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regular-article-logo Sunday, 21 July 2024

Rallies held in Birbhum & Calcutta after ‘cops attack tribals’

On Thursday afternoon, around 100 women armed with brooms and bamboo sticks from Dewanganj halted the procession

Snehamoy Chakraborty Bolpur(Birbhum) Published 25.12.21, 01:48 AM
Members of the Paschimbanga Adivasi Adhikar Mancha stage a protest at Mohammedbazar on Friday.

Members of the Paschimbanga Adivasi Adhikar Mancha stage a protest at Mohammedbazar on Friday. Telegraph photo

Political parties, including the CPM, and several tribal outfits on Friday took out rallies across Birbhum and one in Calcutta to protest against alleged police atrocities on tribal women in Birbhum’s Dewanganj village that comes under the site of the proposed Deocha-Pachami coal mine.

A group of women in the tribal hamlet of Dewanganj accused the police of Birbhum’s Mohammedbazar of brutally beating them up after dusk on Thursday to “take revenge” for the resistance they had put up against a pro-coal mine rally organised by local Trinamul leaders.

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On Thursday afternoon, around 100 women armed with brooms and bamboo sticks from Dewanganj halted the procession. After dusk, the police allegedly raided the village and targeted women who had taken part in the resistance.

“Police officers raided our homes and showered lathi blows on us. A few cops kicked us in the lower abdomen and many were left bleeding. The reason for the attack was our decision to resist the government’s plan to set up a coal mine by evicting us,” a protester said while getting treated at a local hospital.

The CPM-backed Adivasi Adhikar Mancha took out a protest march in Mohammedbazar on Friday afternoon against the alleged police atrocities on women.

“Police in uniform went around Dewanganj village, torturing innocent tribal women. There were no women cops when they raided the homes of tribal villagers and assaulted protesters for daring to halt a Trinamul rally. The pro-coal mine rally was nothing but a show of power to grab the land of tribals. We are protesting against such atrocities and will not allow the government to force the coal mine on people living there,” said Sushil Dhangar, secretary of the Paschimbanga Adivasi Adhikar Mancha.

CPM cadres also marched through the streets of Bolpur, Suri, Rampurhat and other places in Birbhum demanding a probe against the alleged police attacks.

“The government is claiming that people will not be forced to give up their land and the police under the same government are beating up women. This can’t go on. We will side with the indigenous people of Deocha-Pachami,” said Gautam Ghosh, the CPM’s Birbhum district committee secretary.

In Calcutta, the CPI-ML organised a rally to protest against the alleged atrocity on Dewanganj villagers. A Save Democracy Forum team headed by Chanchal Chakraborty will visit the village on Saturday afternoon.

“We will speak to the villagers to know what happened to them on Thursday,” said Chakraborty.

Sailen Mishra, the CPI-ML’s Birbhum secretary, said they would hold protests in the district soon and an APDR team would visit Dewanganj on January 28 to assess the ground situation.

While the Opposition piles heat on the government, Birbhum Trinamul president Anubrata Mondal said party leaders would talk to the tribal women.

“All the women who protested on Thursday are our sisters and people of the district. We will talk to them and solve their issues,” he said.

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