[Marxism] (fwd) India: Massive protest by women against rapes

Les Schaffer schaffer at optonline.net
Fri Jul 23 10:41:41 MDT 2010


[forwarded for epoliticus, fourth attempt, shortened subject line]

f.y.i.

Please see www.sanhati.com for embedded links and a photograph.

###

by Partho Sarathi Ray

July 22, 2010

On 20th July, around 50,000 women under the banner of “Committee to
save honour of women” tried to march into Jhargram town to protest
against the recent incidents of raping of women in Sonamukhi village
by the joint security forces. Such a huge, and militant, mobilization
of women has not been seen in Jhargram in recent times. The marchers,
including school students in uniform, teachers, housewives and even
many elderly women tried to enter Jhargram town via four different
routes. Even the vice-chairperson of the CPI(M) controlled Jhargram
panchayat samiti, Shipra Barik, joined the march. The marchers carried
posters demanding the hanging of CPI(M) leader Prashanta Das who has
been known to have identified the houses of anti-CPI(M) villagers in
Sonamukhi following which women from these families were raped by
policemen. The women tried to reach the Subdivisional officer’s (SDO)
office to register their protest and demand the punishment of the
perpetrators of the atrocities. However, the joint forces blocked all
the four routes they were following.

One of the processions was blocked at the Jamda deer park. However,
another rally, comprising around 5000 women, coming from the direction
of the Jhargram Raj college evaded the joint forces and reached the
SDO’s office. The employees in the SDO’s office all fled although the
marchers remained completely peaceful. Somehow the additional SP
reasoned with the marchers and persuaded them to leave the SDO
complex. However, the police confronted another rally of around 20000
women coming from the Lodhashuli side with force. The joint forces
chased them all the way till Kalaboni. Many women were injured in the
melee. Throughout the day the women marchers tried to enter the town
multiple times but were confronted by joint forces personnel. Even
though the marchers wanted to meet the SDO C. Murugan to place their
demands he refused to meet them saying that he has done whatever he
was supposed to do. The Sonamukhi atrocities have again taken the rage
against the atrocities of the joint central and state forces occupying
jangalmahal to boiling point.





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