Pamphlet of Matangini Mahila Samiti in protest against the charging of Debalina Chakrabarty with UAPA

July 11, 2010

Debalina Chakrabarty, activist of the Kolkata-based women’s organization Matangini Mahila Samiti, has been charged with UAPA and other sections alleging that she is a Maoist. Debalina is on a hunger strike for the past nine days demanding the withdrawal of the charges.

On 12th July, there will be a march from Metro Channel to College Square (site of the fast) demanding withdrawal of the charges against Debalina, release of the people arrested in Lalgarh and the withdrawal of joint forces from Lalgarh.

The following is the English translation of the pamphlet issued by Matangini Mahila Samiti, protesting against the harassment of Debalina Chakrabarty by the police.

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“If someone joins the Naxals and fights or symathises with them, is that a crime? First, you say this is an operation conducted against the Naxals. Then you say it’s against their sympathisers, then you say it’s against the sympathisers of the sympathisers. What does all this mean?”

The court posed these questions in response to a petition which was filed after 10 adivasis were killed in Chattisgarh. We, the innumerable activists of people’s movements, are still searching for the answer. Mr. P Chidambaram, darling of the corporates, is prescribing Manmohini recipe for appropriating jal, jungal, jamin (water, forests and land) of India. The drill for Operation Green Hunt, which is nothing but an operation to hunt the adivasis, is in full swing. Alongside, there is the Operation Witch Hunt: looking for witches, identifying, vilifying and arresting them. Here the main targets are the activists of the people’s movements. Critics of the anti-people policy of the government, critics of capitalism, men resisting eviction, those fighting for their rights, vociferous critics of Green Hunt – for the State’s all of them are in the same column – potential ‘Maoists’.

George W Bush, much admired by Manmohan and Chidambaram, had announced ‘war on terror’. He proclaimed that ‘those who are against us are terrorists’. The Indian miniature version of Bush, Chidambaram, is prescribing the same medicine – opposing the aggression of corporate capital tantamounts to Maoism.

What was the crime of Debalina and her friends?

Debalina and Jayita, secretaries of Matangini Mahila Samiti, are part of various organisations and individuals who participated in the people’s movements of Singur, Nandigram and Lalgarh. They repeatedly and unequivocally upheld the message of resistance. They have become the fearless faces of the movement. As a result, they have become target of the State assault – on 7 June, 2008 the Matangini Mess was raided by the police, labeling the residents as Maoists. However, the police had to beat a retreat in the face of strong resistance by the people.

Then on 29th June, 2010 the CID representative informed the press that a letter containing the name ‘Debu’ has been found with the Maoists arrested in Sonarpur. He proclaimed that this person must be Debalina Chakraborty and the police will catch her without delay. It was also told that the arrested Maoists had themselves revealed that ‘Debu’ is Debalina – although according to the rules, confessions made in the police custody do not have any legal validity. Following the police cue, a few media houses started the great democratic campaign of maligning Debalina, of proving that she indeed is a culprit.

Debalina, Jayita have not cowered in the face of the joint orchestra launched by the police and media. Neither have they gone underground to escape arrest. Instead they have raised the political question in a complete democratic manner. The State is not ready to tolerate the minimum degree of opposition. In a warlike situation it is demanding unquestioning loyalty and inane conformity. Those in the opposition to the State policy, who are neither armed nor Maoists, are as dangerous as the Maoists.

This alarming fascist tendency would not leave us even the minimum democratic space. The current ongoing indefinite hunger strike is but an arduous endeavour to protect that little precious space for democracy. Come and stand by our legitimate demands.

Our demands:

1.Stop labelling people’s movement activists as ‘Maoists’.
2.Release of Nisha Biswas, Kanishka Choudhuri and Manik Mandal unconditionally.
3.Scrap UAPA.
4.Withdraw the false FIR on Debalina.

Published and distributed by Jayita Das on behalf of Matangini Mahila Samiti (9830666955), dated 07.07.2010.

Click here to read the original Bengali version of the pamphlet