Out of the Race
Much-awaited Supreme Court verdict dated 19.04.2017 on Babri case, directing time-bound trial against several top BJP leaders has definitely an instant impact that some of BJP veterans whose names were in circulation for next President of India, will be out of the election-race.

It is time that the ruling BJP may now declare its candidates for posts of President and Vice President in a manner that consensus may be achieved from opposition camps also for these two highest posts of the nation, apart from getting public-reaction on such floated names.

However elections for posts of President and vice President should be ensured to be simultaneous, with Vice President Mohammed Hamid Ansari serviag as acting President for days after retirement of President Pranab Mukerji.
Subhas Chandra Agarwal, Delhi

 Protest by Maruti Workers
Maruti Suzuki Workers' Union(MSWU) members have been sentenced to Life Imprisonment and 4 more workers handed 5 years by the Gurgaon Sessions Court on 18 March 2017 – without a shred of evidence, and solely on the false witness accounts by the management.

The MSWU body members have been targeted because they have been the leadership of the struggle since 2011 against illegal contract worker system and for Trade Union rights and dignity of labour. It is a ‘class attack’ as in the words of Maruti CEO RC Bhargava. All workers know that this manifestly unjust verdict is to ‘teach a lesson’ to workers those in power that they should not fight for their rights and dignity on the shop-floor and beyond.

But against this repression, thousands of workers in this industrial belt and across India and world are protesting. On the evening of the Verdict on 18th March, 30000 workers in Gurgaon-Manesar did tool down strike against the injustice. The Maruti Suzuki Mazdoor Sangh (MSMS) – the joint platform of Maruti Suzuki factories had given a call for Protest on the martyrdom day of Bhagat Singh-Rajguru- Sukhdev on 23rd March in Manesar. Despite prohibitory orders of Section 144, thousands of workers from the industrial belts in Haryana and Rajasthan rallied in protest from factory after factory in Manesar. A letter from the Jailed workers was read out, and a call given to intensify the struggle for the release of the jailed workers. It also decided to give economic assistance to families of the Jailed workers.

The struggling workers in the Gurgaon-Manesar-Bawal-Neemrana industrial belt in the states of Haryana-Rajasthan are showing that they will not relent on their legitimate rights and strengthen their class unity against the capitalist onslaught. Since the last few days, there have been protests by lakhs of workers in this and other industrial belts and by various workers, student-youth, human rights and other democratic organizations in over 30 cities-towns in the country. This is a long battle, and only the growing force of the movement and wider solidarity can take the struggle forward.
Provisional Working Committee, Maruti Suzuki Workers Union

Sukma Killings
The Chhattisgarh PUCL severely condemns the ruthless ambush carried out by Maoists at the Burkapal area under Police Station Chintagufa limits in district Sukma on 24th April 2017, and expresses its deep grief at the killing of 25 jawans, mostly young persons of poor families. According to initial reports, this attack, the most lethal of its kind in five years, took place when around 90 jawans of the 74th Battalion were engaged in a road opening operation. It appears that abatrt 200 Naxalites dispersed in different groups conducted the ambush and in the continuous firing that took place for about an hours many of them might also have been killed. The Maoists decamped with all arms and ammunitions of the 25 killed and 6 injured jawans, leaving no bodies behind. A month ago another attack of the Maoists using locally made mortars, tiffin bombs and arrows with explosives had killed 12 CRPF Personnel under PS Bhejji limits. There have thus been more casualties in the first four months of this year than in the entire entire year for the last four years.

This incident shows that the large numbers of surrenders and arrests (many of them challenged by villagers) boasted by the Chhattisgarh police in the past few years have not led to a significant decline in the military capacity of the Naxalites.

The PUCL apprehends that soon the security forces would “retaliate” by “search and cordon operations” in the area which are only likely to hurt the soft target of ordinarycivilians. Consequent arrests, beatings and killings will only intensify the cycles of violence and counter-violence.

PUCL reiterates its longstanding demands that de-escalation of violence requires the restoration of faith of the local adivasi people in the State through the strict implementation of pro-tribal laws like the PESA, Forest Rights Act; the better provision of health, education and other welfare activities; a perception of getting justice and dignity; the restoration of civil administration as opposed to administration by the security forces in the interior areas; and addressing of popular demands as voiced by Sarv Adivasi Samaj or other local tribal organizations, in other words a political solution.
Dr Lakhan Singh, President
Advocate Sudha Bhradwaj, General Secretary, PUCL, Chittisgarh

Vol. 49, No.45, May 14 - 20, 2017