreaded Maoist squad member, Kanchan Deb Singh was apprehended from the car where he was traveling alongwith the Trinamul Youth Congress district president, Debasish Choudhury, and TMC Shalboni block president Jaipal Singh. There are charges of 14 murders pending against Kanchan.
East Midnapur District
The district is most severely affected by violence unleashed by the TMC. The worst affected areas are Nandigram, Khejuri, parts of Mugberia, Bhagwanpur, Patashpur and Contai. Separately a list of the names of those killed since the last Lok Sabha elections and people who have been rendered homeless is being separately forwarded.
A large number of anti-socials are actually rooming freely who are severally charged in different FIR registered with the concerned police stations. There have been instances where miscreants who had been accused in major acts of crime have been sought to be snatched away from police custody by the TMC.
It will be pertinent to mention that major revelations has been made regarding the complicity of the Maoists in the Nandigram flair up which must be available with the state administration. These include statements by Maoist leaders and the depositions of Maoists in custody.
Therefore, the Commission is required to make special arrangements for this district.
177 Uluberia North Assembly Constituency
1. On 7th May 2009, after the Lok Sabha election Manwar Hussain Jamader, a CPI(M) sympathizer of Chandrapur, Amta I Block was heinously murdered by the Trinamul backed goons. The F.I.R was lodged and the Police had initiated the Amta PS Case No 51 /2009in connection with this incident. Out of 41 FIR named accused only 12 were arrested and only 19 took bail rest of them are moving freely under the shelter of TMC leaders and threatening the innocent villagers and CPI(M) supporters regularly.
2. On 29/01/2010 in village Chandrapur the house of Atar Ali alias Bhutto was ransacked and the modesty of the women was outraged by TMC backed goons. Amta PS case No 13/10 dated 30/01/10was initiated. During the course of investigation 5 out of 12 accused were arrested. But the accused moving freely in the daylight have again ransacked the house of said Attar Ali on 05/03/2010 the Amta PS case No 48/10 was started. Only one of the accused named in the FIR has been arrested.
3. On 16/03/10 the said Attar and other 31 CPI(M) supporters who had been driven out of the village entered the village with the help of the administration. On that night itself the notorious goons backed by the TMC leaders including the Central Minister had bombed the village to create panic. The police started the investigation of the same.
4. Within one year eight months after the murder of Sheikh Manwar Husain Jamader, Sheikh Shangir, another CPI(M) supporter and a petty grocer was murdered in brought daylight in the same GP of village Harishpur in Amta PS by the Trinamul backed anti socials on 21/12/2010 near the police camp in the village. The police has started the case i.e. Amta PS Case No 350/2010.Only 3 of 38 of the accused named in the FIR were arrested. The court has refused them to grant bail in this matter.
5. It is so unfortunate after the occurrence of the aforesaid murder that the local Member of Parliament and the Central Minister Mr. Sultan Ahmad came in the village and instigated the goons in the garb of political meeting .It is found that most of the accused who are supposed to be absconding in the said murder case were attending the meeting in front of the police and started new attacks as a result of the instigation and provocation by the Central Minister.
6. As a result of the said instigation, a CPI(M) worker Sheikh Kasem was abducted and beaten severely with an attempt to murder him by the Trinamul sponsored anti Socials. The said Sheikh Kasem is admitted to the Medical College Hospital for treatment. The police has commenced the case i.e. Amta PS Case no 4/2011dated 7/1/2011
7. The anti socials in the garb of villagers attacked the elected Panchayat Upapradhan of G.P Balichak, Mr. Gautam Chakravorty during an official meeting at the GP office in broad day light. The police started the case in connection with this attack i.e. Amta PS. Case No 245/10 dated 21/10/2010.
8. Educational Institution like Amta RS College became the target of the TMC backed anti socials since the Lok Sabha election 2009.The S.F.I supporters of the RS College were beaten time and again. The extent of attack was so major that some of the students had to leave their study. Even a professor was hackled and forcefully ousted from the college by outsiders. Student leaders belonging to TMC were backed by these outsiders. The General Diary was made at Amta Police Station GD No-535/10/9/2010.
182 Udaynarayanpur Assembly Constituency.
1. On 8th May 2009, Chandu Dolui, CPI(M) supporter of G.P Debipur of Village Manashree, PS Udaynarayanpur was heinously murdered by the Trinamul backed goons. The F.I.R was lodged and the Police had initiated the Udaynarayanpur PS Case No 60/2009 in connection with the murder. Out of 32 named as accused in the FIR 12 people were arrested by the police from the spot itself .On 5th September 2009 A CPI(M) Party office was attacked and ransacked in Khila within Udaynarayanpur Assembly Constituency. The F.I.R was lodged in Udaynarayanpur Police station and the case has commenced on the basis of the F.I.R (Udaynarayanpur PS case No 179 of 05.09.2010).
2. A large number of CPI(M) leaders, supporters and even innocent people are unable to enter the village and return to their homes because of the continuous threat and coercion forced by the Trinamul Congress goons. They are forced to live away from their homes life with their family and children outside the village. The number of such people is 56 at Manashreeunder Udaynarayanpur assembly Constituency. (A list of homeless people have been annexed herewith the Annexure A)
3. At least 10 people have been restrained forcefully by the Trinomial congress supporters backed by infamous anti socials from harvesting their own land. (A List of the same has been annexed herewith Annexure B)
4. The villages with the strong support for the CPI(M) have been targeted by Trinamul Congress backed anti socials. The muscle power has been used to physically controlling the schools, colleges, cooperatives and Gram Panchayats.Recently on the day of the Primary teachers council election even the teachers were badly beaten up by Trinamul Congress anti socials. The F.I.R was lodged in Udaynarayanpur Police Station and Udaynarayanpur PS Case No 241; dated 28/11/10 has been commenced by the Police.
5. The Trinamul deployed anti socials had attacked and ransacked the house of CPI(M) sympathizer Rabin Bodhok.UdaynarayanpurPS- PS Case No 194/10 dated 22/09/2010 has started.
6. The continuous instigation from Trinamul Congress leaders has resulted in the incident of ransacking the house of CPI(M) supporter Jaydev Koley in village Habla of Basantapur GP. Amta PS case No 944/345 has started in connection with the same incident.
7. The CPI(M) worker and the elected Panchayat Samity member Haradhan Malik was abducted by the Trinamul backed anti social from the Block office in broad day light while performing his official work (Case No 37/10 dated 09/03/2010)
8. The Booth Level Agents, appointed by our party were forced to leave the place at the time of hearing on the voter list in the following Parts:
Part No:2,3,26,48,50,53,79,84,85,89,92,93,94,96,97,98,99,100,101,147,168 and 169.
We have reported the incident through our letter dated 20/07/2010 and made a request not to take any final decision at the booth level. We express our doubt that the free and fair election cannot take place if the agents cannot freely enter into a Booth. The situation of this Constituency at the moment is not conducive for peaceful, free and fair election. A good number of people are living away from their homes. In the light of above mentioned facts we request you to kindly intervene the situation and take the necessary measures to ensure the peaceful election in 182 Udaynarayanpur Assembly Constituency.
181 Amta Assembly Constituency.
1. Sk. Arsakul Islam alias Sheikh Babua of Chilampur Village, a student of class X was murdered on 8th May 2009 in Bakshirhat area on 8th May 2009. Bagnan PS has started the case in connection with this murder.
2. Lastly on 24th July 2010, Sheikh Shanwaz, a CPI(M) worker was heinously murdered by the Trinamul backed goons. The F.I.R was lodged and the Police had initiated the Jaipur PS Case No 87/2010 dated 24.07/2010 in connection with this murder.
Since the Lok Sabha Election 2009 the Trinamul anti socials are waging the armed attack on CPI(M) workers. The grave attack took place in Chitnan Gram Panchayat area and Ghoraberia village of Bhatora. At least 300 CPI(M) supporters had to leave their homes in order to save their lives.45 houses of the poor people were looted and destroyed by Trinamul Congress anti socials at Sholbhaga Village. In 2008 Panchayat and 2009 Lok Sabha polls, many polling stations was under the direct control of Trinamul goons. It is reported that in those polling stations the polling agents appointed by our party were driven away from the polling stations.
There is a special situation in the three hill sub-divisions of the district. You must be aware that the Gorkha Jana Mukti Morcha (GJMM) has unleashed a rein of terror in the name of agitation for a separate Gorkhaland state. They are forcing blockades, illegal bandhs and the democratic atmosphere is in complete jeopardy. No non GJMM organisation or political party is allowed to carry out legitimate activity and public programmes. The most blatant example was the murder of late Shri Madan Tamang, President, All Bengal Gorkha League – a respected leader in broad daylight while he was addressing a public meeting. The CPI(M) activists in Bijanbare, Sonada and Kalimpong area and tea gardens of Garidhura area are being assaulted forcing some of our organisers to leave their homes.
They have recently called a continuous bandh in the hills and openly declared that tourists should not visit the area while students appearing for public examinations should be prepared to loose one year.
We would request you to recall the experience of the last Lok Sabha election where the polling in these three hill sub-divisions degenerated into a farce where most of the booths were physically captured by the GJMM workers with all EVMs being taken under the virtual control of local GJMM/BJP election machinery. It will be pertinent to mention that more than 90 per cent of the polled votes was secured by the BJP candidate while no others were allowed to campaign.
The situation on the ground has changed in the wake of the murder of Madan Tamang. Therefore, GJMM is further concentrating on terrorizing the people and this poses a real challenge to the holding of free and fair elections in the hills. This warrants a special intervention of the EC including a visit of the Commission members themselves in the hills.
This is one of the districts which was badly affected by Maoist violence in complicity with the TMC particularly affected were the areas of Ranibandh and Sarenga PS areas.
Though the situation has generally improved, there are certain points where the TMC have organized armed camps under four police station areas. The details of these camps are as follows:
1) Indas PS
a) Karishunda gram panchayat – i) Lakshman Modak’s shop (Laku Moira, Bandherpar) ii) Fadilpur - Amit Baran Chandra Deb (Bagdi)’s house, iii) Karishunda – Gul Mohd.’s house
b) Indas gram panchayat – i) Kotir Pukurerpar (Hajrapara) ii) Indas Midjapur Sk. Kasem’s hosue
c) Rol gram panchayat – i) Somsar Chaudhuri Riaz’s house ii) Barul Sagar Ghose’s house iii) Gopalnagar - Sayed Hosan’s chamber iv) Rol Purbapara club v) Bagicha Bandh - Tinkari Mondal’s house
d) Amrul gram panchayat i) Shantashram – Mohd’s stationery shop ii) Patrapanti – Gopal Barat’s sweet shop
e) Indas-2 gram panchayat – i) Khoshbagh – Rezac Sahab’s house ii) Kumrul – Samser Mallik’s shop
f) Shashpur gram panchayat – i) Namo Dharampur – Sk. Tapan’s house
2) Bishnupur PS
a) Vacant PHE quarter (East and South) within Bishnupur municipality office campus.
b) Municipal Domitry, College Road, Ward No. 3
3) PS Patra Sayaar
a) Patra Sayaar Dakshin Para – Snehesh Mukherjee’s house and the Samiti office of the Kamars
b) Bamira – Nabapal’s house
c) Baraban – Tarashidh’s house
d) Dhagria bus stand – Sk. Mannan’s house
e) Fakir Danga – Mohar Midda’s house in Barquatchowk
f) Arabinda Panja’s house
g) Shimul Danga – Gunamay Mondal’s house
The areas where the activities of the anti-socials sponsored by the TMC are still continuing include Karambakuli (village Bhagwanpur, Dhan Simla area, Dhan Simla village), village Balrampur (Manik Bazar area), village Kalipur (Purban Basan area), village Palshara (Dhulai area), village Dhulai, Samanta Bera village and Radha Ramanpur village (Daripara area)
North 24 Paraganas District
Separate exhaustive memorandum by the District Committee of the CPI(M) is being forwarded to the Commission.
The specific areas affected by violence unleashed by the TMC include large parts of Barrakpore sub-division including Barrakpore, Kanchapara, Titagarh, Naihati. The other majorly affected area is Shashan area under Barasat block and parts of Harwa and Minakha areas adjoining Bhangar of South 24 Paraganas district. In many of the instances, local MPs of Trinamul Congress and the Minister of State Mukul Ray, the leader of the opposition in the Assembly Partho Chatterjee have been actively involved in the planning and execution of the acts of violence.