By B Prasant
AS the people’s resistance grows in the western districts of Bengal, the ‘Maoists’ have started to go in for generalised armed attack on the rural population. They have also migrated to the northern hinterland of metropolitan zone in splinter groups of hardened, professional killers-- especially in the Nadia-Murshidabad areas in what can be called ‘central’ Bengal.
The points of resistance have been the Midnapore west Sadar block as well as Salboni, and Goaltore where we found how the ‘Maoists’ were conspicuous by their absence. The taking into custody, albeit belatedly, of some of the killers by the central forces, too has helped. Yet, the attacks on the innocents continue. So do the kidnappings and ransom-demands.
In the face of the armed assaults, people have come out in streams of thousands upon thousands in the jangal mahal over the past week, and it was a heart-warming sight for us to be witness to the resoluteness of the marchers in zones and localities where the Trinamuli-backed ‘left’ ultras had held sway even a couple of months back.
Slogans rose ragingly as the serpentine line of kisans and khet mazdoors traversed across the muddy rice paddies, strode across the sal and mahua forestry, and occasionally walked along the metalled roads where the traffic willingly and perhaps with a sigh of relief gave way to the fluttering Red Flag. This was normalcy. This was welcomed.
The talk about ‘restoration’ of democracy in Bengal is out of line with reality. What has happened has been that democracy, nurtured carefully by the Communist Party and the Left parties, has been subjected to ruthless and continuous assaults and the corporate media has egged the attackers on.
In Jhargram, the Bengal CPI(M) mourns the loss of lives at the hands of the Trinamuli-‘Maoist’ combination of two CPI(M) workers, Comrades Ganesh Murmu and Srimanta Tudu in Midnapore west and also of the SFI worker Comrade Phulchand Mahato. The Bengal CPI(M) grieves for the killing of two poor khet mazdoors who were CPI (M) workers in Naoda in Murshidabad, Comrades Saidul Sheikh and Mohar Ali Sheikh. It is worrying that no trace could yet be found of the kidnapped CPI(M) worker and a para-teacher of Jhargram rural belt, Ajit Giri.