Understanding the ground-reality in Nandigram

Updated on May 23, 2007 02:08 AM IST
At least four clashes occurred in the last one week between the CPI(M) cadres and the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee members in Nandigram, reports Arindam Sarkar.
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Hindustan Times | By, Nandigram

As the state leaders held parleys for the ensuing peace talks on Nandigram on May 24, at least four clashes occurred in the last one week between the CPI(M) cadres and the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee members in Nandigram.

No wonder, both the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress-led Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee leaders strongly believe that peace talks at the state level cannot resolve the Nandigram crisis, unless all-party peace initiatives are taken here and fighting outfits resolve to ceasefire.

Reason: four months after the trouble began in Nandigram, distrust between the CPI(M) supporters and the villagers of Sonachura, Kalicharanpur, Kendemarijalpai, Gokulnagar, Mohammadpur, Amdabad II and part of Bheutia is the order of the day here.

And even now, the villagers have kept Nandigram out of bounds for the police and the CPI(M) leaders. Villagers have also not repaired the roads, culverts and bridges that they dug up to prevent the coming in of vehicles inside Nandigram where more than 71,000 people live.

In the past, four all-party meetings at the district level failed to take off as the Trinamool, SUCI and the Congress did not participate since the district administration refused to discuss the law and order situation of Nandigram.

"The state level talks will set the ball rolling but to get a result out of the talks, peace meetings with a definite agenda on Nandigram should be held here. Moreover, unless the CPI(M) stops the terror tactics, normalcy cannot return in Nandigram," said East Midnapore Trinamool President Sisir Adhikari.

Even the CPI (M) district leadership believes after the resolution is adopted at the all-party peace meeting in the city on May 24, the resolutions should filter down to the district and the block levels of Nandigram to bring peace.

"Based on the outcome of the peace talks, the district and the block leaders should meet to implement the resolutions of the peace meeting," said CPI(M) District secretariat member in-charge of Nandigram Ashok Guria.

Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee leader SK Abu Taher pointed out that to begin the peace process in Nandigram, the still existing CPI (M) camps at Bhangabera, Shekhanchak, Baharganj, Reyapara and Amdabad should be dismantled and the armed cadres stationed there should be arrested.

For, Abu Taher says, that it is these armed goons who are repeatedly attacking the border areas and creating panic in the villages. "People apprehend that taking advantage of the peace process, the CPI(M) may launch another attack to push in their men inside," said Sabuj Pradhan of Sonachura.

The CPI(M) leaders ruled out any such operation. They cite that in the last 15 days there has been no attack from Khejuri. What's more, they point out that it is not the CPI(M) cadres but the 5,000-odd people thrown out of Nandigram who are now forcibly trying to enter their villages, which is leading to armed clashes.

"CM has said that there will be no chemical hub in Nandigram. So why should the people be apprehensive now. The truth is that the villagers want peace but it is the heavily-armed hired mercenaries of the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee who are creating terror," said Ashok Guria.

The CPI(M) has identified rival mercenary camps in Sonachura, Garchakraberia, Dinabandhapur, Simalkunda, Bhutar More, Hazrakata, Maheshpur and Sanabari. The headquarters are located at Gachakraberia. From here, they collect information on the CPI(M) movement through their own spy network and carry out operations.

To restore normalcy, the CPI(M) district leaders have suggested to the CPI(M) state secretary Biman Bose that the hired mercenaries should be arrested and their arms seized. Secondly, the administration should arrest all the local criminals and put them behind the bars.

And thirdly police should enter Nandigram and help the panchayats begin work so that the roads are repaired and day-to-day work can begin.

"It is four months now and people seized inside are suffocating. Administration should get inside and take a positive initiative to bring back normalcy" said CPI(MM) district secretariat leader Kanu Sahu.

Meanwhile, as the district CPI(M) is busy preparing for Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattcharjee's meeting at Panskura on Wednesday, Trinamool MLA Suvendu Adhikari is organising a protest meeting on the same day at Sonachura.

As of now, it is tit for tat in Nandigram.


    Arindam Sarkar is Editor-Special Projects of Hindustan Times, Kolkata. He has spent over two decades covering Bengal and national politics of India as correspondent and editor. He has also covered South Asian countries.

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