NANDIGRAM: People appeal to the West Bengal Governor

NANDIGRAM: People appeal to the West Bengal Governor
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"if any public call to arms by a sitting MP of the ruling party is issued, and that too in the presence of the Chief Minister of the state, hardly anything else could have had been expected"
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To
The Hon'ble Governor of West Bengal

Sub: Failure of Constitutional Machinery and Rule of Jungle in Nandigram

Sir,

At the very outset, as a conscientious citizen of India, let me express my deepest appreciation of your statement on Nandigram expressing your profound disquiet over the state sponsored war launched by the CPIM cadres on Nandigram and its hapless and defenceless villagers.

As we all are aware soon after Ms Brinda Karat, a Politburo member of the CPIM and a Rajya Sabha member from West Bengal – thanks to the amended rule allowing outsiders to get elected, called upon her party cadres in a strikingly ugly and obscene delivery – the video footage of which is available at least with the Star Ananda TV channel, to unleash violent terror on Nandigram from a public platform with the Chief Minister of the state by her side, all hell broke loose.


Waves of armed gunmen started raiding Nandigram from all the sides. Whatever unarmed and armed resistance by the villagers proved too meagre under the circumstances. The police conveniently looked the other way. But then if any public call to arms by a sitting MP of the ruling party is issued, and that too in the presence of the Chief Minister of the state, hardly anything else could have had been expected.

We also know how Nandigram was turned into a virtual war zone since January 3 this year as a consequence of a notification issued by the Haldia Development Authority announcing its intention to acquire lands in Nandigram for a chemical hub with the Indonesian Salim group acting the main player. Then on March 14 a reign of terror was unleashed on the villagers barricading themselves on all sides so as to resist the state's predatory moves to appropriate them of their lands and livelihoods by means of the armed might of the state with active and open collaboration of the CPIM cadres to subserve corporate interests in the name of development through industrialisation.


This act of brutal bloodletting, which mercifully turned out to be rather shortlived – thanks to the prompt intervention of the Kolkata High Court immediately asking for a CBI enquiry and thereby compelling the marauding forces beat a hasty retreat, radically worsened the situation.

Even a much belated categorical assurance by the Chief Minister as regards dropping of the current plan for the chemical hub in Nandigram failed to assuage the hurt feelings of the villagers in view of the stae government's dogged refusal to institute any credible enquiry into the massive atrocities on march 14 and provide relief, rehabilitation and reparation for the victims of March 14 terror attack.

Quite unfortunately, the laudable attempts at reconciliation by senior Left leaders like Jyoti Basu and then Ashok Ghosh were actively sabotaged by the government and the CPIM leadership. The wild and unsubstantiated allegation of international conspiracy by Brinda Karat in the interim only went to inflame passions still further.

Ms. Brinda Karat's open call to arms on November 4, with the almost explicit blessings of the state's Chief Minister, apparently acted as the final trigger for unleashing a massive avalanche of armed attack by gangs of organised hoods, evidently meticulously planned in advance grimly reminding us of the state-sponsored massacre in Gujarat in February-March 2002.",

We also know how Nandigram was turned into a virtual war zone since January 3 this year as a consequence of a notification issued by the Haldia Development Authority announcing its intention to acquire lands in Nandigram for a chemical hub with the Indonesian Salim group acting the main player. Then on March 14 a reign of terror was unleashed on the villagers barricading themselves on all sides so as to resist the state's predatory moves to appropriate them of their lands and livelihoods by means of the armed might of the state with active and open collaboration of the CPIM cadres to subserve corporate interests in the name of development through industrialisation.

This act of brutal bloodletting, which mercifully turned out to be rather shortlived – thanks to the prompt intervention of the Kolkata High Court immediately asking for a CBI enquiry and thereby compelling the marauding forces beat a hasty retreat, radically worsened the situation. Even a much belated categoricalassurance by the Chief Minister as regards dropping of the current plan for the chemical hub in Nandigram failed to assuage the hurt feelings of the villagers in view of the stae government's dogged refusal to institute any credible enquiry into the massive atrocities on march 14 and provide relief, rehabilitation and reparation for the victims of March 14 terror attack. Quite unfortunately, the laudable attempts at reconciliation by senior Left leaders like Jyoti Basu and then Ashok Ghosh were actively sabotaged by the government and the CPIM leadership. The wild and unsubstantiated allegation of international conspiracy by Brinda Karat in the interim only went to inflame passions still further.

Ms. Brinda Karat's open call to arms on November 4, with the almost explicit blessings of the state's Chief Minister, apparently acted as the final trigger for unleashing a massive avalanche of armed attack by gangs of organised hoods, evidently meticulously planned in advance grimly reminding us of the state-sponsored massacre in Gujarat in February-March 2002.

As you yourself have clearly acknowledged, violence is still continuing despite a so-called ceasefire. Huts are still burning. Lives are still being lost. People in thousands had to flee their homes. Human rights workers, and even journalists, are not allowed entry into the "war zone", an eminently apt tem coined by no less than the Home Secretary of the state.

Under the circumstances, you are earnestly urged to carry out an on-the-spot survey of the mayhem under way so as to bring it to an immediate end and arrange rehabilitation for all those who have been rendered homeless.

Hope given the grimness of the situation you would readily comply.

Yours sincerely,

Sukla Sen
EKTA
(Committee for Communal Amity)
Mumbai

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