Thursday, November 29, 2007

CM to visit Nandigram in show of strength

CM to visit Nandigram in show of strength

Nandigram, Nov 28: Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will visit Nandigram in December, health minister Surjya Kanta Mishra told a rally today.

Addressing the CPM’s first public meeting here since the land war broke out almost 11 months ago, Mishra promised a turnout to watch out for when the chief minister visited.

“You will see the crowd next month, when the chief minister and (state CPM secretary) Biman Bose address a meeting. I wonder how over a lakh people will come to this venue (the Nandigram College ground) through the narrow road,” said Mishra, also a party central committee member.

Party sources in Calcutta said the exact date for the chief minister’s trip was yet to be finalised.

Party leaders in Nandigram said he was expected only after the harvesting was over. “The farmers are busy harvesting their crop. There is no point in inviting the chief minister now. The farmers will be in a relaxed mood after they have taken the crop home,” a zonal committee leader said.

The peak harvesting season continues till around December 10.

At the rally, East Midnapore district secretariat member Ashok Guria released a list of 28 party supporters allegedly killed by Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee activists since January.

Sumita Midya fainted as she heard her husband’s name being read out.

She had so long believed that Chanchal, 35, was missing. Mishra stepped down from the dais to comfort her.

Chanchal, Sumita and their two sons had fled Rainagar for the CPM-run refugee shelter at Reyapara.

“We returned home on November 7 morning. The party called him to a procession to celebrate our homecoming soon after. That is the last time I saw him. I sat with his lunch of rice, cabbage curry and dal till late in the afternoon,” said Sumita, 28.

“They (the comrades) told me the Pratirodh Committee people dragged him out of the procession, hacked him to death and threw his body in the Haldi,” Sumita said, breaking down.

But she still refuses to believe that her husband had died. “I don’t want any compensation. Please bring him back.”

Mishra turned to Guria and the party’s Nandigram zonal committee member, Ashok Bera, and said: “Please ensure that they (Sumita and her children) are looked after.”

Like Chanchal’s body, Guria said, those of Mahitosh Karan, 36, Mir Murshid, 32, Mohan Mondal, 39, and many others could not be traced.

The East Midnapore police chief said a probe was on.

The party’s Haldia strongman, Lakshman Seth, and district secretary Dipak Dasgupta also addressed the meeting.