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Nandigram massacre over Special Economic Zone in West Bengal continue...

bok | 13.11.2007 02:47 | Globalisation | Repression | Social Struggles

This follows the article posted on the 11/11/07

Originally forwarded by Narmada Andolan campaign...

(Dear Friends, We regret the mistake of sending an earlier statement of
Governor of WB, as part of our last update. The one issued on November 9th is
given far below)

Nandigram Update:
12th November 2007

Nandigram continues to be a battle zone, though the battle is a one-sided one,
where CPI (M) goondas and criminals fight with sophisticated arms like SLR's,
AK-47's, INSAS Rifles against the unarmed common people of the region. People
are being slaughtered everyday with police and administration backing and all
the while that the CPI (M) goons carry out their Clean Nandigram operation, the
police remain silent and inactive spectators. Shame on this government and
administration that does not even have a word of regret to hide their blatant
Genocide or even express an iota of sympathy for so many massacred people.

We have received news from various sources inside the villages that the
territories (moujas) that were to be occupied for the chemical hub are now
lying empty, deserted of all its inhabitants. Thousands of villagers have been
compelled to flee from their houses due to such incessant attacks by CPI (M)
criminals. They are now living in camps in the core Nandigram area, while some
have been picked up and forcibly compelled to join the CPI (M) camps, where
they are being used as human shields, during the daily attacks on the villagers
by the CPI (M) criminals. This is not a police arrest but a mass abduction
being carried out by armed CPI (M) cadres.

The worst attack was on the 10th of Nov '07, when CPI (M) led criminals hiding
in fields and bunkers fired upon two unarmed rallies of 20 000 and 30 000
people respectively in two areas of Nandigram. Many people are feared to have
been killed – the total number is not yet known exactly as many bodies are
still supposed to be lying in the paddy fields. It is supposed to be ranging
from a 100 to about 150 (and very wrongly reported by national and regional
dailies and AIR). We can know the final tally, only if everyone including the
media is allowed to enter the region, which until today lies barricaded off
from the media and common people. No relief is being provided to these
displaced people, neither is anyone being allowed to enter the region, by
lathi-weilding and armed CPI (M) cadres and criminals. They have burned down
hundreds of houses in every village to ashes, demolished hundreds of villages
where the silence of the cemetery reigns today as gun toting CPI (M) cadres on
motorbikes make their daily rounds of firing and bombing. They are reported to
have perpetrated certain cases of rape and molestation even.

The CPI (M) cadres are now compelling the abducted villagers to accept their
control and acquisitions. All these news confirmed by the Bengali media and
most dailies seem to be as if the CPI (M) is on a medieval conquering mission
and with each chapter of inhuman barbaric assault upon the unarmed common
populace of Nandigram, they hail their victory of recapturing lost kingdoms!
Many of the injured are in the Nandigram hospital; some in Tamluk hospital;
some have been shifted to the Kolkata SSKM hospital. There is e severe dearth
of doctors and medicines for treatment of bullet injuries as medical supplies
are also not being allowed to reach the hospitals with the approach roads being
barricaded by the armed CPI (M) hoodlums. Even the CRPF that reached yesterday
was not allowed to enter the region by the armed CPI (M) criminals. It seems
likely that they too are to work in alliance with and under the control of the
State Government.

While in Kolkata we have organized a very successful Two-day token Fast and
Dharna programme in alliance with various fraternal organizations like PASCHIM
SUCI, and many individuals from Nandigram (Radharani Aarhi- a gang rape victim
of Nandigram) MATANGINI MAHILA SAMITI from Singur and intelligentsia of Kolkata
and Bengal. 25 people fasted for 2 days. Relief materials were collected and
almost Rs. 60 000 collected in these two days. Many eminent artistes and famous
personalities of Bengal came to our Dharna Manch to express their solidarity
with us –Film Directors- Aparna Sen, Rituparno Ghosh; Poet-Litterateur- Tarun
Sanyal, Joy Goswami; Actors-.Singers- Anjan Dutta, Bibhas Chakraborty, Artists-
Suvaprassanna, Shipra Bhattacharya; RSP MLA- Manojit Bhattacharya, Geeta
Sengupta (presently in the Left Front in power) to name a few. Many eminent
film personalities withdrew from the ongoing Kolkata International Film
Festival in protest against the Nandigram killings. Some refused their awards
and posts even. The Forum of Artistes, Cultural Activists & Intellectuals,
organized a rally from here but it was intercepted by the police and stopped at
two places. Later they held a demonstration by singing songs that again was
attacked by the police in spite of the presence of eminent personalities and
some were even man-handled by the police. 41 of the artists were imprisoned
under Sec.151 same as the arrests made in Madhya Pradesh during the Narmada
Bachao Andolan.

Jointly, with all the fraternal participating organizations, we have met the
Governor and submitted a Memorandum of demands for immediate stopping of these
barbaric assaults on the people of Nandigram. Similarly we have written to the
Union Home Minister. But our repeated attempts to meet the Chief Minister have
all been washed down the drain, as he has not even responded.

Today we are proceeding to Nandigram with all the collected relief materials
and have informed and written to the D.G. of Police for protection. Let us see
how far we can proceed.

Medha Patkar
Gopalkrishna Gandhi

Enough is enough

November 10, 2007
The ardour of Deepavali has been dampened in the whole state by the events in
Nandigram. Several villages in Nandigram are oscillating from the deepest gloom
to panic. Large numbers of armed persons from outside the district, have, it is
undeniable, forced themselves onto villages in Nandigram Block I and II for
territorial assertion.
Thousands of villages have consequently been intimidated into leaving their
homes in villages such as Daudpur, Amgachi, Jambani, Simulkundu, Brindabanchak,
Tekhali, Nainan, Kanongochak, Takapara, Sarengabari, Ranichak, Kamalpur and

Even as of 4 pm this day (November 9,) I have received phone calls from
responsible persons in Nandigram saying that several huts are ablaze. Large
number of villagers has taken refuge in the local high school in Nandigram,
bereft of food and personal security.
At the time of writing, the most accurate description for Nandigram is the one
used by our Home Secretary, namely, it has become a "war zone". No Government
or society can allow a war zone to exist without immediate and effective
I am fully aware of the fact that, earlier in the year, many villagers in
Nandigram, who were perceived as sympathisers of the ruling establishment had
been obliged to leave the villages and seek shelter in Khejuri. I am also aware
of the apprehension that some Maoists, their numbers being unverified, are
believed to have entered the area.
Those who had to flee Khejuri must come back with full confidence and dignity.
And no quarter should be given to the cult of violence associated with Maoists.
But the manner in which the 'recapture' of Nandigram villages is being
attempted is totally unlawful and unacceptable.
I find it equally unacceptable that while Nandigram has been ingressed with
ease by armed people on the one hand, political and non-political persons
trying to reach it have been violently obstructed. Some of them were bearing
relief articles for the homeless. The treatment meted to Smt Medha Patkar and
other associates of hers last evening was against all norms of civilized
political behavior.
A group of the MPs and one MLA, representing the CPI-M met me this morning and
urged me "to apply my good offices for the peace processes in Nandigram". Peace
is the need of the hour in Nandigram. For that peace to come, I told them,
effective action will have to be taken in terms of action initiated against
those responsible for the March 14 events in due process.
The alert and observant people of West Bengal have a right to know that
following discussions with political leaders like Smt Mamata Banerjee, MP, Shri
Partha Chatterjee, Leader of the Opposition, West Bengal Legislative Assembly,
Shri Pradip Bhattacharya, Working President, West Bengal Pradesh Congress
Committee, Shri Manas Bhuiyan and non-political persons, I have been in regular
communication with the Hon'ble Chief Minister Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and
requested the State Government to take certain immediate steps. These include
(i) the immediate return of the ingressers; (ii) the giving of urgent relief to
the displaced persons in Nandigram and (iii) the facilitation of their return
to their homes.
I have also asked the administration to remove the new unauthorised manmade
blocks at entry points to
1. Chandpur-Rai Para-Phulni More-Khadinbari-Nadia
2. Nandakumar-Kapaseria-ferry to cross over to Nandigram
3. Heria-Nandigram

in order that the isolation of Nandigram from the rest of the State ends.

I have made it clear that unless these steps are taken within hours, and the
syndrome of "capture and recapture" is not ended, the beginnings for a resumed
dialogue through the package announced by the Chief Secretary last night will
not get off the ground and the peace talk process will remain grounded. Peace
talks must resume soon and, despite the lateness of the hour, I welcome the
pragmatic optimism expressed in this regard by our elder statesman, Shri Jyoti

Let me conclude by saying: Enough is enough. Peace and security should be
restored, without any delay, from where they have been evicted from Nandigram.