People's Democracy(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
December 23, 2007
THE depredations of some CRPF units reached unbearable proportions very recently for the distressed villagers of Nandigram, especially those who are far to recover from the severe trauma of the past eleven months.
For some weeks now, the Midnapore east unit of the CPI(M) has complained often enough about the means and methods employed as terror tactics by some of the CRPF units. Guided by the villainous elements of Trinamuli desperadoes, these units of the CRPF would single out families who supported the CPI(M) – and there are large numbers of such families – and conduct raids during the night, putting the women to derision and heckling that included threats, attempts at unscrupulous physical overwhelmings, and lewd commentaries. In most instances, the sepoys are drunk and never in full control of their behaviour.
Such has been the ‘accomplishment’ of the heinous techniques of police torture on the men and boys of post-normalcy Nandigram by the CRPF units, that they would not dare stay back during nights, for fear of arrests and worse, preferring the biting December cold of the outdoors –hiding away in fields with tall crops, bushes, groves, and behind the spare forestry of the nearby hillocks, to eke out a terrified and miserable existence, night after night.
The latest atrocities started when the villagers spotted several well-known Maoists led by a woman from Kolkata named ‘Teesta,’ coming out of the house of a Trinamul Congress leader who had played host to the ultras in the past as well. Surrounded by the protesting villagers, the Maoists blustered and then went away, with the Trinamul Congress subalterns under their local commander Abdul Samad, making dire threats about teaching the CPI (M) supporters a ‘good lesson,’ and said that the next time, ‘we shall bring the CRPF in.’ This they duly did.
It was nearly ten at night. The CRPF, who came in two truckloads, started the ‘raid.’ Accompanying them were two Trinamuli criminals, Zia-ul Shah and Sheikh Mohibul. They first entered CPI(M) worker Dilip Mondal’s house, breaking down doors. Dilip had as usual fled to the fields earlier in the evening as he did every day. The CRPF grabbed roughly Dilip’s wife Moyna and sister Shefali, slapped them hard several times, and then dragged them to a desolate spot near a temple. Their cries of despair – they had feared the worst were about to come – brought out dozens of villagers who proceeded to chase the CRPF and their Trinamuli guides away.
The CRPF returned in strength in six trucks and personnel carriers, and forcibly entered the households of very many kisans of the Dihi Kamalpur village, pulled out the women and the girls by their hair, and started to beat them senseless with lathis and rifle butts, asking them all the while, where the menfolk had gone. Some of the senseless women were dunked in the local ponds, then pulled up and beaten up again, and again.
Women injured and admitted to nearby hospitals are Moyna Mondal, Shefali Das, Bula Mondal, Sita Das, Mitarani Jana, Rinku Maity, Chhaya Maity, Alpana Das, Rekharani Das, Rina Maity, Suchitra Maity, Shyamali Das, Kanchan Maity, Saraswathi Das, and Shefali Das. Moyna, Bula, and Shefali are in grave conditions.
The Maoists made a surreptitious reappearance the next morning, and told a few Nandigram villagers they that “we would be coming back once the CRPF units are withdrawn after ‘softening up’ the CPI (M) supporters: wait, observe, and obey us, if you are clever enough to read the writing on the wall.” The threat is clear: soon it would be ‘back to the days when murder, arson, rape, and homelessness of the CPI(M)-minded rural people proved the order of the day at Nandigram’.