25 September 2015

'No More Attacks On Civic Police'

Agreeing that all citizens of the country had the right to organise, the Additional District Magistrate General (ADM G) Malda said that there would not be any more police attacks on peaceful demonstrations of the civic police, when a delegation of six people from Asanghatit Khetra Shramik Sangrami Manch met him on behalf of the civic police volunteers on 24th September 2015.

The delegation brought up three main issues - one that the police action on the assembly of 5,000 civic volunteers on September 14 had been brutal and without provocation. The police and RAF had prevented the volunteers from meeting the Superintendent of Police (SP), an appointment that they had been given many days in advance. In addition, they had chased the men and even women civic police volunteers for at least two kilometres from the site and badly beaten them. They had taken wounded people from the hospital and arrested them, they had forced doctors not to treat them – in other words, without any provocation they had gone far beyond their call of duty and had behaved inhumanely.

The second issue that the delegation stressed on was the sacking of 4,800 civic police volunteers. The SP Malda had arbitrarily set up a second panel of 4,800 volunteers and had used them to replace the first group of 4,800 civic volunteers. This was in contravention to a High Court order that the West Bengal Civic Police Association had got. It also contravened at least four circulars of the State Government which insist that no such replacements are to take place.

On both these issues the ADM G said he would be able to provide information after inquiries in a week’s time.

The third issue was the civic police volunteers’ right to organise. The delegation said this was the fourth attack on a peaceful assembly by the police. Civic police volunteers were also being victimised at their places of work for being members of the West Bengal Civic Police Volunteers Association. At this, the delegation was assured that no such attacks would take place in the future.

The deputation was followed by a convention which was attended by about 500 members of the West Bengal Civic Police Volunteers Association, many of whom had been lathi-charged and wounded just 10 days ago.

The meeting was presided by Pratip Nag. From amongst the civic police spoke Bijoli Mondal , Dipankar Ghosh, Sanjay Poria, Anjar Ali  and Bakhtar Hussain. AICCTU member Sk. Ibrahim and Hind Motor Sangrami Sramik Karmachari Union member  Sukanto Ghosh also addressed the meeting. Amongst others who spoke were the APDR  member Jishnu Ray Choudhuri and AWBSRU district secretary Subhojit Basak. Lawyers Goutam Mukherjee and Prabir Jha (Malda Bar Association President) who have extended legal aid to the Association members were also present. Anuradha Talwar spoke on behalf of the Asanghatit Khetra Shramik Sangrami Manch and New Trade Union Initiative.

The Convention resolved to organise a delegation and a dharna in Kolkata in the next week as well as participate in the statewide rally and public campaign being organised by the Manch.

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