Nandigram: Five fresh graves discovered
Statesman News Service
NANDIGRAM, Dec. 5: At a time when the Trinamul Congress has been alleging that many of those who had been fired at during a peace rally by BUPC supporters in Sonachura on 10 November were kidnapped and their bodies hidden by CPI-M cadre in Nandigram and Khejuri, the CRPF today discovered five more graves dug near Khejuri.
Mr Alok Raj, DIG, CRPF, said: “We have given in writing to the state police about our findings and have asked them to act on them. The state police were called to the area where the graves were found.”
But when contacted, Mr SS Panda, SP, Midnapore East, initially denied that he had any information in this regard. Later, he said: “I will inquire into it.” When asked whether bodies would be exhumed, he said: “I don’t know.”
Acting on a tip-off from locals, the CRPF today cordoned off an area near the roadside of the Khejuri-Tetultala road about one kilometre from Khejuri College, where they discovered the five graves. The CRPF informed the local police, which came to the area around 10.30 a.m.
The CRPF DIG said that a group of women from Gokulnagar, which is far from the spot, claimed that the graves were of those five people who were killed while making bombs in Sherkhanchak on 27 October. But the bodies of these people were taken to Tamluk police station, Mr Raj said. “It is mysterious as to why these bodies would then be taken so far to a remote spot to be buried.
Also, the dead were all Hindus. Do Hindus bury their dead?” he said quizzically.
CRPF officers said that they have handed over the charge of exhumation and post-mortem of the bodies to the state police. They have also asked police to explain why graves had been dug by the side of the road.
“We hope the state police will be able to satisfactorily answer our queries by tomorrow, and exhume the bodies. Failing which we have to take recourse to other measures,” a senior CRPF officer said.
Meanwhile, Trinamul Congress MLA from Contai, Mr Subhendu Adhikary said the bodies might be of those BUPC supporters who were shot at and later kidnapped by CPI-M cadre on 10 November.
“We have a list of names of 35 people who are missing since that peace rally. We want to know whether the bodies in the graves found today are of those missing people,” Mr Adhikary said.
The fresh revelation by the CRPF has added fuel to the controversy regarding the killing and alleged disappearance of many who were shot at on that day. Recently, Mr Subhas Chakraborty, state transport minister, criticised the media saying “only five people were killed in the recent spurt of violence in Nandigram”.
He had also claimed that three of them were CPI-M supporters.
Thursday, December 6, 2007