People's Democracy

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


No. 23

June 15 , 2008


Trinamuli Goons Extorting Money

THE bad old days are back it seems.  The long run up to the Panchayat polls from November 2007 until the beginning of May 2008 was not exactly free of political tension for the peace-loving people of Nandigram. Yes, clashes did take place.  Yes, resistance by the villagers had started to become that bit more organised, especially in Nandigram blocks I and II and its adjacent areas.

Nevertheless, the overwhelming fact of life for the villagers was that the Trinamuli goons were off from the visible, and at a great remote from the menacing. Their backers of the armed variety, the so-called Maoists had quietly disappeared for the safe havens - in Jharkhand - and in south 24 Parganas, where they were later to wreak havoc come poll day in collusion with Trinamul goons and their squalidly 'able' counterparts of the SUCI.

Then came the two later phases of the Panchayat polls - the results were declared. The dark forces came out of their hiding and started to flex their muscles -- at Nandigram block-I in particular. The beginning of the dark nights saw several men and women forced to flee their huts. And looking back as they fled, they saw their small agricultural plots being occupied  through planting of Trinamuli flags and festoons.

Ponds are again poisoned after the fish and the fishlings had been netted en masse.  Markets are again the seat of power from where the entrepreneur-hooligans rule the roost, dispensing favours - for a hefty sum of course.  As in the recent past, nothing comes if not tagged to lump sum payments for which no receipts are ever asked for.  If the scions of the bourgeois media find a few 'turncoats,' they are na´ve enough not to know the intense human desire for survival, especially for members of the targeted men and women's families of the young, the old and the invalid.



If one gets to be awarded the right to stay back, a routine sum -- and at bi-weekly intervals - is collected from men and women having visible lack of sympathy for the Trinamuli chiefs and their brigands. Sometimes the time-frame becomes a lot less lengthy when occasion demands it to be so - like the 'victory rally' Mamata Banerjee addressed recently at Nandigram and for which there is an enhanced demands for funds.

The latest we hear from the CPI(M) leadership of block I of Nandigram is that hundreds of villagers have been called to the bazaar HQ of the Trinamul mafia and asked to pay hefty sums of money, and then threatened with dire consequences if they are not found cheering didi's every word, sensible or (mostly) otherwise.

(B P)