People's Democracy

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


No. 19

May 13, 2007

Trinamul Goons Attack, Loot Tekhali Relief Camp At Nandigram


B Prasant


MORE than a couple of thousands of destitute families with very little in the way of personal belonging took shelter in the make-shift relief camp at Tekhali at the edge of Nandigram when the armed assaults by the Trinamul Congress-Naxalite-SUCI goons was reaching its peak by the middle of February.


The ousted left behind post-haste everything they possessed, including cropped field, vegetable patches seeds, stored food grains and vegetable, clothing, personal possessions of daily use, and cattle. When a young woman went back in the middle of the night unable to bear the plaintive cries of the calves, she was kidnapped by Trinamul Congress hooligans who had taken over the household, gang-raped, and then left bleeding in a nearby field.




A recent visit to the Tekhali relief camp had revealed the terror that is always writ large on the faces of the thin and underfed refugees. They spoke of nights filled with gun shots and powerful bomb explosions. They spoke also of well-known Trinamul Congress criminals whizzing by the relief camp on motorcycles and throwing bombs and incendiaries. Water supply is an acute problem at the relief camp as the number of families keep coming to the camp, overarching and often overwhelming the limited infrastructural and service resources available.


The Tekhali camp itself was subject to a brutal attack by the Trinamul Congress-Naxalite combine very early in the morning on May 4. The Trinamul Congress has set up a new and fortified headquarters in the pucca-built house of one of the local chiefs and this is situated right behind a school building, since deserted.


The attack started with about 600 Trinamul Congress-Naxalite goons, faces covered in towels and dressed in black shirts and trousers, each armed with guns and sharp weapons and carrying canisters of bullets and pouches of bombs, surrounding the relief camp from the three sides of Maheshpur, Adhikaripara, and Kanungochak, keeping open, and deliberately, the route to Khejuri.




The attackers lined up women and children behind whom they took position and started to fire and lob bombs into the relief camp. In a great panic, the ousted dropped everything and just ran, in front of a police camp nearby, right into Khejuri and safety. The attackers then took their time to loot systematically the last of the possessions that the villagers had left behind in the relief camp, distributed the loot, and then set fire to the camp, before casually sauntering away.


A few policemen, unarmed, sought to intervene. The armed hoods simply pushed them away. The Gokulnagar police camp was kept under siege by a few dozens of armed Trinamul Congress goons until the looting had ended. The nearby CPI(M) office, recently refurbished, once more faced the ire of the attackers. It was promptly ransacked and put to the torch. The attackers then went to the Tekhalibazaar and looted shops owned by CPI(M) supporters, later setting them on fire.


Until now, more than five thousand five hundred men, women, and children have been ousted from their villages and they are constrained to spend uneasy days and nights at the Tekhali and Bahargunj relief camps. Of them, the last four days have seen three thousand more CPI(M) supporters ejected from their villages anew. Close to 300 shops and dwelling places, hutments and pucca structures, have been looted and then turned intro ashes.




Recent visits to the affected area have revealed a new and frightening dimension to the incidents of attack: raping of women. At the Bahargunj relied camp, one saw, and spoke to women each in their early-forties and with several children each, being subjected to brutal torture and rape by four Trinamul Congress goons. The incident happened at Brindabanchak at Gokulnagar on May 1 during the afternoon.


None of the women possessed any land; nor is there any evidence that they had actively taken part in any CPI(M)-organised programmes. Both of them were simple housewives. Yet they were subjected to great humiliation and in public because they would not support the Trinamul Congress-Naxalite-SUCI-run save agricultural committee.




One found arms supply being organised in a regular manner to the Trinamul Congress-Naxalite headquarters. From Junput and using powerful trawlers and launches, cargos of guns and ammunition go to the Trinamul Congress-controlled Jellingham Ghat at Sonachura. From that point, the arms are packaged into smaller bundles and suitably but swiftly redistributed to strategic points.


Roads too are used to reach out arms and ammunitions to Garchakraberia and Maheshpur. Even as Mamata Banerjee was making her violent speech at a sparsely-attended meeting at Garchakraberia recently – ‘we shall not allow the Red Flag to fly in Nandigram, Khejuri, and Haldia’ – arms were carried quietly into the area inside passenger vehicles that accompanied the convoy.


The latest form of attack of the Trinamul Congress-SUCI, in true criminal fashion, is extortion of money. ‘Money is needed to purchase guns and to pay off professional marksmen’ was how one Trinamul Congress subaltern would put it succinctly and with a tight, satisfied smile. According to reliable sources, the total amount of cash looted in all exceeds Rs 3 crore. Investments of a different kind are forthcoming at Nandigram.


And the sources reveal that a notorious Trinamul Congress leader-cum-business magnate has recently invested Rs 2 crore on his own at Nandigram to fuel the violence and the killing and looting.


The Trinamul Congress-Naxalite-SUCI led movement at Nandigram is not a movement for land. It has never been. It is an effort to make political encroachment through violence on areas that had voted solidly for the CPI(M) and the Left Front in the rural polls in particular over the past 40 years and more. The rural pools are scheduled for 2008.