07 October 2015

Police Disrupt Campaign at Baruipur

Asanghatit Khetra Shramik Sangrami Manch condemns the unilateral police action on  October 6, 2015 to break up our state-wide campaign at Baruipur. The motorcycle rally was stopped early in the morning by police from the Baruipur Police Station, when they were about to proceed from the place where they had stayed the night before at Sashan after a successful day of campaigning at Baruipur.

Motorcyclists and the jeep which had the microphone that was being used for the campaign were not even allowed to get on to the road.  The excuse given by the police has been that the motorcycle rally did not have “permission”. As far as we know, no such law exists banning motorcycle or other rallies or processions in South 24 Parganas district.

The police threatened to take away the papers of all the motorcycle and the pick-up with microphone that was with the rally. They also insisted that banners be taken off and that the microphone be removed. All this is illegal and much beyond the powers that the police have.

It should be mentioned that the police, including DGP Police, and all concerned SPs from all districts through which the rally is passing, were informed about the route of the rally, number of participants on motorcycles, stoppages, chief places of campaigning and major programmes on September 29, 2015. No information or feedback has been received from the police till date about the illegality of the programme. Also, the programme has been going on for five days without any such information.

Coming just two days after the rallyists were attacked with bombs by TMC goons in Bibekpur village under Keshpur block (Paschim Midnapore), the situation reflects very poorly on the attitude of the Government and the ruling party towards the rights and demands of the unorganised sector, which form 97% of the workers in the state. This is more or less a continuation of the way in which the administration is neglecting demands of the Manch members for declaration and implementation of the living wages in all sectors, for creation of employment under MGNREGA, for immediate implementation of the National Food Security, for regularisation of the civic police volunteer force, for the right to organise trade unions, for 20% bonus for tea garden workers etc.

The Manch will now be organising a rally at Malda town on October 8. In addition, rallyists will be proceeding through Nadia, North 24 Parganas and Burdwan and Hooghly districts toward Palashi, where the final programme is to be held on October 9. We are apprehensive that similar attacks by the administration and goons who say they are from the ruling party could take place.
Swapan Ganguly, Somnath Ghosh (Convenors) 

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