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'Clever acts cannot bring peace in Nandigram'

Mamata Banerjee and former PCC chief Somen Mitra expresses concern about the "mechanism", reports Arindam Sarkar.
Hindustan Times | By Arindam Sarkar, Kolkata
UPDATED ON MAY 15, 2007 07:33 PM IST

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee and former PCC chief Somen Mitra have expressed concern about the “mechanism” that the Left Front leaders are working on for the proposed all-party meeting to restore peace in the troubled-torn area of Nandigram in Bengal.

Both the Opposition leaders shared their apprehensions in a telephonic conversation that they had on Monday night after they came to know that the Left.

Front has agreed to hold the peace meeting on Nandigram at the State level, but has asked Left Front chairman Biman Bose and Forward Bloc State secretary Ashok Ghosh to work out the “mechanisms” of the meeting.

Both Somen and Mamata concurred that though they are keen to sit for talks with the Left Front leaders, but the success of the meeting would largely depend on the agenda of the peace meeting and how far the State government was willing to take cognisance of the complaints that the Opposition would make in the meeting.

“We want to attend the meeting in order to give peace a chance. However, both of us are sceptic about the `mechanism’ that the Left Front leaders are working upon for the meeting. It seems the Left Front would put forward some terms and conditions. If that is so, the meeting would become a farce,” said Somen Mitra, who was contacted by Ashok Ghosh after the Left Front meeting.

Mamata insists that to make this peace meeting a success, Forward Bloc State secretary Ashok Ghosh, who took the initiative to call this meeting, should be empowered by the Left Front so that his observations and findings become binding on the State government.

The Trinamool chief pointed out that in the past the four peace-meetings called by the East Midnapore district administration failed with the Trinamool, Congress and SUCI staying away because the agenda of the meeting mentioned discussion on the general law and order situation and not on the ongoing violence in Nandigram being perpetrated by the CPI(M) cadres.

“Such vagueness and clever acts cannot bring peace in Nandigram. One must understand that the people of Nandigram are living peacefully, but it is the operations being carried out by the CPI(M) armed cadres along the border of Nandigram that is creating tension and disturbance,” explained Mamata.

Mamata has told Ashok Ghosh that four points should be included in the peace meeting at the State level in order to resolve the Nandigram crisis. And the front leaders discussed these points on Monday.

Ashok Ghosh has told the front leaders that if the demands of the Opposition are not taken into account in the meeting, then there are every possibility that the talks might fail. “I am in touch with Mamata Banerjee and Somen Mitra. And we are all trying to make this meeting fruitful,” said Ashok Ghosh.

Both Somen and Mamata have told Ashok Ghosh that in the agenda it should be clearly said that the State government would arrest all those who were involved in the Nandigram mayhem on March 14.

Mamata has also demanded that the State government should direct the police to withdraw the false cases slapped against the people of Nandigram and release hundreds of innocent villagers who are languishing inside the Tamluk Jail.

“And both Mamata and I will demand that the State government should adequately compensate the families of 18 men who have died so far in Nandigram clashes. Plus, compensation should be given to those who have sustained serious injuries in the clash with the cops and the CPI(M) cadres,” said Somen Mitra.

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