Saturday, July 11, 2009

Mahasweta Devi rallies for Lalgarh tribals

Express News Service

Author Mahasweta Devi led a rally in protest against the presence of security forces in Lalgarh on Saturday. Besides intellectuals like Sunando Sanyal and Pratul Mukhopadhyay, members of nearly 60 other organisations, including the Bhoomi Ucched Pratirodh Committee, were present in the rally.

“Why are the Central and state forces suddenly taking action against the people of Lalgarh, when for so many years nothing was done? For over three decades the government did nothing for the people, there has been absolutely no development in the area,” she said.

The author, who has lived and worked among the tribals for many years, added that they were still among the poorest people in the state.

“They don’t have BPL cards and do not get rice at the minimum rate. Now the government is trying to sell their land by giving them false promises of jobs and a secure future. The government is curbing all the protests in the area since they want to project a picture of calm to the Jindals,” she said.

Lawyer Sujato Bhadro, who was present at the rally, said after an organisation was declared illegal, there was always a review committee with a judge in whose presence people accused of being members of that organisation were supposed to be tried. “There is no such committee and the judge, the government has simply banned Maoists without forming this panel,” said Bhadro.

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