[OPE] Paresh Chattopadhyay on Nandigram

From: glevy@pratt.edu
Date: Sun May 11 2008 - 07:58:46 EDT

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------

----- Original Message ----- 
From: Paresh Chattopadhyay 
To: antonio.pagliarone@fastwebnet.it 
Sent: Saturday, May 10, 2008
6:57 PM 
Subject: FW: [narmada_andolan] Urgent Appeal: Condemn the
fresh lease ofviolence in Nandigram 

Dear Antonio, 
I hope you are well.I am taking the liberty of sending you the following
document.This is about the horrible misdeed(s) of the 'Communist' Party of
India('Marxist')[CPIM]against the ordinary citizens of a rural area of
West Bengal, an Indian state which this Party has been ruling for a long
time,because these citizens are opposing the seizure of their land for the
purpose of turning it into an industrial venture for one of the richest
industrial groups in India-the Tatas.I would request you to give it a wide
publicity among the readers of your web site. 
I thank you in
With a warm militant embrace 

From: "Kunal Chattopadhyay"
Date: Wed, 7 May 2008 11:04:10
To: <kunal.chattopadhyay@gmail.com> 
Subject: FW:
[narmada_andolan] Urgent Appeal: Condemn the fresh lease of violence in

Dear friends and comrades, 

Rural self
government elections are coming up in West Bengal. With a popular movement
against it, the ruling CPI(M) has stepped up violence no ends. Two days
back, a woman was publicly stripped. Anti CPI(M) voters are being
threatened that if they go and cast their votes, it will be bad for them.

The situation is a difficult one. Internationally, the CPI(M)
parades itself as an anti-imperialist party. In any case, even if we agree
that it is an ex-Stalinist, now Social Liberal party, the gaol cannot be
one of overthrowing it to set up a right wing regime. At the same time, a
minimum stand in support of people's democratic right to vote, to contest
elections, has to be taken, unless the left is totally to be discredited.

We send below some information. This is to request comrades
outside West Bengal, including comrades abroad, to take appropriate
action, by organizing some kind of solidarity action, at least through
publication in their websites and printed journals. 


Kunal Chattopadhyay 

For Radical

West Bengal 

Women allege stripping by CPM cadres 

6 May 2008, 1542 hrs


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women activists of Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Commitee on Tuesday claimed they
were beaten up and stripped by CPM cadres in Nandigram for refusing to
support the Marxists in the ensuing panchayat polls. 

Das, Krishna Das and Tulsi Das of Simulkundu village claimed that they
have filed a complaint but the Nandigram police refused to comment. 

When contacted, Superintendent of Police of East Midnapore S Panda
said that he had no information on the matter and that the Nandigram
police station could only say anything. 

The women alleged that
around 40-50 CPM cadres, led by Mamata Das, came to their houses on

"The CPM cadres told us that we should vote for
their party in the panchayat polls. When we refused to oblige, they
started beating us. They even snatched the voter's identity cards,"
they alleged. 

"They then started stripping our clothes.
We ran for around one km without any clothes to escape from their
clutches," they claimed. 

The CPI-M denied the
allegations, saying it was all a part of the malicious campaign to tarnish
its image ahead of the polls. 

The East Midnapore district
secretariat member of CPI-M, Ashok Guria, alleged that during the clash at
the village, a party activist Sheikh Javed was shot at by rival party
activists and women present there ran in panic. 

"In the
confusion, one or two of them might have fallen down and the incident was
thoroughly distorted by the opposition parties," he claimed. 

He alleged the Opposition was bent on tarnishing the image of the
CPI-M at a time when defeat in the panchayat poll was staring it in the
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-----Original Message----- 
[mailto:narmadaandolan-owner@lists.riseup.net] On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 7:31 AM 
Subject: [narmada_andolan] Urgent
Appeal: Condemn the fresh lease of violence in Nandigram 

Urgent Appeal: 

May 6, 2008 



The shocking news that at least 45 residents of Nandigram -
farmers, fish 

workers, small traders, were ruthlessly attacked
and are hospitalized in 

Nandigram, Tamluk and PG Hospital,
Kolkatta during the last one week is a 

matter of grave

News of politically motivated attacks
have come in from other places in West 

Bengal as well, such as
Nodia and 24 South Paraganas. A few activists of the 

Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and Bandhi

Morca were not just beaten, but are learnt to have been
booked under fake 


It is not
any armed struggle or spate of violence which is meted out with 

unjustifiable and repressive measures, but a simple non-violent

within constitutional framework is. 

The situation is indeed worrisome and is worsening day by day, as
the Panchayat 

elections are nearing. While the intellectuals,
artists and academicians of 

West Bengal with various people's
organizations are raising a unanimous voice, 

we the concerned
citizens across the country appeal to all who care for 

democracy, freedom and life of the people in Nandigram and elsewhere to

against the violence on unarmed people, men and women,
whose only fault is that 

they have become 

politically aware and organized to challenge the
economic players and political 

agenda, as well as party. With
the Panchayat election in West Bengal at the 

democratic rights are impinged upon by the brutality of the ruling 

party cadres, who are not penetrating propaganda or any political
moves by the 

opponents. People in the villages of West Bengal
are looking forward for 

elections and to exercise their right
to vote without fear and coercion. 

In the past,
even when the innocent people of Nandigram have faced assaults 

with iron rods, sticks, small bombs and even swords, the West Bengal

officials, have remained not just mute observers, but
supporters of the squads 

of the party cadres, coming in on
motor bikes. It's a matter of serious concern 

that then even
Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) were not spared of the 

political influence and were not allowed to discharge their duties. 

In this context: 

We demand
that the Centre immediately plunges into action, through the CRPF, 

ensuring their power to act without favour or fear, and engages in
an earnest 

political dialogue with its supporter, the Left

We appeal to the Central Election
Commission (CEC) and the West Bengal State 

Election Commission
to take every step to ensure peaceful and non-violent 

elections, including putting up a team of independent observers, till


We appeal to the friends
within Left Front to prevent CPI(M) cadres from taking 

violence, which is a blot of democracy and their own ideology. 

As responsible citizens, we continue to monitor the
situation, of not just the 

truly democratic and fair election
process, but the safety of all the people 

and their rights, of
West Bengal, especially Nandigram who hitherto were 

to serious human rights violations. 

Signed by: 

1. Arvind Kejriwal, Activist 

2. Amit Bhaduri, Economist 

3. Dr. Manoranjan
Mohanty, Delhi University 

4. Medha Patkar,
National Alliance of People's Movements 

AshokChaudhary, National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers 

6. Gautam Bandhopadhyay, Nadi Ghati Morcha 

7. Vijayan M J, Delhi Solidarity Group 



Yesterday on the 4th of May a team of artists, cultural activists

intellectuals visited Nandigram to get a first hand
experience of the alleged 

atrocities being reportedly
perpetrated by the CPI (M) cadres and criminals. 

The incidents
we witnessed and heard reported by the affected people were 

simply horrifying. 

We submitted a memorandum to
the Block Development officer of Nandigram, 

Shantiram Gorai in
demand for a peaceful, terror free atmosphere, so that the 

people of Nandigram could exercise their independent choice and opinion
in the 

coming Panchayat Elections. Even the BDO claimed his
helplessness in 

controlling the situation because of lack of
co-operation of the district and 

police administration. Till
date he had written 47 letters to the O.C. of 

Nandigram Thana
requesting, urging him to check the violence, but to no avail. 

Only two of his letters have till date been answered. He acknowledged
the fact 

that the CPI (M) was responsible for the spate of
violence and the atrocities 

on the innocent people of
Nandigram, people without any political affiliation, 

and those
connected to the Bhoomi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee, or any political 


Villagers of Simulkundu and
Kanungochowk had all been hounded out of their 

houses. The
villages now lay unpeopled. Unauthorised structures had been 

constructed over the Talpatti Canal as entry points for CPI (M) backed

professional criminals from Khejuri armed with latest
sophisticated weaponry, 

which was being brazenly ignored by
the police, in spite of repeated reminders 

from the BDO. The
BDO himself had gone on inspection and found this out. But 

still the police claimed ignorance of this fact. He also acknowledged
that many 

people had and were still fleeing their homes due to
CPI (M) atrocities and 

attacks. Their houses were being
looted, ransacked, while men, women and even 

children were
being beaten up, assaulted and molested too. We witnessed a 

pregnant lady, on the ground floor of the BDO office, who had been

around on her belly and under parts of her body, with
the wounds still 


further informed us that at a camp in Maheshpur, Gokulnagar, there were

about 400 homeless persons residing at present. All had been
hounded out of 

their houses in the past few days, by the CPI
(M) cadres and criminals. He 

requested us to contact higher
officials, in case they could be awakened to the 

immediacy of
the crisis to the lives, persons and property of the people of 


Next we visited the Nandigram Block
Hospital. We saw patients with head 

injuries, broken limbs,
lathi injuries and a variety of wounds, in the wards. 

claimed that they had been either pulled out of their houses and tortured

physically and threatened to dare go against the CPI (M), or
assaulted on their 

fields or on the roads by CPI (M) cadres
passing by in rallies, conducting 

house to house checks and
delivering threats. Women were carried off into the 

from in front of their men folk for daring to try protecting either 

their husbands or children. The Medical Officer of the Block

Shubhobrata Maity claimed that he was short staffed
and no doctors were being 

sent by the administration to tackle
and meet the situation over there. As of 

latest reports 2
patients have just been admitted with bullet injuries. (13.12 


We visited the relief camp at
Maheshpur where we saw about 400 people housed in 

the school
buildings, unable to return home, since the CPI (M) marauding gangs 

were daily attacking them at their houses and assaulting them.
Women took us 

aside to reveal deep injuries in their various
private body parts as they 

narrated the incidents of assaults
by CPI (M) men and others who had their 

faces covered in black
cloth. They further claimed that local CPI (M) leaders 

with their womenfolk attacked them and stood as barricades to prevent the

CRPF from stopping the atrocities. Besides the CRPF have been
instructed by the 

local police administration not to prevent
such atrocities or arrest the 

culprits or take any punitive
action against the CPI (M) culprits. We saw a 

70year old man
with severe head injuries (13 stitches) who claimed he had been 

assaulted inside his house. He could not say what his guilt was for
which, at 

this age he had had to suffer such insult and
injury. Neither could any of the 

women. They had just refused
to part with their lands. Yet now the State Govt. 

was claiming
that they were not going to take their lands. So why were they 

being subjected to such torture. Nobody seemed to have an answer, save

that the CPI (M) was out to recapture its lost
political ground in Nandigram at 

gunpoint or by whatsoever

We saw a handful of policemen guarding
the camp. But they said that they 

already had orders to move
out that very night, leaving the people at the mercy 

of the
marauding gangs. They knew the danger these people of the surrounding 

villages and in the camp faced. They realized the pitiful plight
of the common 

people but they had to follow orders, though
they did not support what was 

going on. 

As we set back to return, calls kept coming in of the CPI (M) having

fire on Sonchura and Gokulnagar village. Injured people
were lying on the 

ground and being allowed to bleed. The CPI
(M) armed gangs with party flags 

surrounded the villages
preventing any ambulance or person to come and rescue 

persons. As I write this report, intense firing has been opened at 

Satengabari village, 7 people can be seen lying bleeding on the
ground, yet 

nothing can be done to retrieve them. Heavily
armed CPI (M) cadres are firing 

indiscriminately as the people
are fleeing their houses in terror. 2 persons 

are reported

This is the situation at Nandigram. Can
this be the picture of Democracy? May 

be! The democracy of
brute force! Where is the voice of sanity and reason? Fled 

the face of gunfire???!!! 

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