Skip to content or view screen version

Massacre of Anti-Globalisation Demonstrators in India

bok | 11.11.2007 00:05 | Globalisation | Repression | Social Struggles

The Narmada Bachao Andolan campaign just sent out an urgent appeal for help.

The Communist Party of India (Marxist) [CPM], is currently massacring the people of the area Nandigram, where there have been rising protest against the establishments of Special Economic Zones. SEZs allow corporations the right to evict entire populations to construct heavy industrial projects. The SEZ in Nandigram would allow Indonesia's largest conglomerate, the Salim Group, to forcefully acquire 57km2 of land and affect 40,000 people to create a chemical hub. On the 4th of March this year 14 demonstrators were killed by a mixture of Police and CPM members, dressed as Police. Todays attempt to force the people of Nandigram from their land is far, far graver.

For more information, see:

Please pass this message on...

Latest Update/Appeal
10th Nov 2007

• Brutal Massacre of People of Nandigram by CPM Hooligans

• Hundreds Feared Killed and Thousands Injured

The non-violence was challenged by violence when CPM supporters unleashed an
unprecedented human massacre to repress the voices of people who are asserting
their rights over their lands and villages.

The Bhoomi Uchched Protirodh Committee (BUPC) today carried out two peace
rallies simultaneously, one from Sonachura and the other from Nandigram. About
15,000 people participated in the rally from Sonachura. Nearly 10,000 were in
the rally from Nandigram. They had informed the local Police Station,
Administration, President, Prime Minister and Sonia Gandhi about it, but of no

While the fast in Kolkata was going on, the news reached around 3 p.m. that the
peaceful, unarmed procession had been fired upon. The firing was NOT by police
forces. The number of people hurt or dead is extremely varied in the different
reports we are receiving. 45 deaths have been confirmed so far but the final
tally may be in hundreds as dead bodies are being removed by the murderers
themselves. It is impossible to find out how many are killed.

As the two processions were converging near Tekhali, CPM cadres who were hiding
in the paddy fields suddenly attacked, firing indiscriminately at the
procession. About 3000-5000 persons are missing, as people got scattered and
ran through the fields, the attackers firing at them. Sheikh Rizaul and Shymali
Manna, who are reported dead, were in the procession from Nandigram.

Rickshaw vans carrying the dead bodies were seen on the road. CPM cadres used
some press persons’ cars to take dead bodies out. Local CPM leaders were
controlling and operating the attack.

Near Amtala School at Sherkhan Chowk, 300 persons have been abducted and
brutally beaten up. 12 dead bodies have been seen by BUPC activists near
Kalagechhia CPM party office. 2 people reported dead in Tamluk.

An 18 year old girl was raped by several men in front of her mother. This was
while she was being taken to hospital!

Hundreds of houses were looted and burnt in Dandpur, Yinagar and people driven
out. The rampage continues.

While all this happened, the Nandigram police stayed inside their station. No
police was seen in the vicinity.

In Kolkata, there was huge response from all corners. Several organizations,
intellectuals, activists and Sunando Sanyal were on dharna from 1 - 8 p.m. on
November 9th, where they declared a 48 hour fast on 10th and 11th November, in
support of the people of Nandigram.

Today, on 10th November, several organizations are participating in the 48 hour
fast. These are National Trade Union Initiative, Khet Mazdoor Samiti, Hawkers
Sangram Samiti, NAPM, APDR, Sanhati Udyog, Gandhi Peace Foundation, AISA, CPI
(ML-Liberation), SUCI, Janata Dal (S) and Bandi Mukti Committee. CPI
(ML-Liberation), SUCI and Janata Dal (S) came with their banners but folded
them after entering the fast site. Manoj Bhattacharjee, an RSP official also
spoke condemning the violent attack by CPM supporters.

The fast started at 11 a.m. It was supported by prominent individuals who
visited and addressed the gathering. These included Debabrata Bandopadhyay,
Mahashweta Devi, Aparna Sen and Rituporno Ghosh. Women representatives from
Singur and Nandigram participated, expressing their indomitable spirit. A rally
was also taken out.

CPM supporters have gathered tonight at Sonachura, planning further attacks. It
was possible for UPA government to persuade the CPM to withdraw the violent
attack. About 1000 CRPF is now allotted to the area. But it is too late.
Irrecoverable loss has already occurred. The dead and wounded are silenced.
Hundreds of houses have been destroyed, burnt and looted. Rehabilitation or
compensation is at some distance. Relief must reach fast as people under attack
are in terrible misery.

West Bengal Governor’s true, Satyagrahi statement (given below) is welcome
but he needs to urgently visit the affected villages. There is only a political
solution and the ruling party must act fast so that Nandigram may return to
peace and people come back to their lands.


Anuradha Talwar, Saktiman Ghosh, Sukhendu Bhattacharya,
Sujato Bhadra, Medha Patkar

Raj Bhavan, Kolkata

Press Statement
9th November 2007

The news of deaths by police firing in Nandigram this morning has filled me
with a sense of cold horror. We will soon know more details of the sequence of
events that led to this tragedy. But the point uppermost in my mind is not "Who
started it", "Who provoked it" or whatever there were agent-provocateurs behind
it. Investigations will reveal that. The thought in my mind and of all
sensitive people now is -- "Was this spilling of human blood not avoidable?
What is the public purpose served by the use of force that we have witnessed

Force against anti-national elements, terrorists, extremists, insurgents is one
thing. The receiving end of the force used today does not belong to that order.

What I advised Government over the last two days, as I received inputs of
rising tension in Nandigram, Government knows. It is not my intention to enter
into blame-fixing. But I can not be so casual to the Oath I have taken as to
restrict my reaction to a pious expression of anguish and outrage. I trust the
Government will not only go into the whys and wherefores of this tragic
occurrence but will also ensure that it leaves no room for a repetition of the
kind of trauma witnessed today.

I leave it to the conscience of officials responsible to atone for the event in
the manner they deem fit. But I also expect the government to do what it thinks
is necessary to mitigate the effects of this bitter March 14, and to do it
visibly and fast.

Gopalkrishna Gandhi