Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Nandigram burns: Guns and goons rule the roost


Breaking News: Less than 24 hours after the CPI (M) had declared that Nandigram was ‘free of terror’, albeit with Marxist muscle, there was fresh violence in the strife torn area which has been under siege for a week with no sign of police forces.

Shyamal Sarkar, 12 November 2007, Monday

REVENGE ATTACKS were launched by CPI (M) cadres late on Monday evening with houses in five villages set on fire in Nandigram. Firing and clashes have broken out yet again in four villagers despite the CPI (M) leadership’s claim that the area “is free of terror”. People in relief camps cringe in far as fresh violence erupts. The situation is volatile.
The attacks came during victory marches by CPI (M) supporters in Nandigram. Despite a DIG of the CRPF with troops reaching Nandigram the central forces are stumped because the local police administration is not cooperating with them. A section of the CRPF at the Nandigram thana waits for the local police to guide them to the area where there is fresh violence.
The BJP has said a war like situation prevails in Nandigram and its president Rajnath Singh has sought the dismissal of the Left Front government in West Bengal even as a seven-member BJP team lead by L.K. Advani arrives in Kolkata tomorrow to make a spot assessment in Nandigram.
The Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is said to be monitoring the situation and has spoken to the Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil.
At the conclusion of the politburo meeting of the CPI (M) in New Delhi, party general secretary told media that the Bengal administration will reach Nandigram soon and restore normalcy.
Trinamul Congress leader Mamata Banerjee is also trying to enter Nandigram.
Meanwhile the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sent a notice to West Bengal chief secretary directing him to submit a factual report within 10 days on the situation in and around Nandigram. A team of the Investigation Division of the Commission will visit Nandigram for a study and suggest remedial measures. The Commission has requested secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), to take necessary steps to restore peace in the strife torn area, protect human life, dignity and property and submit an action taken report within two weeks.
The Commission's initiative follows a petition filed by lawyer Sanjay Parikh, that the disturbed and volatile conditions in and around Nandigram is resulting in grave violation of human rights. Parikh forwarded to the Commission a message received from social activist Medha Patkar, requesting urgent intervention, according to media reports.
The State Human Rights Commission has also sought report from the administration on the violence in Nandigram.
In another instance of rift in the Left Front a Bengal minister Manohar Tirkey, belonging to the RSP, today said he did not want to continue in the government because he was ashamed of the killings in Nandigram. He has sought the party’s approval. Earlier, another RSP leader PWD Minister Kshiti Goswami had announced his decision to resign.