The Polit Bureau of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has issued the following statement:

The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the brutal killing of ten adivasi landless farmers, including three women by criminal land grabbing mafia in Umbha village, Sonbhadra district,  backed by the UP Government and administration. The adivasis have been tilling the land for the last seven decades but no Government gave them the land pattas which was their right. After the Adityanath Government took office, the adivasis have been threatened by the local land mafia to stop tilling the land. Even though the adivasis had complained to the authorities, the Government and administration refused to act. The Adityanath Government is trying to put the responsibility on others but it is during the rule of his Government that the land mafia led by the pradhan claimed to have “bought” the land and unleashed terror on the adivasis. It is highly condemnable that the Government has not given a single rupee to help the injured and on the contrary some were forcibly discharged from the hospital.

A CPI(M) delegation visited the village yesterday, the first to do so,  to meet the victim families breaking the condemnable restrictions imposed by the UP Government on entry into the village. A six member delegation led by Com Hiralal Yadav central committee member of the CPI(M) and State Secretary and other leaders including Dinanath Yadav, Anup Pratap Singh, Baccha Lal, Arvind Vakil, Anil Kumar Singh. The details the families related are horrifying. Truckloads of armed men led by Yagya Dutt opened fire even as the adivasis were tilling the land, a mass butchery. The families gave details of the number of times they had pleaded with the administration to give the pattas in their name. Earlier, the land had been captured in 1955 by powerful landlords led by one Sinha and a trust was formed in the name of Adarsh trust. Since then the adivasis families have been paying an annual rent per bigha which in the last payment was 500 rupees per bigha on the assurance that the land was not going to be sold. It is in 2017 that the land was apparently sold to Yagya Dutt with the help of the administration. This is during the regime of the BJP Government.

Clearly the current regime is responsible for protecting the land mafia and denying land pattas to the adivasis. The delegation also visited those injured and admitted in two hospitals.

The CPI(M) demands that the land pattas are immediately given to the adivasi families who have been tilling the land for over seven decades. It demands strong action against the administration officials and the police who connived with the criminals and immediate arrest and stringent punishment of all those involved in the brutal massacre. It demands immediate compensation to the families of those killed and to the injured. Government has to ensure free rations to the families who are deprived of their livelihood.

(Hari Singh Kang)

For CPI(M) Central Committee office