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Marxists' muscle power - Afternoon Despatch & Courier

Editorial ()
August 14, 1998

Title: Marxists muscle power
Author: Editorial
Publication: Afternoon Despatch & Courier
Date: August 14, 1998

During the panchayat elections in West Bengal ' CPI (M) activists
are alleged to hare assaulted, intimidated members of rival
political parties. They are said to have resorted to violence and
prevented free and fair polling. There have been also allegations
that several women were raped at that time. On a demand by Ms.
Mamata Banerjee of the TC, the Centre sent a team to investigate
but the state government did not give the team the expected
assistance and co-operation. in fact, chief minister Jyoti Basu
felt insulted and publicly expressed his disapproval over the
Centre's move. He tried to make out there was no violence and no
rapes by his party workers who, according to him, were all

The incident on Wednesday at Sahara village in Midnapore district
provides solid proof of the high-handed attitude of CPI (M)
activists. Two women, one of them in an advanced stage of
pregnancy were beaten up by the party activists. The beating was
so severe that the woman delivered her baby by the roadside. The
woman was later taken to the hospital in a serious condition. The
other woman hit hard with a sharp weapon is in a critical
condition in hospital.

instead of denying criminal activities by his partymen, Mr. Jyoti
Basu should be fair and take an unbiased look at what is actually
happening in his state. The Marxist activists appear to think
that West Bengal is their sole property and they can do what they
like without let or hindrance. Evidently they are able to commit
a crime and get away with it. The ideology of the Marxists
justifies the use of muscle power.

The law and order situation might not have broken down in West
Bengal, but there is solid evidence that Ms Mamata Banerjee's
complaint has considerable substance. Chief Minister Basu of
course cannot be expected to rein in the hotheads. It is the
Centre that has to go to the rescue of people who are exposed to
intimidation, Ms Mamata Banerjee must be quite a frustrated
person today. The Centre appears to be unable to take any firm
and positive action.

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