People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
January 14, 2007
TRINAMUL CONGRESS-CONGRESS-SUCI-BJP UNLEASH VIOLENCE
People Reject The Bengal Bandh Call
GOONS of the Trinamul Congress, the Pradesh Congress, the SUCI, and the BJP went on a spree of violence across large parts of Bengal in a desperate bid to provide their bandh call (over the Nandigram imbroglio) at least a modicum of success. They were frustrated in their efforts. The people came out in large numbers to keep life normal and reject the bandh completely.
The bandh ironically enough was called and sponsored by those very elements who had led the mayhem at Nandigram murdering CPI(M) workers, torching CPI(M) offices, and forcing a large number of CPI(M) supporters to exit their residences and seek shelter in makeshift camps.
Then the camps themselves were attacked during night-time with bombs, guns, and machetes and the result was the killing of seven CPI(M) supporters and workers. All this was done in the name and pretence of a white lie that land acquisition notification was being issued for the Nandigram area for an industrial project. Joining hands with the Bengal opposition were the rabid fundamentalists of the Jamiat Ulema-I Hind.
Biman Basu, Bengal Left Front chairman and secretary of the Bengal unit of the CPI(M) briefed the media at the Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan. Basu, who extended his felicitations to the politically-conscious people of Bengal, said that the bandh was never allowed to wield any effect on the daily life in the state. Even in the district where Nandigram is located, Midnapore east, the pulse of living was uninterrupted.
Agricultural activities went on as usual in Bengal, and the hum of industries continued unabated. From coal mines to port and docks to airports to tea gardens, life remained unexceptionally active. Large, medium, and small transportation vehicles plied throughout Bengal. People joined their duties. Educational institutions remained open and classes were held — with attendance at the B. Ed examination of the Burdwan University almost 100 per cent.
However, evil deeds were perpetrated by the bandh supporters even while they claimed a ‘spontaneous success’ that the bandh supposedly was. Government and private offices were attacked right from the start of the office hours in a large part of the state. Shops were vandalised and looted. Employees were threatened and gates sought to be shut — to little success. Many government employees were injured in the assaults and several had to be removed to hospitals. The principal of a north Bengal college was jostled and heckled for the ‘crime’ of keeping the college open.
Government and public buses were indiscriminately stoned. 18 buses and a tram car were attacked in Kolkata itself. Elsewhere buses were plundered and then set on fire. Drivers of vehicles were pulled out and beaten up. At several places, vehicles carrying mortally sick patients were not allowed to proceed to hospitals and nursing homes despite entreaties. More than 500 miscreants were arrested around Bengal.
All this, said Biman Basu, had been done to force the bandh on the people who would comprehensively reject it and never allow, despite attempts to disrupt the normal rhythm of life in Bengal.