Apr 12: TMC attacks rally; Rights activists arrested; Intellectuals protest against Mamata government

April 12, 2012


Trinamool goons attack protest-rally by APDR, police beat up the rights activists

Trinamool congress supporters attacked a rally organized by the human rights group APDR today in Kolkata. APDR had arranged this rally on Thursday starting from the busy Hazra intersection in South Kolkata in order to protest the eviction of slum dwellers in Nonadanga and the various repressive actions undertaken by the state in its aftermath. The rally very soon came under attack from local TMC henchmen and all this was done under plain sight of the police. After harassing the activists, the goons fled with impunity while the activists were forcefully put into prison vans. All this led to a flare up today at Hazra.

In the assembly today, the leader of the opposition, Suryakanta Mishra condemned this attack on APDR activists and said, “This government is now beating up those whose support it enlisted while coming to power. The people can now realize which way the government is going to go”.

On the other hand, the state transport minister Madan Mitra, who is also a strong-arm TMC leader, denied any TMC involvement in today’s incident. He said, ” Trinamool alone has won 185 seats and is super majority in the assembly. We have no intention to go out of power in the next 4 years. Why will our boys get involved in these kinds of events?”

However, video-graphic evidence does say otherwise. Some of the attacking ruffians caught in the vide camera have already been identified. One of them, known is Mayna, is known in the locality as an active TMC worker. Also, Shambhu and Santu are two other TMC cadres found to be involved in Thursday’s attack. These people pounced upon the APDR protesters in front of the police, and yet, the TMC leaders claim that there none of their supporters.

Madan Mitra counter-accused that this rally was organized by Naxalite elements and these poeple are close to the Maoists.

With the demand for stopping eviction without rehabilitation, poet Shankha Ghosh, rights activist Sujata Bhadra, writer Nabarun Bhattacharya, and other eminent personalities have all condemned today’s attack on the rally.
To protest against this attack, an assembly was organized in front of Academy of Fine Arts by the intellectual community. This was attended by the beleaguered TMC MP and singer Kabir Suman, academician Sunanda Sanyal, erstwhile Naxalite Ashim Chatterjee, theatre personalities like Koushik Sen, Suman Mukhopadhyay and others.

Earlier today, members belonging to 22 mass organizations agitated in front of Banga Bhavan in Delhi in order to protest the Nonadanga evictions and detainment of protesters. Anti mamata and anti-TMC slogans were raised. The agitators questioned why people have been evicted without proper rehabilitation being arranged first. The protests went on from 11:45 to 1:30. A police team was sent to negotiate with the protestors.

In writers building, however, the chief minister however denied having any information about the Hazra incident.

(Translated by Suvarup Saha)



Kolkata: Upset over various incidents ranging from the Park Street rape case to attack on human rights organisations, intellectuals of Kolkata, including a Trinamool Congress MP, on Thursday hit the streets in protest against the 11-month-old Trinamool regime in the state.

“There are lots of differences between the old Mamata Banerjee and Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. The people of this state have thrown away those who have tried to throttle the voice of protest,” said Asim Chattopadhay, writer and former Maoist at the gathering on the premises of the Bangla Academy.

Several people were injured and many arrested after a procession led by a human rights organisation in protest against the eviction of slum dwellers in east Kolkata’s Nonadanga area was allegedly attacked by miscreants linked to the Trinamool Congress as police stood by as mute spectators.

The police, however, denied any knowledge of miscreants backed by the Trinamool Congress beating up the processionists.

The human rights organisation – Association for Protection of Democratic Rights – claimed they were mercilessly beaten by the miscreants and later by the police.

“It is really an irony that today I, along with (noted educationist) Sunanda Sanyal, have hit the streets against atrocities of the government. Both Sunandada and I were with Mamata when she started her protest against land acquisition in Singur,” said Kabir Suman, Trinamool Lok Sabha member and famed singer.

“We had supported Trinamool Congress before elections. But the fact is is that they are carrying the same tradition of the former Left regime. This is really unfortunate,” said Sanyal, who had staunchly supported Banerjee during her years of struggle against the Left Front regime.

The state government especially Mamata Banerjee had drawn severe criticism from all sections of the society after she termed the Park Street Rape case as “cooked up” to malign the state government. Further, she accused a specific media house of hatching the conspiracy. Later on, police conceded that the victim had been raped.

“The situation is really suffocating… those who protest against the state government are termed as agents of the opposition. The trend is the same as that of the Left regime,” said Kaushik Sen, eminent actor.

Writers Bolan Gangopadhyay and Jaya Mitra, and film and theatre director Suman Mukhopadhyaya also addressed the gathering, where some evicted inhabitants of Nonadanga slum were present.

Earlier in a statement, leading Bengali poet Sankah Ghosh said: “The government cannot throttle the voice of protest by stopping protest rallies. Government should learn to take criticism.”

The Trinamool leadership, however, claimed that the allegation of the involvement of Trinamool activists in the incident is totally baseless.

“The allegation is totally baseless. Why will Trinamool supporters attack them? Will the state government fall by the protest of an organization close to Maoists,” said state sports minister Madan Mitra.