Friday, March 16, 2007

National Alliance of People's Movements (NAPM) Report on Nandigram Violence, March 14, 2007

It is shocking and shaking news from the people of Nandigram that the state of west Bengal has waged a war against them with an intention of occupying their farm land, fish ponds, homes and hearths. In spite of the rhetorical statements by the Chief Minister of WB that he would consult and convince the people, the State government claiming to be leftist by ideology, has resorted to brutal and barbaric way of using police force and party cadres to attack the unarmed, non violent farmers, fish workers, labourers and artisans in the district of East Midnapore for grabbing their land. The people from generations old communities who have a golden history of freedom movement and martyrdom are being not only forced but killed by the "free Indian state" which is shameful for the Indian democracy and its people.

As per the latest information, thousands of Police on entering the area, this morning, started firing, and 20 at least are found killed while hundreds are wounded lying on the street. Police are forcibly taking away the dead bodies. Women are at the forefront and have faced the attack the most. Children and men along with women are on the streets coming out of homes and villages to stop the brutal State and Party forces who are trying to take the territory under siege for SEZ with MNCs. We are also informed that media persons were stopped from witnessing the brutal atrocities while two media persons from TARA News are said to be missing.

This is obviously a planed action since even last month when 4 meetings attended by over 20000 people was held, there was news that the CPM would launch its attack soon after the school exams were over. Women and men who continued to keep watch day and night were most worried expecting the armed attack and asked whether their non violent approach would work. Since yesterday, there was a fear and a threat of an action using thousands of Police and CPM Cadres, armed and prepared to forcibly occupy their land and the territory. The public statement to this effect was made by none else but Shri P.R.Roy Secretary, Home Affairs and Raj Kanojia IG- Law and Order, state of West Bengal. The opposition in WB, during assembly session, had demanded a dialogue to start immediately and not to resort to State violence.

The news is that the firing and violence is still on and the people also have not given up. The intellectuals in west Bengal have come out in support of the struggling farmers and others and there is a need that the same happens in all the states. Imposition of industrialization, with or without SEZ, as also real estate development is to kill farm land and farming as a way of life. But Nandigram and Singur show that the corporotised stae does not mind even mind killing people to make way for the Multi National Corporations.

This brutal attack must be immediately condemned and CPM must be compelled to stop murdering farmers immediately. Such state fascism and corporate war against people can't and must not be tolerated.

What happens in Nandigram and West Bengal is to decide the fate of lakhs of farmers, fish workers, labourers, artisans who voted for left front but now are in unprecedented battle for survival.

  • We demand that the Union of India and UPA through the PM, Sonia Gandhi and others must immediately intervene and use various restraining measures in their hands to compel the CPM government to stop the murderous attack.
  • Legal action must be taken against all responsible for the killings including the CM, West Bengal
  • We expect that the National Human Rights Commission will send a team for urgent enquiry and take action. We assert that SEZ Act should be repealed and projects with conflict between the state and the people should be put on immediate hold across the country. An enactment on Development Planning, based on the draft submitted to the National Advisory Council under the Chairmanship of Smt. Sonia Gandhi should be taken for consultation with people's movements and approved.
  • We appeal to the eminent and concerned citizens and people's organizations to condemn and protest against the inhuman imposition of projects in the name of development.
Medha Patkar- 9869446684
Rajendra Ravi- 9868200316
Mukta Srivastava
Sukhendu Bhattacharya
Pranav Bannerje
Murad Hussain

National and State conveners, NAPM