Moga Convention Against Attack On Democratic Rights
By DFAOGH Punjab
14 December, 2011
The Democratic Front Against Operation Green Hunt, Punjab held a well-attended convention at Moga on the International Human Rights Day i.e. 10th December. The convention held in the back-drop of killing of M. Koteswara Rao @ Kishenji - the CPI (Maoist) leader in an “encounter” mired in suspicion; death sentence awarded to Jatin Marandi-the peoples singer and theater-artist of Jharkhand; brutal & inhuman torture inflicted by Chhattisgarh Police on a tribal teacher, Soni Sori and a decade long fast by Irom Sharmila, the indomitable woman from Manipur, in protest against continuation of draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act; was to focus on the significance of these events from the standpoint of human rights movement in the country and to chalk out its future direction.
As a prelude to this convention, a press briefing was held at Desh Bhagat Yadgar Halkl Jalandhar on 4th December on these issues. The fact finding report prepared by the Coordination of Democratic Rights Organizations (CDRO), about the killing of Kishenji was translated and printed in Punjabi and widely circulated amongst democratic sections throughout Punjab.
The convention venue, Shaheedi Park was decorated with flexes, banners and placards having photographs of Kishenji, Jatin Marandi & Irom Sharmila and slogans highlighting struggle and demands for protection of democratic rights. A presidium consisting of Prof A.K.Maleri, Prof. Baldeep Singh, Narbhinder Singh & Attarjit Singh Kahanikar, all State Committee members of the DFAOGH Punjab, was constituted to conduct the Convention. The stage was conducted by Sh. Balwant Makhu.
Opening the discussion, Advocate N.K.Jeet, asserted that with the onset of neo-liberal economic policies, the state has opened the floodgates to MNC’s entry in the country, facilitating their predatory activities by handing them over the Jal, Jangal & Jameen, along with generous tax incentives. The rulers are hell bent upon mortgaging this country to the imperialists giving them unquestioned right to plunder its natural resources, including cheap labor. Vast majority of the people throughout the country are opposing these neo-liberal policies, being implemented under the misleading label of economic reforms. The struggles of the people against these policies are bursting out widely and intensively, despite indifference, rather opposition from the parliamentary parties and ruthless repression by the state. To make the people’s resistance movements leaderless and ineffective the rulers are resorting to killing their leaders in fake encounters, implicate them in false criminal cases and award them death sentence or life imprisonments. The rules are using their private armies such as Salwa Judam, Ma Danteswari Sena, Bhairav Vahini, Harmads, SOI (Students Organization of India) etc for inflicting violence and spying upon the people’s movements. The rulers have also armed themselves with numerous undemocratic black laws such as Sedition law, UAPA, AFSPA etc. The brutal torture inflicted upon Soni Sori is unprecedented in our history. Deriving sadistic pleasure, the Chhattisgarh Police under the personal supervision of SP Ankit Garg, thrust stones in her both private parts. It is highly barbaric. However as the people’s movements to protect their Jal, Jangal & Jameen, gather momentum, and the women have become an integral part of these, they have increasingly come under attack and have faced police brutalities in Singur, Nandigram, Jangal Mahal, Bastar, Dantewada, POSCO, Gobindpura and more recently at Daula village in Punjab, where an Akali Sarpanch slapped in full public view, in the presence of police officials, an EGS lady teacher, protesting against contract system of employment.
N.K.Jeet called upon the democratic minded people to come forward, unite and wage a relentless struggle against these attacks on their democratic right of struggle for a better future.
Sh. Rajiv Gondara Advocate from Chandigarh spoke at length about fake encounters and black laws. He said that the police is not following the law and procedures prescribed by various High Courts and the Supreme Court. Law does not authorize the police to kill any one. The facts brought out in the CDRO report raise suspicion about the authenticity of police version of killing of Kishenji. To bring out the truth, the alleged encounter needs to be probed by a High Court or Supreme Court Judge. He expressed his total opposition to death penalty and demanded that it should be scrapped. He regretted that while Parliament is considering a law against torture, the police is subjecting the struggling people to most inhuman and barbaric methods of torture, as in the case of Soni Sori. Spontaneous struggles of the people are erupting against the neo-liberal policies of the Govt throughout the country. The democratic minded people should devise appropriate ways and means to come out in support of these struggles. He highlighted the need to fight against the present cruel and exploitive system. He demanded revocation of all black laws especially the UAPA and the AFSPA, and saluted Irom Sharmila for her relentless struggle against black laws.
Dr. Parminder Singh, Co-convener DFAOGH Punjab, speaking on the occasion raised questions on the alleged encounter in which Com Kishenji was killed. He demanded a judicial inquiry in the matter and registration of criminal case against the police officials involved in it. The neo-liberal policies of the ruling classes were successfully defeated by the struggling people in Nandigram, Singur, Jangalmahal etc. The state has hit against the people by killing Kishenji. The state conducts fake encounters and tries to cover these up by churning out lies. It is the democratic right of every individual to aspire for a better world and to struggle for creating it. We must prepare a blue-print for the new world, an alternative to the existing repressive, undemocratic and exploitative socio-economic set-up and oppose all the undemocratic acts of the rulers.
The Convention unanimously adopted various resolutions presented by Prof. A.K.Maleri demanding a judicial inquiry in the political murder of Com Kishenji, setting aside the death sentence awarded to Jatin Marandi, reocation of AFSPA and saving the life of Irom Sharmila, lifting the ban on CPI Maoist and its front organizations, withdrawal of all repressive measures against the ongoing peoples struggles in various parts of the country etc.
The convention decided to undertake a signature campaign on all the above issues on a resolution moved by Prof Baldeep Singh. A massive procession was taken out from the venue of the convention to General Bus Stand raising slogans in support of the people’s struggles, democratic rights and against the fake encounters.
State Committee Member DFAOGH Punjab
Distt Courts, BATHINDA (Punjab)
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