People's Democracy

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


No. 45

November 11, 2007

Maoist Landmine Burst Kills Three At Nandigram


B Prasant


A VICIOUS burst of a powerful landmine in the afternoon of October 6, 2007 near the Bhangaberia Bridge at Nandigram left three dead and twelve seriously injured. Ten others received bullet injuries. The dead and wounded villagers have all been supporters of the CPI (M) and they were put under fire when crossing the bridge towards their villages. A police havildar was shot in the shoulder by Maoist gunmen in the same locality. The Maoists later said that they had ‘effectively prevented CPI (M) workers from returning home.’




The troubles and travails of the day started elsewhere at Nandigram, with an early morning attack of the combined forces of the Trinamul Congress, the Maoists and the Naxalites on the villages situated at Ranichak, Satengabari, Gokulnagar, Sonachura, and Tekhali, ostensibly to ‘ferret out and finish off’ the remaining CPI (M) supporters who had tenaciously roughed it out in the villages put under siege over the past nine months, and would not desert their hutments for the comparative safety of the relief camps.


The attack met popular resistance as the people came out of their hutments and confronted the armed goons who had thought them easy prey. As one had seen in the past, a confrontation is the signal for the Maoists and their Trinamul Congress backers to scoot. This time was no exception either.




The attackers fled, but later returned to keep the villagers terrorised with a day-long shooting from rifles and muskets, from various ranges and distances. The police subsequently took up positions around the Tekhali rural area and prevented further assaults and mayhem by the Maoist and Naxalite goons a large part of whom have been recruited from outside of Midnapore east, and in some instances, from Bihar, Jharkhand, and Orissa.


Mamata Banerjee, not a person to let go of any opportunity to berate the Left Front government, went to town with a threat of road blockade all over the state on October 7, to ‘protest against the ‘ousting of one lakh Trinamul Congress supporters at Nandigram’ – a taller tale was never told and it is always under serious doubt whether her outfit could muster, now more than ever, even one-hundredth of that figure she quoted, in terms of support at Nandigram and beyond in east Midnapore.




An ugly incident unfolded during the day when the combined forces of the Maoists and the Trinamul Congress blockaded the Tamluk-Mechheda highway at Bajkul and started to stop and wreck long-distance buses. They assaulted the passengers, the drivers, and the conductors, leaving several people with deep wound and bleeding injuries.


When the camera crew of a Bengali TV channel attempted to record the misdeeds, the reporter and the cameraperson was set upon and beaten up mercilessly. The police answered a call of distress from the reporter and hurried just in time to rescue the badly injured videographer who was in the process of being taken to an unknown destination in a truck by the attackers. In the meanwhile, sporadic firing continued deep into the night at Nandigram and Sonachura.