Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Naxal body holds meet, over 7,000 turn up

Vijay Pratap Singh Posted online: Wednesday, Nov 18, 2009 at 0255 hrs

Allahabad : The All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, a frontal organisation of Naxal-outfit CPI(ML) New Democracy, held a public meeting in memory of Uda Devi Pasi, a martyr of the revolt in 1857, at Nanda Ka Pura in Kaushambi district on Monday.
Pasi fell to British bullets after killing 32 soldiers at Sikandarbagh in Lucknow on November 16, 1857.

The district and police administration went into a tizzy on Monday after approximately 7,000 people turned up. Many in the crowd were carrying arms like swords and spears. Apprehending law and order issues, the administration had clamped Section 144 of the CrPC.

This was the largest event organised by AIKMS in the area in the last five years.

To help villagers from nearby areas reach the venue, AIKMS built a temporary ‘boat’ bridge over the Yamuna.

AIKMS is the social wing of CPI (ML) New Democracy, which has its origins in the Naxalbari movement of 1967. It is active in Kaushambi, Allahabad, Mirzapur, Sonebhadra and Chandauli.

Dr Ashish Mittal, national secretary of AIKMS, a resident of Allahabad, said AIKMS was formed in 2000 to protect the interests of the landless and poor workers and farmers.

“We are against any move that jeopardises the survival of peasantry and workers who mainly depend on natural ways of livelihood like farming and fishing,” said Mittal, who is an alumni of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi. He left his course in public health midway and joined the organisation to serve the people.

Regarding its links with the Naxals, Kaushambi SP R K Bhardwaj said: “The district administration is conducting an inquiry to ascertain whether the AIKMS has any link with the Naxalites.”

“I cannot say with certainty whether they are Naxals. But their growing strength indicates there could be a major fallout in the near future,” added Bhardwaj.

District Magistrate Lokesh M, however, termed them anti-social.

“In two of the several meetings, they have declared their links with Naxals. But it is too early to presume. Since they have committed an offence by violating Section 144 of CrPC, the leaders will be booked,” said the DM.

As for the prohibitory orders, Dr Mittal said: “If the state government, which claims to be a well-wisher of the Dalits and the downtrodden, tries to stop us from remembering freedom fighters like Uda Devi, Mangal Pandey, we will not respect such orders and will be forced to ask people to disobey.”

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