CPI(M) Polit Bureau has issued the following statement on December 26
THE Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) strongly condemns the brutal suppression of peaceful protests, particularly in Uttar Pradesh and other BJP-ruled states and in Delhi where the police is directly under the centre’s control.
The death toll in Uttar Pradesh has now reached 18 and the count is still mounting. 69 activists of the Left parties, including district committee members of Banaras CPI(M) have been arrested. 56 continue to remain under police custody. With the courts going on vacation, any possibilities of legal remedies are foreclosed till January 2020. The brutality of the attacks has been reported in sections of the media. The footage of police barbarity in UP has been released by various electronic media sites.
The Uttar Pradesh government, instead of declaring compensation for the dead and injured, has started a campaign with the chief minister aggressively saying that the cost of damage to public property would be extracted from the protestors. Video recording clearly show that it is the police that is indulging in damage and blaming peaceful protestors. The damage done by the police in Jamia Millia University in Delhi has been widely reported and shown.
The Uttar Pradesh situation is taking an ugly turn of communal polarisation spearheaded by the BJP. The BJP leaders, including ministers who are in office under the oath of the Indian constitution, have warned the repetition of “Godhra-like situation”. The CPI(M) appeals the people not to fall prey to such provocations.
The Uttar Pradesh government is seeking to convert these protests as being done only by the Muslims. The reality is that all Indians who cherish our constitution, irrespective of religion, are in the midst of peaceful protests. Of the 69 Left activists arrested in Banaras, only 13 are Muslim, 56 are non-Muslim.
The Left parties in Uttar Pradesh have decided to observe protest day in all district headquarters on December 30. The Left parties have appealed to others to join these peaceful protests.
In Karnataka, two people have been shot by the police in Mangaluru. The RSS/BJP workers have attacked and burnt the CPI office in Bengaluru.
At various places in Tripura, the BJP state government has unleashed police attacks on peaceful protestors. In Belonia, Udaipur and other places, several CPI(M) activists have been arrested.
In Gujarat, over 50 CPI(M) activists were arrested. CPI(M) Central Committee member, Arun Mehta, was arrested and detained and subsequently released on bail. The arrests of CPI(M) workers are continuing.
The right to peaceful assembly and protest is guaranteed by the Indian constitution. This right is being mercilessly assaulted by the BJP today. Such authoritarian atrocities will not be tolerated by the Indian people. The Indian people had once fought against the authoritarian assaults and restored democracy in the 1970s. This shall be done once again through peaceful protests.
For every Indian patriot, there is only one “book” – the constitution of India. Protecting the Indian constitution from being violated through the CAA/NRC/NPR is an act of supreme patriotism. The peaceful protests will continue to protect and defend our constitution and its secular democratic foundations.
Indian Communists have braved many attacks and fought against the British, which banned the parties that fought for freedom. The mighty struggles with countless martyrs, pre-independence and post-independence, are a glorious chapter in the history of our country.
The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) appeals to the people to continue the protest peacefully and not fall prey to any provocations.