Vol. XLI No. 03 January 15, 2017

WEST BENGAL: People Protest Loot of their Money

WHILE people are facing acute distress due to demonetisation, the back to back arrest of two TMC MPs has once again brought to surface the massive loot of peoples’ money through chit funds. Sudip Banerjee, TMC leader in Lok Sabha and Tapas Paul, film star turned MP were arrested by the CBI in the Rose Valley scam. Every day more and more facts are surfacing, proving that the ultimate beneficiary of the chit fund plunder was the ruling party of West Bengal.

Left parties have come out in the streets to protest against the demonetisation and for the logical conclusion of the CBI investigation. And this has infuriated the ruling party.

On January 9, thousands of people gathered in downtown Kolkata to voice their anger, at the call of CPI(M) Kolkata district committee. The procession was scheduled to march from Esplanade to Hazra. However, the police officers went to CPI(M) office to stop the programme. CPI(M) leaders defied the order and the march started as scheduled. Hundreds of policemen were deployed and iron barricades were erected to stop the rally. The march went through, side stepping the first barricade but the security forces blocked the street. The entire rally sat in the street. Suryakanta Mishra, Biman Basu, Sujan Chakraborty, Madan Ghosh, Amiya Patra, Rabin Deb and other CPI(M) leaders squatted on the street. The intervention from leaders averted a clash with police. However the road block continued for hours. Slogans reverberated through the winter evening. 

Addressing the gathering, Mishra said the chief minister is scared, the police is scared too. People have started to ask questions. There may be more arrests but our demand is loud and clear: return the looted money. Mishra said, there will be a bigger seize when people from the state would come to block Nabanna, the state secretariat.

Meanwhile, large peasant rallies are taking place in districts on the occasion of AIKS conferences. On January 10, a massive rally was organised in Daspur in West Medinipore. The peasants from terror-stricken areas, those suffering from distress sale of paddy came in numbers, breaking barriers. Suryakanta Mishra addressed the rally and said, some people and our chief minister used to say where is Left, they are in hibernation. But large mobilisations of people are now evident while the chief minister may not be seen outside in days. Mishra sharply alleged that all benefits and rights achieved by the peasantry in West Bengal under the Left Front government have been decimated in the last six years. A mightier struggle will regain those rights.