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CPI-M irked at US 'interference'

The CPI(M) asks Washington to concentrate on alleged gross human rights violations in Iraq and by Israel in the Gaza strip.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi
UPDATED ON MAR 14, 2008 09:42 PM IST

The CPI(M) on Friday termed a US official report referring to Nandigram violence as "interference" in Indian affairs and asked Washington to concentrate on alleged gross human rights violations in Iraq and by Israel in the Gaza strip.

The party "suggests that the US government would rather concentrate on taking positions on gross human rights violations in occupied Iraq and by the Israeli regime in the Gaza strip and other areas of occupied Palestine".

In a statement, the CPI(M) Politburo said the reference to Nandigram in a US State Department's annual report was "unnecessary and unwarranted" and based on "totally misplaced facts."

The party "urges all right thinking people to reject this contention and interference of the US government with all the contempt that it deserves."

At a press conference, CPI(M) leader Mohd Salim said "we don't think the US is the custodian or champion of human rights. Some people here think the Bush administration is so, but we do not suffer from any such illusions."

He said earlier Washington used to treat China as the top most human rights violator and "now they have downgraded" Beijing as Sino-US trade has grown and asked "who are they (US) to give us a certificate".

Asked about Trinamool Congress charges about a large number of deaths during last year's violence, Salim, said it was a "disinformation campaign" as opposition parties in West Bengal were yet to prove their claim that "hundreds were killed".

"If these charges were true, then there should have been the relatives of those killed who would have claimed so. While no such claims have been made, the Trinamool and others have also not pursued their charges," the CPI(M) leader said.

He said normalcy and peace "even though fragile has been restored and developmental activities resumed there. The people of Nandigram should not be made pawns in the political game any further".

Salim claimed even Maoist activists had gone on record to say that they were "helped with arms and ammunition by Trinamool Congress and they were in the area since January, 2007".

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