People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 12

March 25, 2007

Nandigram Oustees Rally In Kolkata


CPI(M) members and supporters ousted from Nandigram staging a demo in Kolkata on March 20


B Prasant


THREE hundred people – men, women, and children – rendered homeless by the goons of the Trinamul Congress-Naxalites-SUCI held a rally at the Rani Rashmoni Road crossing in Kolkata. They represent the three thousand families who are forced to live in relief camps away from their home and hearth.


At the rally, CPI(M) Bengal unit secretary Biman Basu said that all the coteries of reactionary forces, national and international, were banded together in a common will to prevent the development of Bengal under the Left Front government. Biman Basu expressed complete sympathy with the homeless people and said their return to their own places must be ensured. Similar sentiments were expressed by a visibly moved AIKS leader, Benoy Konar.


Polit Bureau member of the CPI(M) and MP Brinda Karat spent a considerable period at the rally and listened to the plight of the homeless. Brinda Karat later met the Bengal chief minister at the Assembly House over the issue of people having been forced to go and seek shelter in relief camps for nearly three months.


The homeless people sent a delegation to the Bengal governor and urged upon his good offices to understand their plight and their demand to go back to their places of residence and live in peace. Similar appeals were made to the chief justice of the Kolkata High Court, and to state women’s commission, and the state human rights commission. The rally was attended by the state leadership of the CITU, the AIKS, the AIDWA, the DYFI, and the SFI. Women members of the state assembly, too, paid lengthy visits and spoke to the rallyists.


A large procession was taken out at the instance of the Kolkata district unit of the CPI(M) in the city from the rally point to the Ramlila Park on the CIT Road in central-east Kolkata. The marchers protested the attack organised on the mass of the people at Nandigram, ejecting hundreds of people from their hutments and forcing them to live in relief camps. 


Elsewhere, the Jamiat- Ulama-e Hind brought out a violent march near the Writers’ Buildings. The Jamiat cadres wrestled and fought with policemen and would not spare reporters and photographers at work. A Ganashakti photographer was among those injured in the attack.


Reports have started to appear in the media that a number of well-known criminals and hired goondas were in action on March 14 at Nandigram attacking the police and the people with guns and bombs. Photos were carried in Ganashakti showing one such criminal taking aim at the police with a country-made gun. 


Among the criminals involved were those who had seen ‘action’ at Pingla, and in Keshpur while carrying out attacks against CPI(M) workers in 2000 and 2001. The anti-socials all owe allegiance to the Trinamul Congress or to the Jharkhand Party. They were aided and abetted at Nandigram by Maoists and Naxalites of various hues and loyalties. Their chief aim now is to ‘occupy' Nandigram and the surrounding area for the Trinamul Congress ahead of the 2008 Panchayat elections.