APDR statement on the threat to democratic rights in West Bengal

July 18, 2010

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR)

Click here to read the original Bengali version of the pamphlet

Almost 35 years back, the reigning government had stripped all the citizens of their fundamental rights by declaring a state of emergency. Are we watching a repetition of that in West Bengal today?

On one hand, the central and the state armed forces are involved in “Operation Green Hunt” taking place in the most backward tribal areas of the country, jeopardizing the already endangered lives and livelihoods of the residents and crushing down by use of force any type of resistance and movements which developed to protest the handover of immense mineral wealth of these regions to the big money – both national and international. On the other hand, in the name of “subjugating” armed resistance, the nation, addicted to its glory of power, is not only stopping by imposing draconian laws which are the most inhuman and undemocratic laws in the history of India, but it is also threatening and indiscriminately using its power to resist the continually growing lawful protests against these measures by shamelessly harassing and arresting whoever they fancy, including workers from democratic and civil rights organizations. They are snatching away even the minimum right to protest.

Under these circumstances, recently the police, using the news media, openly accused Debolina Chakraborty, an ex-student of Jadavpur University and a worker in a women’s organization, of illegal activity and threatened to arrest her. Debolina rightly protested by challenging the police out in the open, and is continuing to fast in the College Square, intending to show the true face of the false police accusations. APDR supports and stands in solidarity with Debolina’s plan of protest against police threats and conspiracy.

At the same time, when seven brave raped women from Sonamukhi village presented themselves in front of the authorities and accused Chidambaram and Buddha’s beloved joint forces of torture and even rape along with facts and proof, the police officials remained silent and inactive. APDR strongly protests the tortures, assaults, threats and rapes on the common people by the joint forces operating in the western part of the state, acting in collusion with the “Harmad Vahini” of the CPI(M) and demand punishment for all.

Shachichadananda Bandhopadhay
8th July, 2010.

(Translated by Koel Das, Sanhati)