Fear refuses to go in Nandigram
Lush green paddy fields and red flags are all that remains in the deserted villages. Shops are still closed.india Updated: Nov 17, 2007 12:48 IST
Buffeted by days of violence, Nandigram on Saturday presents a picture of stark contrasts: the once "occupiers" Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) cadres are nowhere to be seen and the "morally justified" CPI(M) men have taken the areas in their control.
Lush green paddy fields and red flags are all that remains in the deserted villages. Shops are still closed.
"Sab thik ache. Ekhane shanti ache (everything is alright. There is peace here)", said one local woman, looking forlorn.
The situation was reported to be similar at Maheshpur, Tekhali, Sherkanchawk, Gokulnagar, Brindabanchawk, Garchakraberia and several other scattered villages in Nandigram, which bore the brunt of violence earlier this month.
The BUPC men have been subdued, yet they don't feel defeated. Says BUPC president Abu Sufian: "With guns, one can chase out tigers from a jungle. But one can't chase out the jungle from a tiger's mind".
The sentiment among those driven out reflects a sense of dejection. "It is sad that the CPI(M) has had to dominate with brute force the same people who have supported the party for years," said Rafiqul Islam (name changed), a septuagenarian from Garchakraberia who has taken shelter in a relief camp in Nandigram town.
Rafiqul wants to go back home, but is scared.
"Who wants to stay here? We want to go back to our homes. We have everything there, from house, to paddy fields to cattle. But we are scared for our lives," Islam said.
Sunayani Das, 11, managed as innocent smile as she possibly could. Her family had been staying at the relief camp for the last eight days.