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Nandigram: Relief camps offer cold comfort

A member of the visiting NCW team says, “The condition of the women is pathetic,” report Rahul Das and Ashoke Bera.

india Updated: Nov 23, 2007 03:46 IST
Rahul Das and Ashoke Bera
Rahul Das and Ashoke Bera
Hindustan Times

Rabeya Bibi (name changed) represents the women of Nandigram and the conditions they are living in at the relief camps. There are several like her who were forced to spend the last 12 days far from home, in the cold comfort of a relief camp. “I was raped five times. Five men pinned me down on the floor and carried out their acts of vengeance, since my husband is a Bhumi Uched Pratirodh Committee activist,” she told a four-member team of the National Commission for Women on Thursday.

What else?

• The violence has taken its toll on Srimati Saha. If losing her husband in the March 14 firing wasn't bad enough, the Rs 5 lakh compensation had her in-laws hounding her for it and finally throwing her out of their home

• Srimati then went to live with her parents but their home was destroyed during the ‘recapture’ of Nandigram

• Now, the BUPC camp where she lives has taken away Rs 10,000 of the Rs 50,000 compensation she got from an NGO

Rabeya longs to return home. “How long can you suffer, as a person, as a woman? My husband was injured during the clash. There is no trace of my daughter,” she sobbed.

The delegation, comprising Neeva Konwar and Malini Bhattacharya, began with a stopover at the CRPF’s makeshift office in Nandigram police station and spoke to DIG Aloke Raj to get an “exact idea” of the ground situation. Later, Konwar told HT: “It’s a very bad scenario.”

The NCW members then went to the relief camp at Brajamohan Tiwari Sikhshayatan and spoke to women whose husbands have either died or are missing. “The condition of the women is pathetic. I’ll see to it they get justice,” Kanwar said.

The team later left for the affected areas. In Satengabari, they were shocked when villagers alleged that BUPC members had created terror in the region. “The CPM supporters here are the victims. The BUPC workers set houses on fire,” a villager told them. But they later learnt the houses had belonged to BUPC members and were set ablaze by the CPM “army”.

First Published: Nov 23, 2007 02:32 IST