The general secretary of CPI(ML) Red Star K.N. Ramachandran, who was reportedly missing from Kolkata, surfaced in New Delhi on January 24. He was visiting Bengal to participate in the agitation against forcible land acquisition for a power grid substation in Bhangar, South 24 Parganas district when he went missing.
In what he said was an “attack on democracy,” Ramachandran alleges that he was illegally picked up by the central intelligence officers at the Kolkata railway station, was blindfolded and taken to Durgapur. From there he was deported to New Delhi in Rajdhani Express on January 24. He also claims that police personnel took away his mobile phone and the Rs 3000 he had in cash.
Ramachandran’s party has been leading the land struggle in Bhangar for the last six months. Ramachandran alleges that the power grid would not only destroy the livelihoods of thousands of people – predominantly fish cultivation – in the vicinity, but would also lead to severe ecological imbalances in the region.
He says that his “kidnapping” will only add fuel to people’s anger in Bhangar, and that such highhandedness shown by the union government reflects its fears.
The Wire spoke to him at the Constitution Club, New Delhi, on January 24.