On June 20, cadre members of 18 different Left parties will descend on the streets of Kolkata to organise a collection drive for the villagers of Bhangar. The decision to help villagers, who, according to Left leaders , have been isolated by a “state imposed economic blockade”, was taken at a meeting of 18 Left democratic parties Monday, even as Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee delivered a speech on her first visit to Bhangar since the protests.
“The villagers are not even able to go to the market to buy supplies and food. Anyone who leaves their home is arrested. There is also an atmosphere of fear as there have been attacks by the land mafia. The vahinis controlled by TMC leaders Abdur Razzak Mollah, Kaiser Ahmed and Arabul Islam also threaten them,’’ claimed Partha Ghosh, general secretary of CPI(ML) Liberation, one of the Left parties that has extended support to the Bhangar land movement.
Ghosh said that last Sunday, Left leaders had “broken” the economic blockade to deliver supplies to the people of Bhangar. “We collected Rs 30,000 and delivered essentials to the people. The collection drive that we will hold on the 20th will be much larger,” he added.
Ghosh said Left parties had strongly condemned the statements made by the CM Monday. “The speech was threatening – that she could finish everything in a matter of seconds if she wanted to. Is that how a CM talks? She sounded like an underworld don and not the chief minister of a state. We condemn her speech strongly.
Our demand is that she begin a dialogue with the leaders and the villagers involved in the movement, as she should have done for Gorkhaland as well. She came all the way to Bhangar after waiting for four months since the two boys were killed here. She had time to deliver a speech but she didn’t have the time to at least visit the families of the two deceased,” he added.