Police Brutality on Peasant March in West Bengal
A Quick Report by Debashish Chkraborty.
Thousands of peasants and agricultural workers braved police attack and marched towards state secretariat Nabanna today. For the first time in last four and half years all roads leading to Nabanna, a virtual fortress, were blocked as waves of peasants surged towards the state administrative headquarters.
In Howrah city, where Nabanna is situated, police put up barricades in four places to stop the demonstrators. In all four places, police resorted to heavy lathi charge. Hundreads have been injured. Despite this brutal attack, more than two thousand volunteers reached the main door of Nabanna. They were mercilessly beaten up and tear gas was used to disperse the rally.
In Kolkata, a rally started from Rani Rasmoni Road, led by Left leaders. Surya Misra, Biman Basu, Nripen Choudhury and other leaders were at forefront. Police blocked the rally in Mayo road. Among slogan shouting police started lathi charge. Biman Basu was among the first to suffer injury. However, instead of backing out, the peasants and student-youth activists forged ahead. Police barricade was broken. For long the pitched battle went on and more than 100 people were injured on that spot. A road blockade was started which continued till afternoon.
In Howrah, police blocked peasants in front of Howrah station, Foreshore Road and Kona Expressway. Left peasant leaders including Madan Ghosh were there. They insisted that they would submit their deputation only in Nabanna. Police resorted to heavy lathi charge in all four places. But they could not resist a procession which overcome all barricades and reached at Nabanna gate. Nearly 200 people have been injured in Howrah.
Left peasants and agricultural workers’ organizations called this march to demand remunerative prices for produces, work for the rural people, payment of wages in MNREGA, relief for flood affected people.