CPI(M) TO SUPPORT MAHARASHTRA BANDH TODAY DENOUNCE VIOLENCE BY CASTE AND COMMUNAL FORCES AGAINST DALITS AT BHIMA KOREGAON
The CPI(M) Maharashtra State committee calls upon all democratic and secular minded people in the state to extend their full support to join Maharashtra Bandh call for today, January 3, the birth anniversary of Savitribai Phule. The Bandh has been called by various Ambedkarite and Left groups to denounce the January 1 attacks by caste and communal forces on lakhs of Dalits who had gathered at Bhima Koregaon in Pune district yesterday to pay homeage to martyrs on the 200th anniversary of the Bhima Koregaon battle in which the hated casteist Peshwa rule was defeated. Most of those who fought and won this battle were Dalits. It should be remembered that, although the Dalits fought this battle as part of the forces of the British East India Company, the Peshwa rule in 1818 had reached the worst levels of caste oppression and moral degeneration.
Yesterday, hoodlums engineered by the RSS and Shiv Sena parivars, flaunting saffron flags, started attacking the Dalits who had gathered there by stone-throwing and setting fire to cars. A 28-year old dalit youth Rahul Fatangale from Mumbai was brutally killed in the mob attack and many were injured.
The Bandh will also condemn the entire manner in which the BJP-led state government headed by Devendra Phadnavis handled the situation. It was nothing but reprehensible. No action whatsoever was taken when the tension was building up before New Year’s Day, even though it was well aware that lakhs would gather to commemorate the 200th anniversary of this battle. No one has been arrested so far for Rahul’s murder or for the wanton violence. It appears that this violence has been deliberately engineered by right wing forces to incite casteist and communal polarisation in the state.
The CPI(M) has demanded stringent action against all those responsible for the violence and adequate and immediate compensation by the state government to the family of the deceased, Rahul Fatangale.
The CPI(M) has called upon all its units in Maharashtra to actively support the Bandh call. It has also urged the people to make it a peaceful and democratic protest.
*Narasayya Adam*, ex-MLA
State Secretary and Central Committee member
*Dr Ashok Dhawale*
Central Secretariat member
Central Committee member