Once friends of Mamata,rights activists to march against govt

Rights activists and city intelligentsia,who had hit the streets a few years ago against the alleged atrocities by the CPM cadres in Nandigram and Singur,are set to make a similar comeback later this month.

Written by RAJIB CHATTERJEE | Kolkata | Published: April 2, 2012 3:52 am

Rights activists and city intelligentsia,who had hit the streets a few years ago against the alleged atrocities by the CPM cadres in Nandigram and Singur,are set to make a similar comeback later this month. This time against the Mamata Banerjee-led government for “going back on her words of releasing political prisoners”.

Led by Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR),members from 21 outfits,have decided to launch a fresh agitation which they term it as a “movement for the release of political prisoners”.

“A rally from College Square to Metro Channel will be held in the third week of April followed by mass meeting. All democratic intellectuals will take part in the meeting. Cultural groups will also perform demanding unconditional release of political prisoners,” said Ranjit Sur,a senior member of APDR.

Ironically,the same outfits had supported Mamata Banerjee when CPM was at the helm of affairs in the state. Now,they have trained their guns at Mamata. “This government is so autocratic that we were not even allowed to hold rallies at Metro Channel. Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee reacted in a bad manner when respected author Mahasweta Devi protested against such an act of the police,” Sur said.

Even though the chief minister has said that her government has so far released 30 political prisoners out of 50-odd names recommended by Bondi Mukti Committee,APDR members and other activists claimed that during her 10-month long rule not a single political prisoners from south Bengal has been released,and over 500 people have been arrested on “political grounds”

The APDR and its sister organisations are also unhappy with the government’s role in the Maoist-hit Junglemahal. They allege that police forces are continuing with their unabated atrocities on the people in Junglemahal — a charge very similar to what Mamata used to claim when she was in Opposition.

Interestingly,Mamata who once shared dais with PCAPA leader Chhatradhar Mahato is now on the firing line of the same pro-Maoist leader currently in jail. In the first week of March,Mahato had written a letter to all the “intellectuals” slamming the Trinamool and saying that the party was no different from the CPM.

In the letter,he wrote: “Trinamool cadres are killing,injuring,and assaulting people and demolishing the martyr tombs in the name of Jana Jagaran Mancha (an organisation formed by Trianmool to counter the Maoists in Junglemahal). The people of Junglemahal have no democratic rights. The movement in Singur,Nandigram and Lalgarh led to end of 34-year-long CPM rule. But the people of these places remain to be most neglected. Today’s rulers (the Trinamool) are continuing oppression on the people like their predecessor the CPM.”

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