At Ground Zero, red flags dot skyline as CPM celebrates | india | Hindustan Times
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At Ground Zero, red flags dot skyline as CPM celebrates

Even the presence of the CRPF, which finally reached Nandigram on Monday evening, was hardly any deterrent to the CPM celebrations, reports Rakeeb Hossain.

india Updated: Nov 13, 2007 01:15 IST
Rakeeb Hossain

The guns have fallen silent. It’s almost quiet on the Nandigram front. Except for a few stray sounds of crude bomb explosions, Nandigram seems to have peace after more than 11 months — the peace of a graveyard.

But don’t be mistaken about any ongoing clash in Nandigram now if you hear the sound of crude bomb explosions, for it’s just the way CPM cadres here love to celebrate their “victory” over the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC).

Even the presence of the CRPF, which finally reached Nandigram on Monday evening, was hardly any deterrent to the CPM celebrations.

Amid all the jubilation, a deathly calm prevailed in Nandigram with hardly any farmers working in their fields or staying outdoors. The shops and offices remained closed and people preferred to remain tightlipped, with suspicion in their eyes.

After days, it was the first time on Monday that the CPM cadres threw all caution to the winds. They did not even care to stop the media cars from entering deep inside the villages of Nandigram, even though their eyes were monitoring the mediapersons’ activities all the time.

But to get a feel of what the situation is like in Nandigram now and to see first hand what went on for the last few days, one doesn’t really need to travel very far.

The HT team was one of the first to proceed towards Nandigram even as Trinamool leader Mamata Banerjee preferred to stay within the comforts of an AC room of a hotel at Tamluk, preferring to go back home in the evening.

The HT team encountered a CPM victory procession near Debipur. Red flags on thick sticks were flying high and a crude bomb was being exploded every other minute. “It’s nothing, they are just celebrating the victory,” said Tilak Ray, a CPM local committee member of Debipur who was leading the procession.

Throughout the day, CPM cadres with red scarves on their heads and red flags in their hands took to the roads on motorcycles, creating terror among the villagers. After 11 months of fighting for the BUPC, the villagers have now surrendered and are just trying to hold on to whatever they are left with after the loot and plunder.

All along the roads, even the narrow village roads were flaunting newly put up red flags. The flags are not made of cloth but a synthetic material---ironically sending out the message that the red flags are here to stay and would not be faded by any winds of change that the BUPC or Trinamool may bring about after being wiped out in the last six days of the organised operation by the CPM to reclaim Nandigram.