Open Letter To Chief Minister, West Bengal

To,

The Chief Minister,

West Bengal

Madam,

Women Against Sexual Violence and State Repression (WSS), a nationwide network of women who oppose and resist state repression and sexual violence against women and girls, strongly condemns your government’s anti-people, anti-democratic actions in unleashing state terror against the struggling people of Bhangor.

Madam, your misuse of state power to crush a people’s movement is even more ironic, given that you came into power on the promise of a pro-people, democratic government. Instead, in the eight years of your rule, your government has grown ever more autocratic and anti-people.

Earlier you gave your word in the West Bengal Vidhan Sabha that the Power Grid Project would not be set-up in Bhangor against the peoples’ wishes. But the reality is that hooligans and miscreants owing allegiance to your party have been deployed to suppress the people’s movement against the project through brutal attacks, false cases and an undeclared economic blockade for almost a year.

We are deeply concerned and apprehensive about the safety of the struggling people of Bhangor against whom a new wave of state terror unleashed after your so-called “peace meeting” with the local TMC leaders on December 29, 2017. Villages are being repeatedly attacked, houses are being ransacked, bombs and guns are being indiscriminately used against peaceful protestors

WSS also condemns the violent attack and detention of nearly 100 democratic activists from Kolkata who were on their way to a public meeting organized by Jomi Jeevika Vastutantro O Parivesh Raksha Committee at Bhangor on January 4, 2018. The activists were stopped at Chinar Park and are in illegal custody in Beliaghata PS since January 4, 2018. We also unequivocally oppose and condemn the detention by the STF of leading activists of Kisan Mukti Sangharsh Samity from Assam who were on their way to attend the same meeting.

Madam Chief Minister, we earnestly request you to resolve the ongoing tension in Bhangor by initiating dialogue with Jomi Jeevika Vastutantro O Parivesh Raksha Committee, which represents the people of the area and has been calling for a dialogue on the issues raised by them. We also demand withdrawal of all false and malicious cases instituted against the protestors.

We urge you to take immediate steps to stop the violence unleashed by the local leaders of your party and their goons and re-establish the rule of law and democratic dialogue with the people. In particular, we demand immediate registration of FIRs and criminal prosecution of TMC leaders like Arabul Islam who are openly at the forefront of violent attacks against the people of Bhangor.

Rinchin, Ranjana, Nisha & Kalyani

Coordinators

On behalf of WSS

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