[Marxism] Nandigram: Tales of Horror and Saga of (Continuing) Resistance

Sukla Sen suklasenp at yahoo.co.uk
Sun Nov 11 21:11:01 MST 2007

Maatir Kasam
Maayer Kasam
Maatii Jaader 

Taaraai Tomaar
Aamaar Shwadesh
Tomaar Aamaar

Swear by the soil
Swear by the mother
Those for whom 
Soil is the blood and sweat

They are the homeland
For you 
And for me
For you
And for me

(A handwritten poster on display by the silent
demonstration by artists, poets and culture workers in
Kolkata on November 11. Another one proclaims, “From
today onwards, all my art is genocidal.” Birendra


Cracks in LF appear, CPM claims no rift

By Parwez Hafeez

Kolkata, Nov. 11: Distancing themselves from the
CPI(M), three principal partners of the Left Front on
Sunday accused the ruling party of being solely
responsible for the resurgence of bloodshed in

Perhaps for the first time in the past 30 years that
the Left Front has been in power in West Bengal, any
one issue has created such serious differences between
the CPI(M) and the junior constituents. A
strongly-worded resolution adopted after an emergency
meeting of the RSP, CPI and Forward Bloc said: "We
don’t approve of the politics of vio- lence and
revenge. The situation is Nandigram has become
alarming due to the resurgence of violence, which we
are totally opposed to. The CPI(M) alone is
responsible for this unfortunate turn of events."

Significantly, the Left Front constituents did not
hold the Trinamul Congress-led Bhumi Ucchhed Pratirodh
Committee equally responsible for the Nandigram
mayhem. A copy of the resolution which was adopted
after the two-hour long meeting at the Forward Bloc
office was sent to the Left Front chairman, Mr Biman
Bose, who is now attending the CPI(M) politburo
meeting in New Delhi.

[In New Delhi, the top CPI(M) leaders claimed after
the day-long politburo meeting, which was dominated by
the developments in Nandigram, that there were no
differences within the ruling front in West Bengal.
"Where are the cracks you are talking about? There is
no divide, " politburo member Sitaram Yechury told

[Mr Biman Bose, when asked about West Bengal governor
Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s statement that Nandigram was a
"war zone" and criticising the recapture of the area
as "illegal", said if that was so, "it can then be
induced that he wants to say that capturing of the
villages in the first place by the Maoists and others
was legal and acceptable." West Bengal chief minister
Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee could not attend the meeting
as he was busy in Kolkata dealing with the volatile
situation in the state.]

In Kolkata, the stand taken by the Front partners
irked CPI(M) leader Benoy Konar, who said it would
provoke their opponents to unleash more violence in
Nandigram. "Their criticism of the CPI(M) alone is
unfair. Why did they not criticised the Bhumi Ucchhed
Pratirodh Committee, which has made a mockery of the
rule of law in Nandigram?" Mr Konar asked.

The meeting of the "mini-Front" clearly sought to
isolate the CPI(M) on Nandigram. The intention of the
smaller constituents was clear: they did not want to
share the liability which they feared the fresh
bloodbath in Nandigram would bring. Although the
resolution was unanimously adopted, it is the RSP
which has virtually raised a banner of revolt against
the CPI(M). Senior RSP leader and PWD minister Kshiti
Goswami on Saturday announced his decision to resign
from the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Cabinet. "I cannot
remain in the ministry when defenceless people are
being killed in Nandigram. I find it morally
repugnant," he added. To cock a snook at the CPI(M),
RSP leaders Manoj Bhattacharjee, Geeta Sengupta and
Mihir Banerjee on Saturday sat with social activist
Medha Patkar in a show of solidarity. They also
condemned the attack on Ms Patkar’s convoy by CPI(M)

Sources said that in the meeting on Sunday, although
veteran Forward Bloc leader Ashok Ghosh tried to
persuade the RSP leaders not to quit the ministry, the
latter refused to budge. "Democracy means rule of law
and I cannot accept a situation where innocent people
are being terrorised. I firmly believe that the RSP
should pull out of the Left Front ministry. I don’t
want to remain in the state Cabinet any longer," Mr
Goswami said.

He has stopped using his official car and is not
attending office at Writers’ Buildings, the state
secretariat. A final decision on the issue, however,
will be taken at the state committee meeting of the
RSP, which will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday.
After a clear indictment by governor Gopalkrishna
Gandhi, who said the CPI(M)’s violent "recapture" of
land in Nandigram was "unlawful and unacceptable", the
Left Front partners’ resolution has deeply embarrassed
the chief minister as well as the state CPI(M)


How CPM recaptured Nandigram
12 Nov 2007, 0108 hrs IST,TNN

MIDNAPORE/KOLKATA: The plan to recapture Nandigram was
drawn two weeks back in a meeting between two top CPM
leaders from East and West Midnapore. An MP from East
Midnapore and a state minister from West Midnapore
were also present at the meet. The main point of
discussion was how to bring back Nandigram, out of
bounds for CPM supporters for the last 11 months.
Armed men were used from at least three districts —
West Midnapore, Bankura and North 24 Parganas — for
‘Operation Nandigram’ to flush out the opposition.

The first attempt to re-enter the villages and oust
Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee supporters, who had
held fort since early 2007, was made on March 14. The
operation was conducted mainly by state police and did
not bring the desired result. CPM had to go on the
backfoot following widespread protests after the March
14 massacre. Since then no CPM leader has been able to
set foot in Nandigram.

The party’s East Midnapore district unit was under
pressure from its supporters in Nandigram who were
forced to flee to Khejuri. Despite the talks of peace
and aborted attempts to make the refugees return to
the villages in small number, the guns along the
Nandigram-Khejuri border were hardly ever silent.
Leaders from both the districts had to set aside their
differences to sort out the problem. CPM could not
afford to let Nandigram remain out of its control till
next year’s panchayat polls.

Also, the West Midnapore district unit has the
experience of leading such an operation — Keshpur — in
2000. On November 4, local DYFI unit held a meeting at
Heria (close to Khejuri) where it pledged to send back
its homeless supporters to their villages. Two days
before that, the process of withdrawing police from
the troubles spot had already started.

Cadres — local criminals mostly involved in dacoity
cases — for the operation were drawn from Chandrakona
and Garbeta zonal committees. Also, cadres were sent
from Narayangarh and Keshiary areas. Another group of
around 250 armed CPM supporters and criminals came
from the villages of Punishol at Onda and Rajpur,
Taldangra in Bankura.

Sources said criminals were given money in advance and
given a free-hand to bring whatever they could from
the empty homes once the operation is complete.
Sources said one such group that has returned to Onda
came with motorcycles.
The Bankura group reached Nandigram after travelling
by train and then road. The group boarded trains and
allegedly got off at Balichak, four stations after
Kharagpur, and then headed towards Nandigram via
Khejuri in the guise of daily wage earners. They take
the same disguise when they go to Bihar and Jharkhand
to collect arms, sources said.

Most of these people are suspected to be running arms
smuggling rackets. The arms used in the recapture
operation are believed to have been supplied from
these suppliers.

Another cache of arms came from Purulia where party
workers had received arms to combat Maoists. It is
also suspected that the arms gone missing after the
Purulia arms drop are with CPM supporters and were
smuggled to Nandigram.

The coal mafia from Burdwan is also believed to have
played a key role in the operation. The money from the
mafia is believed to have supplied funds for the
operation, helped in procuring ammunition and hire
vehicles that carried the armed men to the interior
areas as the attack progressed.


CPM cadres seal off Nandigram, stall CRPF

Monday November 12, 01:36 AM
Ignoring widespread protests, even from Left Front
partners, and not willing to concede an inch after
they muscled their way in, CPM cadres today sealed off
Nandigram, blocking all entry points and even stopping
trucks carrying CRPF personnel to the violence-hit

CPM men resorted to sporadic firing in areas like
Sonachura, Garchakraberia and Samtabad though no
casualties were reported.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, riding
pillion on a motorcycle, tried to enter Nandigram via
Radhamani Bazar but was stopped by CPM men.

At the Tamluk hospital where she met the injured,
Mamata said: "There is no rule of law here. How can
they stop me from entering Nandigram?".

At the hospital, the injured recalled the nightmare.

"Our leaders told us that (Chief Minister) Buddhadeb
(Bhattacharjee) has declared a ceasefire, no one will
attack us anymore. But as we approached Maheshpur, CPM
cadres shot at us from both sides of the road. They
hurled bombs, trapping us in between. I tried to run
but suddenly I felt a searing pain and fell. Before I
passed out, I saw my neighbour Harun, his entrails
were out," said 21-year old Moni Shaw of Sonachura.

Next to her bed lay a 40-year-old woman who, along
with her two daughters, had been allegedly gangraped
at Satengabari.

CPM cadres not only blocked all entry points to
Nandigram but also the national highways passing
through the area. Rampaging through 103 gram panchayat
areas, they regained almost total control even as the
state government began deploying the CRPF.

The police rescued 100 of the 350 people who went
missing from Maheshpur but conceded that a large
number were still in Khejuri, an area dominated by the

"It is a war zone with violence continuing. We are
tallying the names of the missing and have rescued
some of them. But the majority are still holed up in
Khejuri under CPM control. We are waiting for the
deployment of CRPF," said East Midnapore SSP S S

Armed CPM cadres could be seen blocking the crossings
at Nandakumar, Chandipur, Kapashberia, Mograjpur,
Tengua and other points leading to Nandigram.

Asoke Guria, CPM district committee member of East
Midnapore, said: "All the homeless of Nandigram, who
were in camps for 11 months, have succeeded in
returning to their villages. The CPM has established
control over Garchakraberia, Sonachura and
Adhikaripara. Miscreants under the banner of BUPC
(Bhumi Ucchad Pratirodh Samiti or the Save Land
Committee) have begun to flee the area. Peace will be
resorted in Nandigram soon."

BUPC leader Abu Sufiyan said "we are trying our best
to resist but the situation is out of our hands." He
alleged that villagers were being raped and murdered.

Want ideas for reducing your carbon footprint? Visit Yahoo! For Good  http://uk.promotions.yahoo.com/forgood/environment.html

More information about the Marxism mailing list