Lalgarh: People’s Committee against Police Atrocities vows to fight until death

June 20, 2009. The Telegraph


The tribal body that started the seven-month- old Lalgarh agitation with Maoist backing today threatened a “fight to death” in the face of the government offensive.

“We were born here, we are agitating here and we will die here,” said Chhatradhar Mahato, chief of the People’s Committee against Police Atrocities [PCPA].

“The barricades will continue. The more they are forcibly removed, the deeper will be the (public) anger at the police and support for us.”

Mahato, speaking to The Telegraph at Barapelia, 5km north of Lalgarh town, said the movement had begun because of the “government’s long neglect of the tribal people, who have been surviving on ant eggs for far too long”.

“Our movement is for the development of the people. They (the government) cannot gain people’s confidence by using force,” Mahato, the secretary of the committee, added.

He expressed surprise that the state government had called in paramilitary and additional police forces in response to the destruction of a house being built by Anuj Pandey, the CPM’s Binpur zonal committee secretary.

“Yet no one is asking how this leader could build such a palatial mansion,” he said.

Mahato alleged that Pandey’s brother Dalim, Lalgarh CPM local committee leader, had amassed huge wealth. “Whenever any land transaction took place in the region, he would take a commission. Why were the police brought in to protect these tainted brothers?”

The committee [PCPA] secretary wondered why no action was taken when CPM offices were burnt in Khejuri and the police boycotted at the behest of Trinamul Congress MP Subhendu Adhikari. “The same government is now using central forces against us….”

Committee president Lalmohan Tudu, who too was at Barapelia, said everyone in the region supported the movement. “The battle has entered the heart of Lalgarh. The forces will now see what they are up against.”

Singrai Baskey, resident of Kantapahari, 7km north of Lalgarh town, said: “We are with the movement. We have realised how much this movement means to us now that the entire nation has its eyes fixed on Lalgarh.”


  1. N.K.Jeet says:



    Lok Morcha Punjab, strongly condemns the repression unleashed by the Indian State on the struggling people of Lalgarh and has called upon the people of Punjab to raise their voice against it.
    The tribal of Lalgarh are fighting a glorious struggle to protect their lands, forests, natural resources, culture, lives, liberty & honor. After the land-mine blast on the caravan of West Bengal C.M. Budhdeb Bhattacharya and the then Union Steel & Mines Minister Ram Vilas Paswan, in November 2008, the West Bengal police launched a massive combing operation in the Lalgarh area, conducting mid-night raids; beating up, assaulting and dishonoring women & children, illegally detaining & torturing them in police camps. The tribal refused to take it lying down and took to the path of struggle against these repressive measures by organizing themselves in Committees for Resisting Police Repression, in numerous villages. The held massive Dharnas and protest sieges before the police-camps and decided to socially boycott those police officials who perpetuated cruelties upon them. There was absolutely nothing “Maoist” in their 11-point charter of demands, which included public apology by policemen responsible for torturing & humiliating the people; an end to mid-night police raids; release of innocent persons detained without trial since 1998 on the suspicion of being ‘Maoists’; removal of all police camps from various schools, hospitals & other public buildings in the area; & compensation to the victims of police brutalities, etc.
    Although the authorities conceded these demands and promised to initiate action to implement these, but this announcement was a clever ploy to buy time. Shortly afterwards, the police raids restarted with increased vigor; police repression on the innocent people intensified & the police camps were re-established. Two leaders of the Committee for Resisting Police Repression, namely Nirmal Sardar & Hemadri Mahato were brutally murdered. CPI (M) goons are enacting a different type of ‘Salwa Judam’, openly firing upon struggling tribal, killing & maiming many people.
    Now a full scale offensive with a contingent of more than 5000 armed personnel is underway. Indian state is trying to overawe & crush simple tribal folks, by massive deployment of its security forces, armed with ultra-modern & sophisticated weapons, under the garb of flushing out the ‘Maoists’.
    The Santhal tribal of Lalgarh have been deprived of the basic necessities of life, since decades. There is no electricity, irrigation facilities, motorable roads etc. Facilities for education, health care, safe drinking water etc are scarce. For the last more than 5 years, the few existing school, hospital & other public buildings have been occupied by the security forces. Funds provided under various ‘development schemes’ such as NREGA, Indira Awas Yojna etc are cornered by Marxist-controlled Panchayats to benefit their own cadres. The Public Distribution System is being used for illegal enrichment of Depot Holders, who are members or sympathizers of CPI (M) & corrupt officials. Now in the name of establishing Special Economic Zones, a wave of dispossession of tribal from their lands & forests has started to facilitate their exploitation by MNCs & their Indian agents. The CPI (M) which has remained entrenched in the Writers Building for more than three days on the strength of tribal votes has done nothing to ameliorate their lot. Rather it has worsened further due to anti-people neo-liberal policies being pursued by the West Bengal & Central Govts.
    With the present armed offensive & extreme violent repression, the State may lull the movement temporarily. But the democratic revolutionary aspirations of Lalgarh people can not be crushed. The movement will rebound with great vigor and increased strength, winning support & solidarity from the struggling people throughout India.

    Dated: 26.6.09

    Place: Bathinda

    Issued By:

    (N.K.JEET) Advocate AMOLAK SINGH
    President General Secretary
    Distt Courts, BATHINDA

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