People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


Vol. XXXIV

No. 13

March 28, 2010

TAMILNADU

 

Anti-Socials Murder CPI(M) Leader

 

A A Nainar

 

ON March 11, the Tamilnadu state committee of the CPI(M) received the news of the brutal murder of Comrade C Velusamy, secretary of a party unit in Pallipalayam town in Namakkal district, when the committee was in session on the second day. Immediately on hearing the news, district CPI(M) secretary Rangasamy, state secretariat member K Thangavelu and Aroor MLA Dilli Babu rushed to Pallipalayam to take part in the funeral function on behalf of the party. Through a resolution, the state committee condemned the heinous murder of the comrade in the late night on March 10.

The circumstances leading to the death of a valuable comrade, who stood with the downtrodden powerloom workers of that area, brings to light the pitiable conditions of life there. Here people are at the mercy of moneylenders who charge exorbitant rates of interest in violation of the law of the land. The police and administration are in collusion with these local bigwigs, which contributed to Comrade Velusamy’s ghastly murder.

A few weeks ago, a family, which had contracted a loan from one Shivakumar who is running a finance firm, was called to the company’s premises and threatened with dire consequences in case the loan was not repaid immediately. Soon afterward, a young girl of the family was brought to the company’s premises and one of Shivakumar’s aides molested her. The whole thing was videographed, which was preplanned. Moreover, they sold the video footages to some online website for a price and the website uploaded the same. This agitated the girl’s family members who approached Velusamy, the party local secretary, for help. Velusamy immediately lodged a complaint with the police and sought relief for the family. These developments were widely reported in the local press and the party organ Theekathir carried a news item on February 20. 

Thereafter, the moneylenders started intimidating party functionaries, especially Comrade Velusamy. As his life was under threat, he lodged yet another complaint on February 25, seeking police protection, and identified the persons who were threatening him. However, for reasons best known to them, the police did not act. On the day of the murder, Shivakumar and others were seen in search of Velusamy. Coming to know of it, Velusamy again went to the police station at about 09.45 pm, seeking their help. Tragically, Shivakumar, his fellow moneylenders and his goons murdered the comrade in a cold-blooded manner, at about 10.45 pm, when he was on his way back to his residence.

On March 11 morning, all shops downed their shutters in Pallipalayam town and the people picketed the police station. The administration then intervened and promised to bring the culprits to book. The whole incident is a stark reminder of the excruciating social situation with people undergoing untold sufferings at the hands of local moneybags who lend money at usurious rates. It is pertinent to note here that, in a recent observation in the state assembly, the chief minister had reiterated his commitment to implement the statute passed earlier to curb unlawful moneylending in the state. Alas, the law is yet to be implemented scrupulously. 

The CPI(M) gave a call for protest demonstrations on March 15 throughout the state to condemn this incident. Pallipalayam town saw a big rally, in which CPI(M) state secretary G Ramakrishnan and secretariat member K Thangavelu participated. On behalf of the party, Ramakrishnan asked the state government to order a CBCID enquiry about the incident. It is gratifying that good counsel prevailed upon the government that conceded the demand, ordering a CBCID enquiry on March 16. The party has also given a call for donations from the party members and sympathisers to support Comrade Velusamy’s family which consists of his wife and two small children.

To the CPI(M), Comrade Velusamy’s sacrifice was for a great cause --- to protect the life and honour of the downtrodden families and retrieve them from the clutches of moneylenders. That a comrade risked his life and fought till the last, is something to be emulated. The CPI(M) has taken the pledge to carry forward the fight to eliminate the evil of usury, which it said will be the real tribute to the martyrs like Comrade Velusamy.