Status report nails CPM cadres
Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, May 4: At a time when CPI-M mandarins at Alimuddin Street are busy blaming the Opposition for the continuing violence in Nandigram, the government they lead has a different story to tell.
The home department’s status report that was placed before Calcutta High Court yesterday has directly held CPI-M cadres responsible for the violence in at least three cases. The report also makes it clear that CPI-M cadres in Nandigram are well armed.
First instance: On 7 April about 300 CPI-M supporters entered Satangabari under Amdabad gram panchayat of Nandigram police station stating that Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) members were threatening supporters of CPI-M, says the report. Thereafter, BUPC supporters also rallied and attacked CPI-M supporters and bombs were hurled by both sides. The warring groups left when police reached the spot. However, no complaint was lodged in Nandigram police station over this incident.
Second instance: On 30 April, Trinamul MP Mr Mukul Roy and other leaders of the party were being escorted by police to Nandigram where they were supposed to hold a public meeting. On the way, CPI-M supporters blocked their way and damaged the escort vehicle, the report says. Police, however, managed to escort the Trinamul leaders to the spot where the meeting was held.
Third instance: On 1 May, about 70 members from the Forum of Artistes, cultural activists and intellectuals were going to Nandigram to distribute relief material among the affected people. When they were returning, they were stopped and assaulted by CPI-M supporters, the report says. Their vehicle was also damaged.
Although the status report cites several instances where BUPC members had indulged in violence, even top CPI-M leaders seem to be unaware that their own men have been exposed as well.
Asked about the attack on intellectuals and artistes on 1 May, former chief minister Mr Jyoti Basu said: “I don’t know who were involved in the violence. I will ask for a report from the party.”
CPI-M allies in the Left Front have also reacted to the status report, adding to the discomfiture of the party.
RSP leader and PWD minister Mr Kshiti Goswami termed the status report submitted by the state government holding CPI-M supporters responsible for at least three attacks as a “damage-control exercise” by the chief minister to wipe clean his image after the carnage on 14 March.
“When somebody tells a lie then a hundred dissenting voices contradict that lie. So perhaps, they have thought that it is time to tell the truth as part of damage control exercise,” said Mr Goswami.
Veteran CPI leader and minister Mr Nandagopal Bhattacharya said the status report had left him “confused” and “stunned”. “We were being told a different story all along. But after the status report was submitted by the home secretary there is no scope for any more one-line conclusion that the Opposition was responsible for the mindless violence in Nandigram.”
Editorial: Basic governance, page 6