A 12 member team of WSS visited Bhangar in early March, 2017, and met with affected villagers and concerned officials, in order to understand the origins and impetus behind the massive resistance movement against the power grid project being undertaken by Power Grid Corporation of India (PGCIL). This report is based on our visit to the area, public documents and media reports from the area.
You can access the full report at the following link : TOWERING RESISTANCE
CONDEMN STATE REPRESSION AND ARBITRAY ARRRESTS OF THE WEST BENGAL GOVERNMENT
SUPPORT THE ANTI-LAND GRAB MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE OF BHANGAR, SOUTH 24 PARGANAS
A NOTE BY WOMEN AGAINST SEXUAL VIOLENCE AND STATE REPRESSION (WSS)
FEBRUARY 6, 2017
WSS stands with the struggling people of Bhangar against the severe repression unleashed by the state in order to establish a power grid and high power transmission lines across the area by force. In the course of this struggle:
- Two people have died as a result of bullet wounds inflicted by the police and armed goons while several more people have been beaten and injured.
- On 22 January 2017, K. N. Ramachandran, General Secretary of CPI (ML) Red Star, was overpowered, blindfolded and abducted as he arrived at Howrah station. He was detained for twenty six hours by the police without being produced in court or any information provided to his family before finally being released without the money in his pocket with which to proceed to the location of the protests.
- On the evening of 25 January 2017, Sharmishtha Chowdhury (a member of WSS), Shahnawaz Mandal and Pradip Singh Thakur have also been picked up by the police around 6:30 pm from Panapukur in Bhangar area. A staggering array of false charges have been slapped on her
and 35 other people including other members of WSS, under sections of the IPC for allegedly inciting violence, instigating people, destruction of public property and various sections of the Arms and Explosives Acts, in FIR No. 339/17 dated 18.01.17.
- On 18.01.17. itself, 11 persons including 2 juveniles were arrested, of which the two juveniles have obtained bail as of 25.1.17.
- Since then, Sharmishtha Chowdhury, Shahnawaz Mandal and Pradip Singh have been held for eight days in police custody during which they were not allowed to meet family nor even allowed to take essential medicines which their families brought for them.
- Finally, attempt is being made to add sections 18 and 19 of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA) for which we await the next hearing.
Visit of Natasha Rather and Ifrah Butt, co-authors of ‘Do you remember Kunan Poshpora’ to Kolkata during July 11 to 13, 2016
WSS, West Bengal arranged for the visit of Natasha Rather and Ifrah Butt, co-authors of Do you remember Kunan Poshpora, to Kolkata and held various programmes independently and with other organizations including students’ bodies. Following is a brief description of the programmes: Continue reading
Stop victim shaming: No tolerance to misogyny at SRFTI by Nisha Biswas
Being female in this world means having been robbed of the potential for human choice by men who love to hate us. One does not make choices in freedom. Instead, one conforms in body type and behavior and values to become an object of male sexual desire, which requires an abandonment of a wide-ranging capacity for choice…
Aristotle portrayed women as morally, intellectually, and physically inferior to men; saw women as the property of men; claimed that women’s role in society was to reproduce and serve men in the household; and saw male domination of women as natural and virtuous, echoing the deep rooted patriarchy of those times as well as millennia to come. Marx and Engels said that the patriarchal family, private property, and the state arose together. Patriarchy is a system of
domination enforced through violence and the threat of violence that is
developed and controlled by powerful men, in which women, children, other men, and nature itself are dominated. Patriarchal system has originated in history, which means that it is neither eternal nor inevitable. Some women and some men have resisted patriarchy throughout its history. Continue reading
With the life imprisonment of Chhatradhar Mahato, Sagun Murmu, Sukhshanti Baskey, Shambhu Soren, Prasun Chatterjee and Raja Sarkhel under the different sections of IPC, UAPA, Arms and Explosive Acts on May2015, there was concern about the unjust, arbitrary punishment, irregularities in Judgment, filing appeal in higher court etc. They were basically punished for their role in the exemplary struggle under the banner of People’s Committee Against Police Atrocities (PCAPA). Chhatradhar Mahato was the spokes-person and Sukhshanti Baskey was the treasurer of PCAPA. Prasun and Raja of Kolkata, like many others actively supported the struggle. The struggle was mainly against police atrocities that the local people had to face daily in the name of combing for Maoists. No one was spared, old, women and children were frequently bodily searched, beaten, held illegally in police custody, tortured and abused. Along with the demand of stopping of police atrocities, the PCAPA’s other demands included development of their socio-economically backward area.
A team of WSS, WB comprising of Anuradha Talwar, Nisha Biswas, Rama Debnath, Rangta Munshi, Saswati Ghosh, Sharmistha Choudhury and Swapna Banerjee visited Nandigram on March 10, 2015 to study the condition of the women of Nandigram who had been at the forefront of the heroic struggle against land acquisition back in 2007-2009.
What we saw saddened and disturbed us for a number of reasons, the foremost being the fact that these women, who had once been powerful leaders of a historic mass movement, are today not only distressed but disempowered as well. We tried to assess the present condition of the women of Nandigram and here is what we learned: