Kolkata, December 19: The depredations of some CRPF units reached
unbearable proportions very recently for the distressed villagers of
Nandigram, especially those who are far to recover from the severe
trauma of the past eleven months.
For some weeks now, the Midnapore east unit of the CPI(M) has complained
often enough about the means and methods employed as terror tactics by
some of the CRPF units. Guided by the villainous elements of Trinamuli
desperadoes, these units of the CRPF would single out families who
supported the CPI(M) – and there are large numbers of such families --
and conduct raids during the night, putting the women to derision and
heckling that included threats, attempts at unscrupulous physical
overwhelmings, and lewd commentaries. In most instances, the sepoys are
drunk and never in full control of their behaviour.
Such has been the ‘accomplishment’ of the heinous techniques of police
torture on the men and boys of post-normalcy Nandigram by the CRPF
units, that they would not dare stay back during nights, for fear of
arrests and worse, preferring the biting December cold of the outdoors
–hiding away in fields with tall crops, bushes, groves, and behind the
spare forestry of the nearby hillocks, to eke out a terrified and
miserable existence, night after night.
The latest atrocities started when the villagers spotted several
well-known Maoists led by a woman from Kolkata named ‘Teesta,’ coming
out of the house of a Trinamul Congress leader who had played host to
the ultras in the past as well. Surrounded by the protesting villagers,
the Maoists blustered and then went away, with the Trinamul Congress
subalterns under their local commander Abdul Samad, making dire threats
about teaching the CPI(M) supporters a ‘good lesson,’ and said that the
next time, ‘we shall bring the CRPF in.’ This they duly did.
It was nearly ten at night. The CRPF, who came in two truckloads,
started the ‘raid.’ Accompanying them were two Trinamuli criminals,
Zia-ul Shah and Sheikh Mohibul. They first entered CPI(M) worker Dilip
Mondal’s house, breaking down doors. Dilip had as usual fled to the
fields earlier in the evening as he did every day. The CRPF grabbed
roughly Dilip’s wife Moyna and sister Shefali, slapped them hard several
times, and then dragged them to a desolate spot near a temple. Their
cries of despair—they had feared the worst were about to come—brought
out dozens of villagers who proceeded to chase the CRPF and their
Trinamuli guides away.
The CRPF returned in strength in six trucks and personnel carriers, and
forcibly entered the households of very many kisans of the Dihi
Kamalpur village, pulled out the women and the girls by their hair, and
started to beat them senseless with lathis and rifle butts, asking them
all the while, where the menfolk had gone. Some of the senseless women
were dunked in the local ponds, then pulled up and beaten up again, and
Women injured and admitted to nearby hospitals are Moyna Mondal, Shefali
Das, Bula Mondal, Sita Das, Mitarani Jana, Rinku Maity, Chhaya Maity,
Alpana Das, Rekharani Das, Rina Maity, Suchitra Maity, Shyamali Das,
Kanchan Maity, Saraswathi Das, and Shefali Das. Moyna, Bula, and Shefali
are in grave conditions.
The Maoists made a surreptitious reappearance the next morning, and told
a few Nandigram villagers they that “we would be coming back once the
CRPF units are withdrawn after ‘softening up’ the CPI(M) supporters:
wait, observe, and obey us, if you are clever enough to read the
writing on the wall.” The threat is clear: soon it would be ‘back to
the days when murder, arson, rape, and homelessness of the CPI(M)-minded
rural people proved the order of the day at Nandigram’.
BENGAL LF GOVERNMENT SETS UP
TASK FORCE FOR DEVELOPMENT OF NANDIGRAM
Kolkata, December 18: Bengal Left Front government has decided to set up
a task force for the drawing up of a plan towards acceleration of the
process of development of Nandigram. For the past nearly one year, the
area had faced ravages of anarchy, murder, terrorism, and complete lack
of development because of the anti-people initiatives of the forces of
reaction and of left sectarianism. Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee stated this at a session of the state Assembly recently.
In a heinous effort to corner and then wipe out the CPI (M) from
Nandigram, the Bengal opposition spared no efforts to cause extreme
plight to the rural poor of Nandigram, simply because of the latter’s
refusal to join hands with the marauders, a large number of whom came
from outside of the district and the state.
Until now, Rs 70 lakh has been allocated from the chief minister’s
relief fund for the Nandigram people affected by the unrest to purchase
daily necessities, and to have their houses rebuilt and repaired as the
case might be. In all, 560 houses have been completely razed and 399
houses partially damaged.
138 Mt of rice and Rs five lakh three thousand have been distributed for
incidental help to the affected people. 1250 dhotis, 5000 lungis, 4000
saris, 6500 children’s clothes, 6500 sheets of blankets, and 50
polyester sheets have been allocated and distributed. Several government
medical teams, teams of Red Cross doctors, and medical persons of
several non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have treated the people of
Nandigram for various kinds of ailments.
Developmental work had come to a standstill at Sonachura, Gokulnagar,
Kalicharanpur, Daudpur, and Samsabad, and Amdabad Gram Panchayats.
Developmental work has commenced under initiative of the state
government in all these GPs. Annual meetings of all GPs have already
been held and dates for the congregation of the Gram Sansads have been
Working of the rationing system, mid-day meal programmes, and ICDS
initiative has started again. Tasks under such schemes of rural
development as NREGA will start soon. To assist the kisans, who had
missed the Kharif season of cropping and harvesting, for the upcoming
Ravi season, the state government has allocated the following mini-kits:
Mini-kit for /
/ Numbers /
Each Gram Panchayat has seen the setting up of peace committees with
participation of the representatives of various political parties. The
task force will soon draw up a comprehensive plan for the development of
Nandigram soon, informed Buddhadeb.