The two-day UP conference of AIKMS took up cudgels against sand mafia. The workers stormed and destroyed seven sand extraction machines of Mafia. Here’s a report.
Despite heavy downpour, UP conference of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sangh (AIKMS) was held on February 16 & 17, in Ghoorpur. It rallied more than 3000 workers and farmers to press for their demands for ‘Common peoples’ rights over land, water and forests’, ‘Raising wages and providing cheap agricultural inputs’, ‘Against inflation, corruption, feudal atrocities and police repression’ and ‘To oppose Loot by Foreign Companies and Control of Feudals, Dalals and Mafia’, according to a press release of AIKMS.
On the first day (Feb 16) thousands of workers had rallied in village Audhan to oppose Mafia deployment of sand mine machines and loaders, which the Kaushambi district administration had failed to remove, despite complaints on Jan 8 and Feb 9. Emboldened by the district administration’s support, the mafia Lalli and Guddu Patel and others abused and beat up workers, who retaliated, en mass, and forced removal of machines, some of which were set on fire by the owners themselves. Seven machines in all were removed and the administration was forced to state that it would take action against the SDMs in whose areas these machines had been deployed. Use of machines has been repeatedly banned by the High Court, the release added.
AIKMS UP Conference elected a new 17-member state body with Com Dharampal Singh as President and Heeralal as General Secretary to carry forward the struggle.
In UP, the focus of struggle will be on river kachchhar land and village land rights to the poor and landless farmers, river mining rights to majhis (boatmen) and stone quarrying rights to the poor, with the ban on use of machines and stone crushers in minor minerals, increasing wages to Rs 500 per day in MNREGS, grant of pension @ Rs 3000 per month, withdrawing taxes on essential commodities and Indian produce, decreasing inflation, payment of cane dues and withdrawing of false cases against sand struggling farmers and workers, etc.
The main speakers were Pendu Mazdoor Union President Comrade Tarsem Peter from Punjab, Bihar AIKMS President Com Ram Briksh Ram from Bihar and AIKMS national secretary Dr. Ashish Mital, added the press release.
Pix by AIKMS