People's Democracy

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


No. 21

May 27, 2007



Trinamul Congress-Naxalites Launch Wanton Assaults At Nandigram, Singur


A Trinamul hoodlum armed with machete and scimitar being chased away by the police at Singur



B Prasant


DOZENS of gangs of heavily-armed Trinamul Congress-Naxalite hoodlums launched a series of attacks in various localities of both Nandigram and Singur. At least forty villagers were left critically injured. Against this gory backdrop, the Trinamul Congress leadership would like to participate in the all-party meeting on restitution of peace and order at Nandigram. It is difficult to see reason into the weird state-of-affairs where a show of strength is a pre-condition to what is hoped to be peaceful discussion.


The actual meeting is scheduled to take place sometime during May 24. The tentative venue (with Trinamul Congress around, everything is tentative) is the Mahajati Sadan in north Kolkata.


Then again, the answer may well be straightforward. Having survived from birth through violent acts of commission, the Naxalites have of late shown them real way forward, the Trinamul Congress leadership finds itself jittery at the prospect of actually talking across the table. Their usual penchant has been to upturn all tables and go in hammer-and-tongs with the language and implements of violence at whoever is at the other end of both the table and their ire.




The assault on Nandigram started on the night of May 16-17 and continued until May 23. The miscreants armed with guns, bombs and, swords made a stealthy river borne approach to enter the Talapati canal at Khejuri, disembarked in the dark, and started to fire at villagers who were preparing for fishing trips in the creeks and inland waterways. They were shot down, and their boats were forcibly seized.


Even as this attack was going on, another gang of Trinamul Congress-Naxalite goons entered the locality through the other end via Gokulnagar, Adhikaripara, Brindabanchak, and Kanungochak. They entered the Maheshpur bazaar area and started to loot shops and and then set the shops afire.


Shocking to state, and by then daylight had broken through the cloud cover, some Trinamul Congress leaders abducted a housewife and a mother of two, and raped her repeatedly. Leading the heinous act was an elected Trinamul Congress Gram Panchayat member. The woman was left bleeding in a helpless state and in complete shock, before the villagers could rescue her braving the occasional pot shots from long-range guns that were aimed at them.




CPI MLA of Nandigram Iliyas Mohammad was again at the receiving end of a Trinamul Congress-Naxalite assault on May 16. He had suffered another such attack towards the beginning of April. Iliyas was riding a motorcycle and was proceeding alone from Nandigram bazaar towards Tarachandpur. Midway, Trinamul Congress miscreants stopped him at gun point, pulled him down and mercilessly beat him up. Led by a notorious anti-social in the pay of the Trinamul Congress, the CPI MLA was punched and kicked for several minutes and left bleeding heavily from his mouth, nose, and ears. He somehow survived the assault. He was later rescued by villagers and sent home.


At the same time when Iliyas was being beaten up, dozen other and armed Trinamul Congress-Naxalite goondas entered the office of the block development officer and started ransacking it. The BDO himself was not spared. The attack saw Trinamul Congress activist and Gram Panchayat member Bakulpur take a leading role in manhandling the BDO who had his clothing torn off. The concerned BDO was earlier attacked by the Trinamul Congress activists during the middle of March in the presence of the Trinamul Congress leadership.




The Trinamul Congress-Naxalite outfit in a display that was shameless then chose to attack a team of doctors of the Red Cross who had come to look at the ill and the injured at the refugee camps and elsewhere in Nandigram. The doctors carried four truckloads of essential medicine and emergency medical equipment. In an act that was justified only by small section of the corporate media the next day, (‘what business did the Red Cross doctors have to look to the CPI(M) injured?’ was the argument hinted at), the Trinamul Congress-Naxalites have written a new meaning to the word ‘criminal.’


A repulsive sidelight to the unfortunate incident was the fateful uttering of a local Trinamul Congress hood who before leading the attack told his fellow criminals, ‘this is not one of our NGO boys, so go ahead and beat the living daylights out of them.’ The trucks were wrecked, the doctors forced to flee and the medicine chests were systematically looted, and as is their wont, the criminals later sought to sell the medicines to the local medicine shops albeit unsuccessfully, and at a high premium, especially the hundreds of bottles of precious intravenous fluid that would have saved a lot of lives, now and in the day to come.


In an effort that misfired badly to block the only road that is yet open for traffic in and out of Nandigram, a Trinamul Congress MLA made a huge song-and-dance when his car ran recklessly into and ran over two motorcycle riders on May 15. Immediately, he informed the media that his car had been the subject of an attack by the CPI(M). The entire media of Kolkata with one or two exceptions took up the story and the Trinamul Congress chieftain started to make threats about the ‘palpable attempt by the CPI(M) to kill the MLA and to sabotage the all-party talks.




In the meanwhile, the Bengal opposition and some other interested parties started to ponder sagely as to ‘how could the CPI(M) be ever believed?’ Later, everything became embarrassingly defused when the driver of the MLA’s car told the police the actual nature of what was an accident. The two youth whose motorcycles were rammed, are presently in a local hospital, nursing head injuries each. However, the anti-climax of a kind of political inexpediency was indulged in at this juncture by a veteran leader of a Left party who in full glare of the TV cameras, needlessly and lugubriously confessed at a joint press conference with the Trinamul Congress supremo, “Mamata Banerjee is the leader of all of us.’


One unctuous boss of a small group of lackeys who hang on to the pallu of Mamata Banerjee desperately and always peep out from behind her ‘considerable’ presence at media conferences to show their faces to TV cameras, boasted that ‘peace at Nandigram or not, Singur we shall keep restless.’ How true was this grovelling echo of Mamata Banerjee’s actual sentiments was proved on when on May 20-21, gangs of armed Trinamul Congress-Naxalite-SUCI mobsters wielding guns, lobbing bombs and swinging long swords descended on the lathi-equipped police at Singur. Their ostensible aim was to pull, down the periphery wall around the projected motor car manufacturing factory that was fast coming up.




Not many turned up for the ill-gotten move. Those who did congregate were well-known and hardened criminals, many with jail records. The two-hundred-odd criminals first started to lob bombs and swing brickbats at the smallish police force guarding the periphery wall. The police carried lathis and tear gas canisters. No guns were in evidence in the police ranks. As soon as the attack started and strong men of the Trinamul Congress and Naxalite groups rushed towards the fence firing guns and swinging machetes and scimitars, the police retaliated with tear gas.


Around fifty canisters of tear gas were burst but the criminals dodged around the smoke columns and jumped on the police. In the fracas that took place, sharp weapons were freely used on the police leaving a dozen-odd police persons including several officers, injured enough to be removed to hospitals. Finally, without any support from the rural populace, the criminals broke ranks and fled.


Having been informed earlier by the Trinamul Congress, TV cameras were lined up all along the fields and hedges where the attack came from. Later Mamata Banerjee and her lackeys, addressing a meeting at Haldia threatened more such ‘action’ in the days to come, ‘all-party meeting, or no all-party meeting.’ In the meanwhile, big protest rallies have been held under the aegis of the CPI(M) all over Bengal to protest the Nandigram-Singur incidents.