May 29, 2016

West Bengal: Denounce This Terror

THE Trinamool Congress won a decisive victory in West Bengal getting 72 per cent of the seats in the assembly. But obviously, this is not enough for Mamata Banerjee. For her, the CPI(M) and the Left Front have to be not only electorally defeated, they have also to be eliminated as a political force. That is why, she is fulfilling the threat she made during the election campaign that she would retaliate inch by inch after the election. An unprecedented terror campaign has been unleashed by the TMC men against the CPI(M) and the Left Front. Other opposition parties are also not spared. Since the declaration of the results on May 19, Trinamool gangs are on the attack all over the state. They have targeted polling agents, cadres, supporters and even voters of the CPI(M) and the Left Front. The pattern is the same – Party offices are burnt or wrecked; houses of opposition activists are attacked and their belongings destroyed; opposition cadres and activists are physically assaulted and in their homes, women and children are also not spared; in many places, the means of livelihood are cut off. A reprehensible feature of this rampage is that women activists and supporters are being specifically targeted. Some women, who had been raped previously, such as after the panchayat elections, are being threatened and asked to withdraw the cases filed against the accused Trinamool men. West Bengal today is a lawless state. The police are either standing by mutely, or, filing false cases against the victims of the attacks. During the election campaign, the chief minister had threatened police and government officials, who acted independently, with retribution. A Left Front delegation has met the governor and submitted a comprehensive memorandum detailing out the violence and terror which has enveloped the state. It is essential that the constitutional authorities, including the higher judiciary, intervene to see that the life and properties of the citizens of the state are protected. The central government which has been vocal about the so-called violence perpetrated in Kerala by the CPI(M) against the BJP, is conspicuously silent about the murderous rampage going on in West Bengal which has not spared the BJP activists too. What is happening in West Bengal is an all-out assault on democracy and the fundamental rights of citizens. This barbarous attack has to be resisted and opposed by all political parties and all sections of the people. The entire Left and democratic forces in the country stand with the CPI(M) and the Left Front in West Bengal in this hour of trial. No amount of violence and terror can eliminate the ideology and politics of the Left movement from West Bengal.