People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
November 11, 2007
Left Front Appeals For Commencement Of Peace Process At Nandigram
THE Bengal Left Front meeting at Muzaffar Ahmad Bhavan in the early afternoon of November 7 called for the initiation of peace efforts at Nandigram. Specifically the LF appealed to all concerned to ensure a return home of the people ejected as a direct consequence of the unstructured if brutal violence unleashed at Nandigram, sometimes sporadic, at other times continuing, over the past several months. Present in the LF meetings were veteran leader of the CPI(M) Jyoti Basu, and Bengal chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee.
As it is known by now, the Trinamul Congress and its adjutants and allies amongst the Maoists, the Pradesh Congress, the Naxalites, the SUCI, and the BJP (the public face of their politics of violence being the amorphous save agriculture committee) have unleashed waves of fierce attacks on the Nandigram villagers, ousting them from the rural stretches, forcing them into poorly-maintained relief camps, and the criminally-inclined lumpen elements have gone on a spree of occupation, killing, looting and burning all the way. The targets have been the workers and supporters of the CPI(M).
In a situation that was planfully developed into a state of siege of at least block I of Nandigram, these protagonists of violence cut up all roads from and into Nandigram, stopped the administration from functioning, often at gunpoint, brought developmental work of the Panchayats to languish, would not allow the police to enter the ‘liberated zone,’ and instilled a massive dose of terror into the hearts and minds of those who preferred to stay in and defy the aggression, and would not flee to the camps, even if the latter happened to be nearby and secure (many camps are neither proximal to the villages nor entirely secure from attacks.)
Issuing an appeal for peace to the people of Nandigram and of surrounding areas, Biman Basu, Bengal Left Front chairman and a senior leader of the CPI(M) stated yet once more that peace and development could be restored to Nandigram through a political process alone, and not through violence of the kind the distressed villagers have been meted out. Biman Basu said that the course of all-party meetings on Nandigram could be revived soon enough starting from the district level.
Condemning both the Maoist-engineered landmine bursts recently at Nandigram that left three killed and dozens-odd severely injured, and the subsequent armed attacks of the Maoists, Biman Basu said that it was time the Trinamul Congress and its acolyte the ill-defined save agriculture committee disowned, distanced themselves from, and ‘severed all connections with the Maoists.’ Biman Basu also called upon the state administration to ‘function properly at Nandigram.’
APPEAL FOR PEACE
The appeal issued by the Bengal Left Front stated:
1. Every man and woman must initiate efforts in their localities of habitation at Nandigram and its surrounds, to ensure a peaceful democratic environment.
2. The Left Front appeals to all people irrespective of political affiliations to return home. The LF workers are asked to make every effort to buttress this process. The people of Nandigram have endured a great deal of torment and have suffered as a result—it must be seen that no one takes the advantage of the situation to go in for any form of vendetta. People cutting across political loyalties must come forward and make sure that men, women, and children are able again to live a happy and healthy life. The LF workers must make an all-out effort to defend the right of the people to live in safety and security.
3. The rural people are appealed to, to ensure that they help in the process of implementation of the developmental plans of the Panchayats and of the state administration. They must help the state LF government begin anew and soon, the employment-generating projects that have been kept pending.
4. The people should extend all help and cooperation in the task of repairing of roads, bridges, and culverts, and should help make the subsidiary health centres and educational institutions active once more.
5. It must be seen that forcible subscriptions are not extracted from anyone.
6. The people must cooperate with the police and the state administration in their work for establishing peace.
7. Meetings must be held at every village to resuscitate confidence amongst the rural populace
8. In making this appeal, the Bengal Left Front calls upon all political parties to implement it through mutual discussion and through initiation of appropriate steps.
Elsewhere, the road block programme called by the Trinamul Congress was a complete flop with the storm-troopers failing to materialise at any point in the road network of either the metropolis or elsewhere in Bengal in any marked manner. Some buses had their windshields smashed in the desolate highways around the Tamluk-Ghatal-Mechheda area. The police arrested 30-odd people across the districts.