People's Democracy

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


No. 48

December 02, 2007



Nandigram Speaks Its Heart Out To CPI(M) Leaders


Mohd Salim, Shyamali Gupta and Shyamal Chakraborty talking to villagers in Nandigram


B Prasant


CPI(M) central committee members Shyamal Chakraborty, Shyamali Gupta, and Mohd Salim visited an extensive area of the affected parts of Nandigram throughout the day of November 27. People crowded around the CPI(M) leadership and talked endlessly of the series of mishaps and tragedies they had faced over the past eleven months – in and out of the relief camps.


The leadership commenced their walk from the Nandigram zonal office of the CPI(M) that had been rebuilt after having been burnt down completely, and several times over. The first time it was burnt down was under direct provocation of the Trinamul Congress chieftain.


Nargis Parveen, a student of class II of Satengabari village, pointed to the heap of ashes and a few charred bamboo poles that she whispered had been her home. Nargis still trembles with a pervading fear when she recalls in a haze the night when the miscreants came, drove the family out, beat them up - and the set fire to the hutment amidst glee. The ‘crime’ committed by the family of poor kisans was they were CPI(M) workers.


Mohammad Yasin of Garchakraberia gave vent to a heart-rending tale of woe. He had his octogenarian father and mother at his side when he told his tale of sorrow. In charge of education sub-committee of the local Gram Panchayat, the Yasin family was made to remain isolated from the entire village.


They were deprived of civic amenities. They had to sneak out deep into the night to fetch a pail or two of water for drinking and for oju (ritual ablutions before namaaz). When a daughter fell sick, the family was forcibly prevented from going out for help: the girl died later. On March 15, the Yasin family was ousted from the village after their hutment had been thoroughly looted, and then put to the torch.


Amar Pramanick, Sheikh Zakir Hussein, and Diljaan Mohammad and others told the CPI(M) leaders at Hazarakata and Kendemari that the Trinamul Congress and later the Maoists made life unbearable for them right from January 3 in every way possible. All kinds of developmental work were stopped.


Women and children were not spared by the goons who came from outside and berated all the poor villagers, night and day, for months on end. The villagers were forced to sign bonds declaring that they would have nothing to do with the CPI(M) in the future. Some of them were fined upto fifty thousand rupees all for the ‘crime’ of supporting the CPI(M).


Tapasi Das who lost her husband Ratan when he was killed by the Trinamul Congress goons broke down as she spoke of her woes to the CPI(M) leaders. The leaders also spoke to the grief-stricken mother of young Sumita Mondal. Sumita had been raped by the goons of the Trinamul Congress and then strung up from a tree. Indrajit Majhi told of the training programme imposed on them by the Maoists. The CPI(M) leaders also visited the burnt out house of Shankar Samanta who was burnt alive on a haystack.


The villagers also spoke of the atrocities committed under instigation of Trinamul Congress goons by the CRPF. This has happened especially at the villages of Akandapur, Ratanpur, Maheshpur, Satengabari, and Keyakhali. There were three ways the atrocities were committed. First, the CRPF on their own would beat up CPI(M) supporters, take them into custody, and intimidate them. Second, the CRPF would be egged by the Trinamul Congress hoodlums to commit atrocities on the CPI(M) supporters. Third, the Trinamul Congress criminals would commit atrocities under protection of the CRPF.


Supriti Das of Maheshpur village told the CPI(M) leadership how the CRPF had threatened to rape her if she did not quit the CPI(M). Manubala of Satengabari said that the CRPF had kicked her in the stomach and threatened her with worse if she did not stop supporting the CPI(M). Telling similar tales of atrocities suffered at the hands of the CRPF, women like Shankari Manna and Geeta Burman broke down and were in tears. Trinamul Congress goons looted the houses of Monoranjan Manna and others in the presence of the CRPF. Mantu Burman, Susanta Burman, and Sushil Mondal had their arms and legs broken by the rifle butts wielded by the CRPF at Satengabari.


The CPI(M) leaders assured the villagers that they would speak to the state administration to ensure the safety and security of the people of Nandigram yet in fear and suffering from atrocities. They exhorted upon the villagers to hold their positions in the villages and to realise that the CPI(M) and the state LF government were by their side. Later Shyamal Chakraborty met the Tamluk district magistrate, and the CPI(M) leadership held a press conference.