Saturday, March 24, 2007


We apologies as we didn’t able to publish a single news/article on the people’s resistance from North East till now. We should have published at least on the resistance against Tipaimukh project. The major reason is our lack of knowledge for which we do criticize ourselves. We would request our readers to send us reports on people’s resistance and exploitations from every corner of India. We really like to learn from our readers.

This time we received a report on police atrocity over Kuki students in Delhi.

Another update Police at Jantar Mantar, New Delhi went berserk and Lathi Charged, threw tear gas sheels and beaten black and blue 100s of Kukis who were on protest there. Many injured and situation really tensed. On other front we have been trying to get the bail securities for our arrested comrades, the process is still on as they all languish in Tihar Jail. we will keep you posted on various developments.

More details to follow keep watch on


Kuki Students' Organisation
Delhi Branch (Regd.No.2991 of 1978)


The Kuki Students' Oganisation will be staging a protest rally on March 23,2007 from Jantar Mantar to Parliament street, New Delhi at 1:00pm. The rally is to protest against:

1.The capture and forced deportation of 400 Kuki Indian displaced persons by the Manipur valley based militant group, United National Liberation Front (UNLF) in collusion with the Myanmar military junta. The Kuki villagers were displaced due to landmines and inhumane terrorization by the UNLF. On March 13,2007 the displaced Kuki villagers were captured from the refugee camp in TS Laijang village in Chandel district of Manipur and deported them to Lallim/Namunta village in Myanmar where they remain as captives till today. The fate of the 400 Kuki Indian citizens who were forcefully deported to Myanmar is a serious crime and a gross human rights violation.

2.The ongoing human displacement caused by the terror tactics of the UNLF who tortured, torched, killed, uprooted and displaced the Kukis from their homes in the wake of the state sponsored counter-insurgency military operation in Chandel, Manipur. More than 39 villages from Chadel, Manipur have been displaced by the UNLF. The planting of destructive landmines and IEDs by the UNLF in Chandel, Manipur, which has killed 33 innocent Kuki villagers in Chandel district alone. Moreover many innocent villagers have lost their limbs to the deadly mines.
3.The unaccountable and irresponsible attitude of the Government of Manipur who still remain a silent spectator to the deteriorating serious problems of its citizens who are in crisis.

The Kuki Students' Organisation requests your humble presence and appeal for your sincere participation in voicing the serious issues that is still ignored and neglected.

Lamtinthang Haokip
General Secretary
Kuki Students' Oganisation Delhi

CACIM, A-3 Defence Colony, New Delhi 110 024, India
Ph : +91-11-4155 1521, +91-98-1890 5316 (Mobile) /
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Italian metalworkers advocate for humane development

The Fiat unions have publicly called on the company, and on Tata, to site the plant elsewhere. This is extremely important - the delay in achieving this was the divisions in the Italian trade union movement, publiching a statement/initiative by one union without getting all three would cause further division.

This should in my view be given maximum publicity in India, brought to the attention of all unions, national centers, and be circulated aggressively in the press.

In solidarity
Peter Rossman

Location of new industrial center in India threatens agricultural community

ITALY/INDIA: Italian affiliates of the International Metalworkers’ Federation are urging FIAT for clarification about the establishment of a new production unit in India.

“According to press reports, the Fiat Group is involved in the setting up of a new Tata Motors plant at Singur in the Indian state of West Bengala for the production of a low cost car,” read a joint statement from the Italian unions.

“International and Indian labour groups have voiced concern that such an industrial establishment would have a devastating impact on the fertile agricultural area, which is home to about 22,000 inhabitants, many of whom would receive no indemnity at all for the expropriation of their land.

“The area involved has in recent months been the site of protest demonstrations and, unfortunately, repressive measures taken against the farmers including the arrests of trade union leaders.

“The Fim, Fiom and Uilm National Secretariats in Italy are requesting that clarification be given on any participation of the Fiat Group in this initiative. They are demanding that FIAT, together with Tata Motors, take initiatives so to ensure that the government of West Bengala sets aside a location other than Singur in order to make the necessary industrial development possible while safeguarding the living conditions of the agricultural community.”

Friday, March 23, 2007

To All friends,
62 activists along with Medha Patkar, Com. P Chennaiah were illegally detained and arrested at Yojna Bhavan, Delhi.
The women activists were brutally assaulted, manhandled, molested by male police.

62 activists, more than half women, along with Medha Patkar were detained and arrested on 22nd March 2007. Among the arrested was Com. P Chennaiah, the President of our Alliance and General Secretary of APPVU, Andhra Pradesh.

On World Water Day, a group of representatives of various communities and people's organisations participating in the Sangharsh /Action 2007 held at the Jantar Mantar in Delhi had gone to Yojna Bhavan (Planning Commission) to symbolically protest against the deprivation, water scarcity faced by a majority of people of rural and urban poor of this country.

When the protesters, a majority of whom are women were raising slogans peacefully, the Rapid Action Force along with the police forcibly arrested them. They were beaten up and physically abused, and women activists were manhandled by the male policemen, pulling and tearing their clothes and using filthy abusive language.

In this context, we appeal to you to strongly protest against this assault of women activists by the police and unlawful arrest of the protesters.
You are requested to immediately write, fax or email to the Prime Minister of India and the Deputy Chairman of Planning Commission.

Please respond urgently.

  • Dr. Manmohan Singh, Honourable Prime Minister, Fax: 011-23019545 / 011-23016857 (O)
  • Mr. Montek Singh Ahluwalia, the Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission Fax: 011- 23096699 (O) / 011- 23011296
With warm solidarity,
Swapan Ganguly
(Organising Secretary)
National Alliance of Agricultural Workers' Unions


We believe it is important to recognize the enemy to win a struggle. And DEBATE plays very important role there. Therefore, we always encourage debate. We have already expressed our view, but we appreciate others.

We once again raise our voice for the nationwide cancellation of SEZ to make sure that Nandigram is not going to happen again.

INSAAF'S Statement:
"We strongly demand to restrain police brutality in Nandigram"

We strongly demand to restrain police brutality and protect the lives and rights of the villagers TV reports from Calcutta indicate that since early morning today (the 14th of March), thousands of policemen have surrounded Nandigram. There have been a number of deaths and serious injuries, as a result of violent police incursions into the villages. We deplore the Left Front Government's apparent desire to bypass democratic procedures of consultation and negotiation, and its decision to accomplish the pacification of Nandigram through massive intimidation and violence. This runs counter to Buddhadeb Bhattacharya's earlier assurances that 'persuasion' rather than coercion would be used in the area. We are horrified at this turn of events, and strongly demand that immediate measures should be taken to restrain police brutality and protect the lives and rights of the villagers who are presently facing reprisals and intimidation from the state. We also believe that the Left has a duty to intervene, since the West Bengal Government bears direct responsibility for this cycle of violence, and events like these will only add fuel to the right-wing forces that it purports to oppose.

Arundhati Roy
Praful Bidwai
Sumit Sarkar
Krishna Majumdar
Sumit Chakravartty
Tanika Sarkar
Colin Gonzalves
Achin Vanaik
Gargi Chakravartty
Chitra Joshi
Prabhu Mahapatra
Neeladri Bhattacharya
Dilip Simeon
Aditya Nigam
Satya Sivaraman
Gautam Mody
Asad Bin Saif
Roasa Basanti
Aditya Sarkar
Uditi Sen
Sanjukta Sundareshan
Anil chaudhary
Wilfred Dcosta
Sree Prakash


INSAAF'S "We strongly demand to restrain police brutality in Nandigram"

Dear friends,

At this point it is quite ridiculous to 'demand to restrain police brutality' and at the same time it does not matter whatever strength you put on it. Do you think state machineries ever acted in restrained and gentle manner when faced with active resistance? The fact is that:

Unarmed protestors were mercilessly butchered... Now people are coming out to question the justification of this brutal police action in Nandigram on the bloody Wednesday 14 March 2007 and the legitimacy of the CPIM-dictated West Bengal Government to remain in power any longer. It is evident that party goons were also used to kill the fighting villagers. Remember how Benoy konar the so-called Kisan leader of CPIM openly instigated them to do so. All sensible citizens including many comrades-in-arms, activists and intellectuals who even campaigned in last Assembly Election for CPIM are demanding resignation of this cold-blooded murderer Buddha, the mastermind of this massacre.

More than 2,000 advocates of the West Bengal Bar Association took out a procession to protest against the killing at Nandigram on the same day. Should we not demand the dismissal of the whole Buddha cabinet as none of his associates can deny their responsibilities? Their anti-people governance has already been reflected in all their economic policies, political attitudes and suppression of protesting voices by bullets and batons since long. We may recall the instances from Marichjhapi(1977) to now Nandigram. It is clear now that they have been betraying the people from the very beginning of their rule.

Should we let these murderers go scot-free? Should we not unequivocally condemn this massacre? Shouldn't we demand their trial in an International Court represented by the Citizens of the World? Shouldn't we mobilize masses to tear down this capitalist nexus of Tata-Salim-Buddha-Biman to pieces?

Friends, please open your eyes. Otherwise it would be too late.

Asis Das

Report of Investigation Into Nandigram Mass Killings

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity (PBKMS) put forward a petition to the Kolkata High Court on 15th March 2007 urging immediate intervention of the court to reinstate safety and security of the villagers in Nandigram. The organisations also pleaded for an interim order restraining the state administration from preventing them from reaching Nandigram to provide assistance to injured and deceased villagers.

On 15th March 2007, a Division Bench of the High Court comprising Honourable Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Honourable Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh also took suo moto note of the incident. It also passed orders on the petition of APDR and PBKMS and reprimanded the state government stating
” it seems as if the Police Department which is under the control of the Home Department is not even aware of the existence of Article 21 of the Constitution of India…..This Article specifically guarantees that ‘no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to procedure established by law’. Oblivious of the aforesaid guarantee, the police has resorted to gun firing on a large crowd protesting against the proposal to acquire their land.”

Further the order states “we are satisfied that this action of the police department is wholly unconstitutional and can not be justified under any provision of law." The court also stated "Such kind of force can not be justified except in the cases of armed insurgency or warlike situation. Innocent farmers and villagers can hardly be put into the aforesaid bracket."

The court in its order directed the followings:

  • It restrained the state administration from stopping the petitioner organisations and other NGOs from reaching Nandigram to provide assistance to injured and deceased villagers.
  • The court directed the CBI to immediately send an investigating team to the strife -torn area and look into the circumstances that led to the police firing which claimed innumerable casualties in Nandigram. The CBI team is directed to immediately visit Nandigram and any other surrounding affected area and collect the entire relevant materials of firing by the police and combat forces to be presented before the court in the form of a report.
  • It directed the district administration to ensure that the unclaimed dead bodies are handed over to the appropriate authorities and the identified dead bodies are handed over to the lawful claimants after due legal formalities have been concluded, such as post mortem and inquest report, so that the relatives are able to perform the last rites of the deceased.
  • The state government has also been directed to file an affidavit setting out the reasons for the police action which has been taken against the population of Nandigram by resorting indiscriminate firing by the police. The affidavit should also disclose the material on the basis of which the order for firing was issued.
  • The court also directed that under no circumstances any evidence should be destroyed by any person and instructed the CBI to collect all evidence including the post-mortem conducted on the victims of the firing.

  • In view of the absolutely volcanic situation created, the court further directed the state government to ensure the safety and well-being of all the general public in the area. The state is also directed to take adequate measure to provide medical facilities to the injured villagers.

In response to the above, the two petitioner organisations along with some concerned individuals visited Nandigram and Tamluk and the affected villages on 15th and 16th March 2007. The team consisted of Amit Dyuti Kumar, Anurada Talwar, Arjun Das, Bibek Tripathy, Chiroranjan Pal, Jeeban Modak, Panchali Roy, Pramod Gupta, Prasad Roychowdhury, Raghunath Chakraborty, Sandeep Singha, Sadhan Roychowdhury, Dr. (Mrs.) Subrata Sarkar, Sujoy Ganguly and Subrata Roy.

Response of the Administration
At about 8 PM on 15.03.2007 a team went to the office of the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore where Mr. Anup Agarwal, District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore was present. The team expressed their strong resolve to go to Nandigram and sought the assistance of the District Magistrate to enable the team to proceed for Nandigram immediately.

The District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore, however, flatly refused to entertain any such request for rendering assistance to the team on various counts or grounds saying that the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore is not a party in the writ petition and that the said District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore has no legal or moral obligation to entertain any of the requests on the subject. Then the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore advised the members of the team not to go to Nandigram on the ground that seeing the members of the team the people of Nandigram may be charged thereby there will be apprehension of breach of law and order. The apprehension that the team would encourage disorder was also echoed by Kalyan Banerjee, ASP on Special Duty whom we met at Chandipur police station.

The impression we got was that the administration was unhappy about outside intervention in Nandigram even though people were in dire need of aid of all kinds.

Before the 14th
In spite of prior information of amassing of arms and goons and appeals by the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee before 6th January, no action was taken then by the police to prevent attacks by armed party cadre on the 6th January. From 6th January onwards, there were almost daily attacks from the Khejuri side of the Talpati Canal by the CPM. The Haldia Development Authority, of which Lakshman Seth, CPM MP, is the Chairperson, tried an economic blockade by stopping the ferry, the main means of transport for agricultural goods from Nandigram villages to Haldia. CPM had regular camps on the roads that led to Nandigram and organised harassment of all media, social activists and even common people who tried to enter the area. The police invasion of Nandigram was only ordered when after two and half months the party goons and leaders in surrounding areas failed to suppress the local anti land acquisition movement. There seems to have been no other pressing reason for the attack suddenly at this juncture.
From press reports, it is obvious that the action in Nandigram was planned and executed in advance. On the 12th itself media reports began coming in showing that such action was being planned by the State Government. An all party meeting which was boycotted by the members and parties in the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee decided on action for the police to enter Nandigram. That high level people in the administration along with ministers and top level decision makers were involved is also clear from the fact that armed police battalions were brought in from Krishnanagar, Jalpaiguri and many other places. News reports also speak of a planning meeting before the operation on the 14th where CPM party leaders and a senior police official sat together in a party office at Kunjapur.
The Government also seemed ready for some unpleasant consequences. The District Magistrate for example justified actions on the 14th by informing us that “such unhappy events would have happened whenever we had gone into the area”.

The team met Nilanjana Dasgupta, SDO, Tamluk Subdivision, on 15th evening at Tamluk hospital. According to Nilanjana Dasgupta, SDO, Tamluk Subdivision, the action on 14th March 2007 in Nandigram was not known in advance by her. No discussion on such an action being taken by the district administration took place beforehand. She was also not sure whether there was any provocation that led to the decision to use police force, as the area was cut off from the rest of the district and they had no idea of what was happening inside. She had heard that a gang rape had taken place there, which may have been a causative factor, but was not able to say whether this was a confirmed report. She also said there was some concern about rising food prices and food shortages in the area.

The fact that things spun out of control of the district administration can be gauged from the fact that SDO Tamluk subdivision was in a development meeting that day when the firing was taking place. All BDOs and Sabhapatis of the blocks in Tamluk subdivision were with her. She was asked at 2.30 PM to stop the meeting and to rush to the district hospital immediately to get the hospital ready to receive the wounded from Nandigram.

The general impression that we got from talking to some people in the administration was that there were in fact attempts by the ASP and other police officials to start confidence building measures in the local area so that the police could start gradually going in. Along with this, there had also been planning for the administration to go in with food relief in order to build up people’s confidence. One section of the administration was therefore totally taken by surprise by the events on the 14th.

Combined Party Police Action

From reports and testimonies that we received it seems that the command of the police force was in the hands of the CPM party leaders. A number of CPM leaders at the local level were also present. The invasion itself was planned by both party and police officials, Police uniforms were used by party cadre and important local leaders who were a part of the invading force.
"....I went to attend the puja there and police started chasing and while running I fell down and the police and other people(dressed in police uniforms but no police boots instead sandals) started beating me up mercilessly...." Konoklata Das W/o Rabin Chandra Das Residence- Soudkhali Chowk

".....They were men dressed in uniforms along with the police but they were wearing sandals and not police boots. Some of them were carrying lathis while there were those who were carrying guns..."Sreekanta Mandal. S/o Ganesh Mandal. Residence- Sonachura

According to the villagers and wounded people, there were many goons and leaders of the CPI (M) party with the police during the police violence. They have also identified some of them. The names of the identified goons and leaders are as follows:
From Khejuri :
1. Bijon Roy
2. Rabiul Khan
3. Himangshu Das
4. Swadhin Pramanik
5. Kebal Das s/o Haripada Das

Nandigram :
1. Ashok Guria , President District Committee AIKS
2. Naba Samanta, Brother of Shankar Samanta, Sonachura
3. Joydeb Paik, (LCS) Sonachura
4. Badal Mondal, Sonachura
5. Anup Mondal, Panchyat Member of Sonachura
6. Bapi Bhuiya, President of Krishak Sabha
7. Sukesh Shanki, Member of Panchayat Samity
8. Lakshman Mondal, Pradhan, 10 No. Sonachura Gram Panchayat
9. Chandan Hajra, Party Member
10. Rabin Bera, ( LCM of Saud khali)
11. Arjun Maity,
12. Iasin Khan, Pradhan, 9 No.Anchal
13. Satadal Das

Anup Mondal, Panchayat member, during the incident on 14th was reported to be using a hand mike to tell people to allow police to do its job.
One of the patients clearly identified the CPM goons present. His testimony is given below.

Subodh Das, S/o Gangadhar Das, Age: 50, Residence: Gangra; Occupation: Van driver
I identified 8 of those who fired bullets; they are CPI (M) goons. They are :-
◊ Lakhman Mondal. Gangra
◊ Badal Mondal, Sonachura
◊ Joydeb Paik, Sonachura
◊ Anup Mondal, Sonachura
◊ Sukesh Sanki, Sonachura (South)
◊ Bapi Bhuiya, Sonachura (South)
◊ Kebol Das, Kunjapur (Khejuri)
◊ Parusaram Mondal, Sonachura

According to the witnesses we met, police officials under whom Wednesday's firing took place were as follows :-

1) IG Western Range Arun Gupta
2) DIG N. Ramesh Babu
3) S.P. East Midnapore Anil G Srininvasan
4) OC Khejuri PS Amit Hati
5) SDPO Swapan Sinha

It was also reported that the CPM had hidden large stocks of arms in the following places :-
1) Party Office in Kunjapur
2) ICDS building in Ranichawk
3) Janani Brickfield in Sherkhanchawk- where a new bathroom has been made, there is a septic tank which is unused.
4) Bijon Roy's house in Khejuri

Download full report with photos

Interim Report of the Citizens’ Committee on Singur and Nandigram

We, a group of concerned citizens with a Left orientation, visited some disturbed parts of West Bengal, between 26 and 28 January, 2007, as a fact finding team. Our team consisted of Prof. Sumit Sarkar, historian; Colin Gonsalves, Senior Supreme Court Advocate; Sumit Chakravartty, senior journalist; Krishna Majumdar, Delhi University; Tanika Sarkar, Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Three members of the team had earlier visited Singur on 31 December 2006 and 10 January 2007. Three members again visited Singur on 28 January 2007. The members visited the following places at Singur in Hooghly: Khaser Bheri, Beraberi Purbapara, Gopalnagar, Bajemelia. At Nandigram (Purba Medinipur) we visited Bhuta Mor, Kalicharanpur, Garchakraberia, Sonachura. We also visited Bhangabera at Khejuri.

At all these places we were met with huge gatherings of people and also had extensive discussions with individual villagers, men and women. At Tamluk, Contai and Nandigram, we met District Committee members of the CPI-M, including Lakshman Seth, MP and Chairperson of the Haldia Development Authority, and Prashanta Pradhan, MP ; Prabodh Panda, MP, CPI; Shishir Adhikari and Shubhendu Adhikari, MLAs, Trinamul Congress; Siddiqulla Choudhury, leader of Jamiat Ulema-i-Hind; Debaprasad Sarkar, MLA, SUCI; Santosh Rana, PCC, CPI-ML. We also met a cross section of activists from these parties and leaders of the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee, Nandigarm and Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee. We consulted civil rights groups, police sources and previous fact-finding reports of the CPI-M and other organisations.

We have prepared a brief interim report within a day of our return to be followed by a final report. Our unanimous impressions are as follows:

At Nandigarm, all sections of the village people that we met, women as well as men, vociferously expressed bitter anger about the land acquisition process. They had heard rumours of land acquisition for the last year and a half, and had organised themselves to resist it. They had not been consulted at any stage, nor had any elected body (panchayats or gram sansads ) been called to discuss the issue. On 3 January, people went to the Gram Panchayat office at Kalicharanpur to ask for information about a notice that had been reportedly issued by the Haldia Development Authority. They had heard that about thirtyeight mouzas would be engrossed within the land earmarked for the SEZ under the Selim group. On being told by the Pradhan that no information had come, they demonstrated peacefully and left. They alleged that soon afterwards, the police attacked them with lathis and teargas and then fired upon them. Four people were badly injured.

A large crowd, including many women, carrying household implements like sharp knives, then came out and there was an hour long confrontation, after which the police retreated in some confusion. According to eyewitnesses among villagers at Bhuta Mor, a police jeep drove off course and hit a lamp post while trying to escape. The jeep got completely burnt through the ensuing electric short circuit, a policeman fell out into a pond and another tripped on the road and fell. The villagers rescued them and, after a light beating, sent them back. They had left behind a rifle, which was subsequently sent back to the thana. Immediately, villagers began to erect barricades, bridges were broken and roads dug up to prevent the entry of the police and of CPM cadres into the villages. We saw hundreds of such barricades which are still in place.

A police camp was set up on the border between Nandigram and Khejuri. On 6 January, at around 5 PM, villagers saw the police vacating that camp. That night, a launch drew up on Haldi river at the ferryghat there. According to villagers of Sonachura and adjoining villages, a very large number of strangers, fully armed, disembarked, and occupied the police camp. At around 3 AM, villagers woke to the sound of bombs and gunfire, coming from the house of Sankar Samanta, a CPM activist. As they rushed towards the spot, they found the dead bodies of two village youths, Bharat Mondol and Sheikh Selim. When the body of thirteen year old Biswajit Mondol was found, villagers, in their fury, turned upon the Samanta residence and torched it, killing Sankar Samanta. Since then, they live under daily intimidation from CPM cadres, expecting massive retaliation. We found village women extremely apprehensive, begging us to spend the night with them.

We were told of these incidents by very large groups of villagers in different places. Their accounts tallied. An overwhelming majority of them said that they had always been CPM members or Left Front supporters till these events occurred. The account of events that Probodh Panda, CPI, MP, gave us, tallied with this, though he deplored the continued resistance by villagers, even after the Chief Minister’s assurance that nothing has so far been finalised about the Nandigram SEZ.

We were told by hundreds of Muslim women who surrounded us that they were determined to hold on to their land at all cost: “ Jami amra chharbuni”. “Even if we lose our sons and husbands, we will fight on, how many policemen can they send, there are more of us.” They said that even though poor, they produced most of their food and ran home based crafts like stitching of garments which were sold in Kolkata and Delhi: “What will happen to our shilpa? “They said that they put the CPM on the throne and the Party rewards them with a bamboo. They had ransacked the CPM local committee office at Rajaramchak on the grounds that “it was a house of sin. We had built it and now we ourselves are destroying it”. Further, they would not only lose their land and livelihood, but also villages, schools, homes, their entire community and culture.

They were totally sceptical of industries providing uneducated people like them with jobs. They, moreover, are doubtful that all the land will be used for industries since large tracts of Haldia land had not yet been utilised or been devoted to construction of rich residential buildings. They, moreover, see the Jellingham Project at Nandigram Block 1, where about 400 acres of land had been acquired in 1977 for ship repairs. One hundred and forty two families lost their land. The Project stopped functioning after five years and the site today lies deserted. Neither at Haldia nor at Jellingham, had any rehabilitation been done nor much compensation paid. Very few locals got jobs at either.

According to the CPM District Committee’s account, villagers were organised by the Trinamool and only Trinamool supporters were involved. They stoned the police and burnt the police jeep on 3 January, after which the police opened fire. On 7 January, villagers, again instigated by the Trinamool, had started the attack across the river and killed Sankar Samanta whom they described as “a very harmless man” who possessed a licensed gun, which was snatched by the villagers. There had been no firing from his house, according to Lakshman Seth. About the number of casualties, police sources, the CPM District Committee as well as villagers say that four people have died, one of them being Samanta. There was, then, one CPM casualty, the rest were villagers. However, according to an earlier account given out by the Central Committee of the CPM, six of their Party people have been killed. According to local Trinamool sources, the number of CPM casualties was much higher: seven (apart from Samanta) according to one and thirty one, according to another. Trinamool leaders say that CPM casualty figures are minimised by the Party as they were of outsiders who were allegedly criminals.

CPM leaders said that villagers who resist land acquisition are Trinamool members and only pretend to be Left supporters. When we told them that village women raised the left fist in salute as Communists do, Lakshman Seth said that they had been rehearsed by the Trinamool since they knew the enquiry committee was known to be leftist.

Our impression was that the people of Nandigram are prepared for a very hard struggle. It is being waged with remarkable communal amity and with participation from all political groups, many of whom had been CPM just the other day. “We were all CPM but now we only have our movement”, said a woman: “We do not want to wander around like gypsies, carrying tents on our back.” We found the movement to be a genuine peasant movement, activated by mass fury or “janarosh”, as Probodh Panda said, though he said now the Trinamool is trying to fish in troubled waters. We also feel that the fury was partly due to the total lack of transparency about the basic facts about land acquisition about which no government sources would inform them. They were not part of any discussion about matters that concerned their lives and livelihood.

The sequence of events in Singur is very well known. According to the Status Report issued by the CPM, most of the affected area is monocropped. They, however, seem to have used a land survey of the early seventies after which several deep tubewells have been sunk, and many shallow handpumps set up, increasing soil fertility enormously. According to villagers, most of the land is under four to five crops. There are also village based handicrafts, and a large number of rural ancillaries that employ very large numbers of people. We did find very green fields and relatively prosperous village homes. The people are very humiliated that their land has been described as poor in quality and their labour devalued as a backward form of work. The factory, they feel, will give work to very few of the displaced. Even in the unlikely event of one person per family getting a job in the factory, other members will not. Land is the foundation of their existence and they do not want to move over to factories.

Singur villagers learnt of the land acquisition for the Tata factory from newspapers, there being no Panchayat meeting or Party spokesman who informed them. They claim that holders of 360 acres have refused to accept the compensation. They also claim that compensation is well below the actual land price. In both Singur and Nandigram, unregistered sharecroppers and agricultural labourers – a very large number, of several thousands – are not included within the category of compensation receivers. Property alone has value, not labour.

It is generally acknowledged that Singur villagers have not used violence against persons so far, even though there has been considerable violence by the police against villagers who demonstrated against acquisition with peaceful satyagraha methods, especially on 25 September and 2 December. Despite the peacefulness of protestors, Section 144 was clapped on Singur PS and on all roads leading to Singur. Even where it does not exist, protestors are arrested for congregating, and ordinary vehicles are stopped and searched. Women were beaten up by male policemen, filthy language was used, villagers and student protestors lathi charged, resulting in severe injuries. The charge of possession of dangerous weapons had been clapped on a two and a half year girl who was sent to prison for several days and was deprived of baby food there.

Noted social activists like Medha Patkar have been frequently been picked up and opposition political leaders manhandled. Even in Kolkata where no Section 144 exists, protestors have been kept under lock up and have been arrested during peaceful demonstrations, and have been lathi charged. Particularly strange has been the fate of Tapasi Malik, a young girl, who was found brutally murdered on 18 December. The police seem to have obliterated most of the evidence during preliminary investigations, insisting that she was murdered by a boyfriend whose existence, however, can not be proved. The fact that she had been a political activist in the movement and may have had political enemies is not taken into account in investigations even though her father insists repeatedly that a local CPM cadre could be responsible. Her male relatives are harassed, and her young niece was questioned vulgarly about the state of her underclothes. No policewomen were present at the questioning though that is legally obligatory.

We found a determined peasant movement in Singur, peaceful so far, except for some recent attacks on the fence surrounding the surrounding land. Villagers are determined to fight on, regardless of the costs to themselves. They now say that they will not be beaten up without retaliation, they will fight back in whatever way that is effective.

In conclusion, we found powerful movements, determined to press on. Large segments of erstwhile CPM members and supporters are deeply alienated, against the Party and the Government. Muslims are terribly offended about misinformed aspersions cast at the Jamiat as communal and they are not satisfied by the invitation offered to their leaders by the Party leadership to come and discuss the matter. We concluded that the apprehensions of peasants are fully justified, as industries these days do not produce large numbers of jobs. There are alternative sites that can be acquired for industrialisation without damaging agriculture and village communities. Much peasant land has already been acquired for the New Rajarhat Township near Kolkata, creating environmental damage and dispossession of the poor. But it is earmarked for entirely non-developmental purposes to satisfy the demands of the very rich for their luxurious lifestyle. We also think that the media, on the whole, has been insensitive and irresponsible in their reporting. We urge the ruling Front to reconsider their land acquisition policy, to talk to all segments of the people and to listen seriously to their arguments. They need to think seriously about alternative sites for industrialisation that would not lead to the displacement of peasants. They need to think, in consultation with people, about the alternative forms of development. Otherwise, a rural civil war may ensue.

29 January 2007

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Protest continues

Let us condemn the brutal killings at Nandigram.

A Citizens' Meet organised by Nagarik Mancha on:

20 March 2007 (Tuesday), 3pm, Jubo Kendra (Moulali)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Blast damages Singur site wall

Statesman News Service
SINGUR (Hooghly), March 18: A portion of the boundary wall of the Tata Motors’ small car project site at Singur was damaged early today when explosives planted inside hollow iron pipes kept hidden in a drainage outlet went off. Explosives secreted in six other drainage outlets of the boundary wall near a Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee camp at Gopalnagar Bospara were later detected.
The blast was triggered around 3:30 a.m. Officers of the bomb squad of the state police rushed to the spot and unearthed the high-intensity charges which were believed to have been planted to blow up the boundary wall. Police are still not sure of the brain behind the act.
“We are probing the matter. Nothing can be disclosed at this point of time,” Mr Anuj Sharma, DIG (Burdwan range), said. No one has been arrested in this connection.
A senior police officer said that policemen posted at the project site had heard the sound of an explosion coming from the Gopalnagar Bospara-end of the boundary wall early today. They reached the spot to find a portion of the wall damaged. The blast was triggered a few yards off a Singur Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee camp.
Senior officers were later informed of the explosion and a search was eventually mounted. Policemen found six iron pipes packed with explosives in six different drainage outlets of the boundary wall. The objects were later defused.
The incident sparked off tension and rumours of Maoist insurgents planting mines at the project site spread. Officers of the bomb squad said the entire boundary wall would have collapsed had all explosives been detonated at one go. Mr Partha Chattopadhyay, Leader of the Opposition, alleged that CPI-M supporters and policemen had planted the explosives to divert the people’s attention from the “genocide” at Nandigram. “The area has been under a strong security cover for the past couple of months. It is not possible for outsiders to sneak in to wreak havoc,” Mr Chattopadhyay said.


Demand for resignation of Buddha and judicial enquiry

Protest is going on against the brutal carnage in Nandigram of March 14, 2007 in various forms. We have some reservation on certain forms of protest, but we think it is our duty to reflect what is going on.

We have received two documents, one online petition asking resignation of Buddha and a sample petition calling for judicial enquiry in Nandigram violence of March 14, 2007, which is requested to either fax or mail.

First, we are giving these two documents, then we will express our view upon them.

Demand Resignation of Buddhadev Bhattacharjee

To: The Governor, West Bengal


We are writing to express our strongest condemnation of the brutal and planned murder of peasants in Nandigram by the police on 14th March, 2007. From all available reports it is clear that an advance decision had been taken to shoot to kill, which alone can explain why so many people were shot well above the regulation below-the-knee height. From your press note and subsequent statements, from the statements of several non-CPI(M) member parties of the Left Front, as well as from news reports it is evident that the responsibility for this murderous action belongs primarily to Sri Buddhadev Bhattacharjee,. In this situation, we believe that the minimum that has to be done now is to compel Sri Bhattacharjee to resign. We therefore demand his resignation. There can be no democratic dialogue or any peaceful resolution of the current situation as long as he is at the helm of affairs.


Click here to sign petition

Sample petition calling for judicial enquiry

The Chairman
The National Human Rights Commission,
New Delhi
Tel.: +91 22 23384012
Fax: +91 22 23384863

National Commission for Women
New Delhi
Fax: +91-11-23236154
Complaints Cell: +91-11-23219750

National Commission for Minorities
New Delhi
Tel.: +91 22 24618349
Fax: +91 22 24693302/24642645/24698410

National Commission for Scheduled Castes
New Delhi
Fax: +91 22 24601213
Fax: +91 22 24625378/24634743/24615014

Sub: Violence and repression in Nandigram in West
Bengal causing large-scale loss of lives and


You must be aware of the fact that on the March 14 last a large posse of police force under the command of the West Bengal government had entered the Nandigram area in the East Midnapore district of West Bengal ostensibly to establish the "rule of law".

You may also recall that since early January the area is in turmoil. To be more precise, on January 2nd, the Haldia Development Authority (HAD) had issued a preliminary notice indicating a plan to acquire about 14,500 acres of land of 27 moujas of Nandigram-1 block and 2 moujas of Khejuri-2 block. It had also been announced that the land of Nandigram block would be acquired shortly since the Salim Group would build a mega Chemical Hub (10,000 acres) and another industrialist group of Pawan Ruia would set up a Shipbuilding and repairing unit (2500 acres) there. The rest of the land (2000 acres) would be used for disposal of alluvium dredged from the river bed of Haldia Port. The list of earmarked moujas was sent to the concerned Gram Panchayats. The notice mentioned the names of total 29 moujas at the Nandigram-1 and Khejuri-2 blocks that had primarily been shortlisted for the Salim-promoted chemical hub which included 5 Gram Panchayats in Nandigram -1 block namely 10 No. Sonachura, 9 No. Kalicharanpur, 3 No. Kendemari, 2 No. Muhammadpur and 1 No. Vekutia and Khejuri GP in Khejuri-2 Block.

This notice, to use a rather cliched ex-pression, set a cat among the pigeons. There was large scale disquiet amongst the local people. It set off a series of violent clashes since January 3 between the villagers and the State administration and also between sections of villagers. This culminated in bloody and murderous violence on January 7 between villagers determined not to part with their lands and the followers of the CPIM supporting the threatened move of the State government. While there are conflicting reports about the violence, the fact that human lives were lost is irrefutable. The active and personal involvement of Shri Lakshman Seth, the CPIM MP from Haldia, who is also the Chairman of the HDA, was also widely alleged. Be that as it may, as a consequence the State government issued a clarification subsequently that the said notice had been wrongly issued without proper authority and land acquisition for the chemical hub would be put on hold for the time being. But, as it appears the State government and its leaders enjoyed little credibility amongst the villagers. It'd be pertinent to recall that in the wake of the January 7 violence allegedly between the armed supporters of the CPIM coming from either outside or from the temporary camps, where they had shifted to and taken shelter since January 3 consequent upon earlier clashes, surrounding the area; a senior Polit Bureau member of the CPIM and also a Rajya Sabha MP from west Bengal categorically denied the very existence of the HAD notification and branded such report as mischievous rumour mongering. It is, however, quite another matter that the Chief Minster, belonging to his party, had to admit otherwise. Consequently the villagers cut all the roads connecting to the outside world off keeping provisions for only temporary and removable bridges in anticipation of large scale invasions from outside. All attempts by the State administration to convince the villagers of its pious intentions failed to cut any ice with them. It would also be pertinent to mention here that Nandigram is just not an isolated stand-alone case. A running battle between the State and the CPIM on the one hand and (at least some) villagers in Singur in neighbouring Hooghly district where land to the tune of a thousand acres has been acquired by the State, with active collaboration of the party apparatus, on behalf of the Tata Motors is very much on. There are also similar other proposals in the pipeline. All these taken together perhaps explain the complete lack of faith of the villagers in any assurance of the State government.

On march 14, a police campaign of huge proportions was carried out to occupy and re-take Nandigram. The official figure of casualties hovers around 15. Other sources estimate over hundred. Given the demographic pattern, most of the victims are understandably either Dalits or Muslims.

There are also widespread allegations that the police in collaboration have dumped a large number of dead bodies in water bodies with the CPIM cadres. There are also allegations of gang rapes and beastly sexual assaults. TV footages reportedly exist showing bodies being fished out of water apart from some police actions though entry of the journalists had reportedly been by and large blocked during the campaign and also thereafter till the Honourable High Court intervened. That such an operation is going to be carried out had already been predicted by a section of the media. It has also been reported that an intelligence report apprehending broad-based vigorous resistance and consequent large-scale bloodshed was deliberately ignored. There also reports that maximum violence has been resorted to in preference over other routine alternatives.

Under the circumstances, even the Honourable Calcutta High Court had to adversely comment on the ferocious operations carried out by the State against its own people and has ordered a CBI probe. While the CBI probe has played and would play a useful role in crying an immediate halt to any large-scale ongoing violence against the local people, it is simply inadequate given the seriousness of the situation.

We would therefore earnestly request you to immediately send a team of your own to make an on-the-spot survey and also take up the issue with appropriate quarters, not excluding the Supreme Court of India, to immediately institute a judicial enquiry conducted by a serving judge or judges, nominated either by the Chief Justice of the India or the High Court of Kolkata. Any enquiry by a retired judge nominated by the State government, if at all, would largely defeat the purpose for very obvious reasons. You are also urged to ensure that the culprits – the perpetrators of violence, are brought to book in the shortest possible time, and the affected people are provided immediate relief and also reparation. Not only those directly engaged, the planners and conspirators must be identified and be made pay for their sins.
This is the most minimum that has got to be done so that the common people keep faith in the system and are not encouraged to take law in their own hands in their own desperate, and maybe mindless, ways.

Sincerely yours

Sukla Sen
EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity)

The view of this blog over these forms of protest

First of all, we would like to point out that we do respect the concern of people reflected in different forms of protest, although we might have some differences on some aspects.

We feel that the responsibility of the brutality against the people of Nandigram on march 14, 2007 should go to the state machinery whose sole orientation is to serve the interest of imperialism-comprador capitalism and semi-feudalism. To secure the maximum profit of MNCs and big companies, different governments, as political representatives of them have been implementing the policy of SEZ and land acquisition.

If we like to fight against land acquisition, which we believe, people all over the India do, we should try our level best to point out the enemy. Failure in identification of enemy will mislead the direction of the struggle and essentially helps the enemy.

No doubt, Buddha, as a trusted dog of these companies played a major role in this carnage. But, resignation of Buddha won’t help us if they don’t cancel the policy of SEZ. We should not forget that Buddha has his successors---Nirupam, Binoy etc. Therefore, resignation of Buddha won’t hurt his masters if the policy continues. And, after the killings in Nandigram, the central commerce minister, Kamal Nath said that SEZ policy would not be canceled.

Under the circumstances, we do believe, to make sure that Nandigram will not happen again, we have to demand first, the nation-wide cancellation of SEZ and then the resignation issue should come.

And, this blog doubts whether it would be possible to expose the truth by any government sponsored agency. But, we should demand the enquiry and at the same time bring the reports of independent enquiries just to show how reluctant state machineries are to find out the truth (in reality how dedicated they are to hide the truth).

Saturday, March 17, 2007

'Nandigram was more shocking than Jallianwala Bagh'

KOLKATA: Returning the highest literary awards bestowed on them by the West Bengal government, eminent Left historian couple Sumit Sarkar and Tanika Sarkar on Saturday said Nandigram was more shocking than the Jallianwala Bagh massacre because it happened in a Left-ruled state.

"Jallianwala massacre happened in colonial India but what happened in Nandigram is shocking since it happened in a Left-ruled government in independent India," said Sumit and Tanika Sarkar in an interview.

"Jallianwala Bagh was the outcome of one single man's action (General Dyer ordered the firing on hundreds of people on April 13, 1919) but here the entire CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) machinery and the government were involved in the killings," they said.

"What happened in Gujarat in 2002 did not amaze us as much because it was a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government but in a Left-ruled state this is astounding," Tanika Sarkar said.

The couple returned their Rabindra Puraskars - the highest honorary literary award given in West Bengal - to register their protest over the killings of 14 people in police firing at Nandigram and decided to donate the award money to the Nandigram Relief Fund.

"I received Rs.50,000 in 2004 and Sumit received Rs.25,000 in 1998. We are giving away the money to Nandigram Relief Fund," she said.

"We are shattered. All this has happened and there is not a word of shame or apology from the CPI-M central committee or state committee," she said.

Sumit Sarkar, former professor of history at Delhi University, is a prominent Indian social historian who in his "Writing Social History" sought to combine an empirical study of themes in late-colonial Indian history with an intervention in current debates about the extent and nature of Western colonial domination. Tanika Sarkar's work focuses on the intersections of religion, gender, and politics in both colonial and postcolonial South Asia, in particular on women and the Hindu Right.

"What happened inside Nandigram that day (March 14) no one knows," said the Sarkar couple who were distressed since the controversy in Singur over takeover of farmland for industry broke out.

"As a lifelong Leftist, I was deeply shocked by recent events in the countryside of West Bengal. On Dec 31, a group of us went to Singur, spent the whole day there, visited four out of five most affected villages and three things became very clear, because of which the West Bengal government's version cannot be accepted," said Sumit Sarkar.

"One, the land, far from being infertile or mono-cropped, as has been stated repeatedly, is extremely fertile and multi-cropped. Two, there is no doubt that the vast bulk of the villagers we met are opposed to the take-over of land and most are refusing compensation. Three, we found much evidence of force being employed, particularly on the nights of Sep 25 and Dec 2 last year," he said.

"The West Bengal government seems determined to follow a particular path of development involving major concessions both to big capitalists like the Tatas and multinationals operating in SEZs (special economic zones). Yet the strange thing is that these, particularly the latter, are things which Left parties and groups as well as many others have been repeatedly and vehemently opposing," he said.

"Is this SEZ model that implies massive displacement and distress really the only way? If the West Bengal government thinks so, then it also has to accept that the inevitable consequences are going to be a repetition of Nandigram across the state," Sarkar said.


Protest continues

March 18, 3 p.m. - Anandamela, Gariahat, Kolkata.
Protest Procession organised by Natya Kormi of Kolkata to protest massacre in Nandigram

That night in Nandigram

Soumitra Basu, Editor, Anyaswar

Last night (March 14, 2007) CPM called a local 12 hours Bandh in Nandigram. For the first time a bandh is called in the evening hours in such a remote place where as it is people do keep indoors. Why is that called then?

After the first bout of Police action in the daylight when the news came that around 60 were killed, the second phase and the most horrendous phase that was planned in Writers' building with our beloved Chief Minister, Health Minister, Chief Secretary and the Home Secretary, needed to be executed.

Meanwhile the number game gave rise to enough confusion. Dainik Statesman - the Bengali Statesman puts the number to 31. The TV channels [private] put it to 18, The sole BBC correspondent Amit Bhattashali openly put the number as 32 and then openly declared that as per the instruction from the government to BBC they are bound to quote only the government version and therefore he is putting the number as 11. The TARATV correspondent Gourango, who was apprehended by the police, handed over to CPM goons and then on live TV thrashed and foul-mouthed by CPM, puts it off-the record as 100+ and on-the-record "could not count". The TARATV correspondent Subrata who is accompanying Mamata in her tour, puts it as "uncounted" as he explains no one can say and know the exact figure. The great state government and Mr. VORA - the spokesperson goes back to the number of 6 and then says that is what he is informed and he will inform the press some time later!

Subrata and Gourango of TARATV are in the field. This is the horrendous story that they have to say. Before that let us listen to his version of self-imposed censorship that he follows... "I have stopped telling the media the story that I saw and ought to have told them, there is no chance people and our viewers would believe. There is a limit to human belief. They will take me as a mad babbler! I myself am not convinced of what I saw, heard and went through.. it was like a nightmare and how I wish all that I saw and heard was simply a delirium" As a matter of fact they threw up several times in the hotel they stayed, not because of the threats by the CPM goons but because what they saw and heard and the language of threats by the CPM goons who besieged them in CPM party office in Nandigram.

"Bands of CPM goons aided by platoons of Eastern Frontier Rifles and Commando forces are entering every village and paras [mohollas]. They bring out the men folk, they take no prisoners, no witnesses, they shoot them, bayonet them, rip apart their stomachs and then lay them down the canal to the sea and confluence. They then bring out the young girls, gather them in open spaces, open gang rape them multiple times till the girls collapse, they then literally TEAR their limbs, in some cases cut them to pieces and let them down the Haldi river and/or Talpati canal.

No witnesses and they know that this incident cannot leak out because the young girls in traditional Medinipur will never come out to say what really happened and who will believe? on top of it who will corroborate and those who will come out will be killed and tortured again. CPM and police then wrapped the entire village with their Red Banners (sic!) showing that the area is secured and simply their writ will run. Those who fled the villages were mostly apprehended on the outskirts or on the boundaries and no one knows what happened to those poor souls.

We could hear this stories only from those who could crawl the whole way out through fields and forests. Even that is difficult now as the fields are all dried up and the crops are already reaped. Anyone can see people coming out. Rapes are innumerable, officially the rape figure could be obtained as 6 because these are the ones who survived to tell their tales and they are around middle aged, so they somehow could not be butchered and minced to pieces.

Village after village this process is going on and to our utter astonishment the process is continuing even this morning. All the correspondents are removed. Sukumar Mitra the most coveted journalist from Dainik Statesman ran his way out amidst flurries of bullets. He was specifically hunted and somehow could manage to sneak out. The ferocity of this attack is so grizzly that the residents of that area simply do not believe that anyone will open their mouth. Fear is made a weapon and the highest fear is made the weapon for a social-censorship.

Haripur is a nearby subdivision. That area is earmarked for nuclear power plant. People of that region have also come up in protest. Most of them are fishermen. They have stopped going to the confluence and the sea because of two reasons. One they feel that human bodies are everywhere in the confluence and the worst is that the crocs and gharials and sharks are now rushing towards that spot from far away Sunderbans. These animals rush for fresh blood, the fishes will be eaten away by these reptiles and there is a high possibility of these getting netted instead of fishes. Haripur will be out of livelihood for at least a week or so, and this was premeditated by the CPM administration to teach Haripur a lesson.

Haripur is the place that shooed out even Central teams and even bigger police forces. This was a lesson to teach both Nandigram and Haripur together. No sign of any dead bodies will ever be found, no proof of rape would be there. They are not making the mistake of killing openly, like the Tapasi Malik murder in Singur. They have this model now. The real death figure can only be revealed at least 3 months after, and that too if there is one, peace comes into stay, and if the residents could come back and then count the missing. But After CPM has "secured" and "liberated" those areas those who were evicted will not be allowed to come back and these properties will be given to the CPM goons from Keshpur and Garbeta and neighbouring places. The permanency of mopping up strategy is how CPM will ensure that Nandigram and Haripur will be secured for electoral battles in the future."'

This is more horrendous than partition story. Journalists all know this but they cannot come out with these stories. CPM will ensure that these journalists are hunted down and wiped out of existence. They have already started to threaten all journalists and intellectuals who have gone against them.

Let us not draw parallels from the history! I do not know who will believe how much, but I have mentioned the sources and you all are welcome to verify them through the references I have provided.


Download Bengali version.

Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer on Nandigram


March 15, 2007

My dear Prakash Karat,

I adore you as the top leader of the Marxist Party even as I hold Com. Jyoti Basu as a creative wonder of the Communist Marxist Party. As you know, I remained in power with the Communist Government in 1956 in Kerala under the charismatic Chiefministership of EMS, the great Leftist thinker. But alas!, in West Bengal things are murky, capitalism is happy, poor peasantry is in privation and deprivation, if newspaper reports throw light on events objectively. We, in 1957, came to power by the ballot and rarely, if ever, used the bullet, with the result the police violence was hardly an instrument against the peasantry.

Look at the contrast. The brutality and bloodshed, at the instance of the police force is now bulleting of humble humanity. I had and have great hopes that the Marxists if in power, will rule with compassionate ideology and win votes and people’s co-operation beyond party barriers. But to my horror, the terror practiced yesterday at Nandigram fills me with dread and disappointment. The illusion of exploitative power has led the ministry to govern by the gun. The consequent bloodshed demands your urgent attention and commands the party’s authority to arrest the frequency of bloodshed policy and police barbarity. Sri. Sumit Chakravartty telephoned me last night about the police misuse of firepower. If true, I protest and entreat you and the party to take immediate action and restore the basic proposition that Communist Government is not power with violent weapons. And action at party level must be taken if governance over humanity is for the benefit of the peasantry. I am sure, thousands like me will be shocked by the Nandigram incident. Please, please have some regard for those who feel that socialism is not terrorism, but humanism; and misrule by gun will not be the rule of the Left in State authority. Do forgive me for expressing my strong feelings with the expectation that the Left Administration believe and practice as a fundamental for the humble people, not for the proprietariat with the brute force of the bullet.

With high regards,
Yours sincerely,


We respect the concern of Justice V. R. Krishna Iyer over the brutal repression in Nandigram, although don't completely agree with him. Let’s clarify our view:

Justice Iyer wrote, “I had and have great hopes that the Marxists if in power, will rule with compassionate ideology and win votes and people’s co-operation beyond party barriers.”
We are sorry to say that it is nothing but a day-dream. Marxist are not god; so there is no point to think that if they are in the power something different could happen independent of the rule of that society.
What is the rule of a society? The rule of a society is determined by the mode of production of that particular society.

Whoever be in the power, he has to secure that mode. In our society everything has been running to serve the interest of imperialism-comprador capitalism-semi feudalism. In this existing mode of production, whoever is in the power, has to secure the maximum profit of imperialism-comprador capitalism. There cannot be any exception. And, Buddha with the heritage of Jyoti Basu has been doing the same.

So bringing anybody or any party in power won’t make any difference. Any primary student of Marxism knows it. A change in society can only come by bringing a change in the mode of production.

Had CPM and its rank and file ever thought in this way?

That is why they cannot help but convert themselves into fascists, just like other parties enjoying the power as trusted dogs of imperialism-comprador capitalism-semi feudalism.

We believe it is too late to mourn.

Kolkata High Court orders CBI probe into Nandigram carnage

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights along with Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, National Alliance of People's Movement and others put forward a petition to the Kolkata High Court urging immediate intervention of the court to reinstate safety and security of the villagers in Nandigram. The organisations also pleaded for an interim order restraining the state administration preventing them from reaching Nandigram to provide assistance to injured and deceased villagers.
In response to the above appeal on 15th March 2007, a Division Bench of the High Court comprising Honourable Chief Justice S S Nijjar and Honourable Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh passed an order and reprimanded the state government stating "we are satisfied that this action of the police department is wholly unconstitutional and can not be justified under any provision of law." The court also stated "Such kind of force can not be justified except in the cases of armed insurgency or warlike situation. Innocent farmers and villagers can hardly be put into the aforesaid bracket."
The court in its order directed the followings:
  • The court directed the district administration to ensure that the unclaimed dead bodies are handed over to the appropriate authorities and the identified dead bodies are handed over to the lawful claimants after due legal formalities have been concluded, such as post mortem and inquest report, so that the relatives are able to perform the last rites of the deceased.
  • The court directed the CBI to immediately send an investigating team to the strife -torn area and look into the circumstances that led to the police firing which claimed innumerable casualties in Nandigram. The CBI team is directed to immediately visit Nandigram and any other surrounding affected area and collect the entire relevant materials of firing by the police and combat forces to be presented before the court in the form of a report.
  • The state government has also been directed to file an affidavit setting out the reasons for the police action which has been taken against the population of Nandigram by resorting indiscriminate firing by the police. The affidavit should also disclose the material on the basis of which the order for firing was issued.
  • The court also directed that under no circumstances any evidence should be destroyed by any person and instructed the CBI to collect all evidence including the post-mortem conducted on the victims of the firing.
In view of the absolutely volcanic situation created, the court further directed the state government to ensure the safety and well-being of all the general public in the area. The state is also directed to take adequate measure to provide medical facilities to the injured villagers.

This blog doubts whether CBI probe could really expose the level of fascist brutality. Even if it does, will it be brought under the notice of the people?

Friday, March 16, 2007

Protest continues

Demonstration of MASUM, NHRC, and other HR groups
March 16, 11 a.m. - Janatar Mantar, Delhi.

March 17, 3 p.m. - Dharmatola Crossing
Protest gathering with Kabir Suman, Joy Goswami,
Nabarun Bhattacharya

Buddha dares to speak

After staining his hands with the blood of the people of Nandigram, the fascist chief minister, Buddha doesn’t even feel sorry. To him it is just an unfortunate event and police was forced to fire in self-defense. He also dared to say, “No government could accept absence of rule of law in any part of a state.”

We would like to ask these trusted agents of big companies what does rule of law mean to them? They killed at least 25 people (it could be even 50 or more) when their brutal armed forces entered Nandigram. If it is what they call as law and order, then we have to say that it would have been far better of not having law and order in all part of the country.

Buddha also said that for two and half months, the administration couldn’t function at Nandigram. We strongly feel that such an administration whose sole orientation is to repress and kill people to serve the interest of MNCs and comprador capitalists, better not to function. Why people should tolerate this repression? They must have every right to rebel against repression and displacement.

Buddha has been saying that there will be no SEZ in Nandigram if people don’t want. What does it mean? In the last two and half months didn’t the people of Nandigram make it very clear that they prefer to live on their own land rather than being displaced for SEZ? Then why didn’t they postpone the plan of SEZ? If they postponed, then there would not have been any bloodbath in Nandigram.

Essentially, this bunch of fascists is determined to acquire the land for the Salim group. They don’t care what people prefer and this is what they call as democracy. As people resist, they have sent their brutal armed forces to terrorize people, to kill people and to rape our mothers, sisters and daughters. And, this is the establishment of law and orders.

We are fully aware that, in West Bengal, the companies didn’t pay Rs 400 crores in employees provident fund. It includes the contribution from the workers as well. It simply means that they have taken the money form the workers but didn’t deposit to the provident fund. It is a severe violation of the existing labour law. These running dogs of imperialism and comprador capitalists, who are talking about the establishment of law and orders, what step have taken against this violation of labour law? How many companies of armed forces they sent to arrest these capitalists?

Not a single one.

All these incidences prove once again the correctness of the Marxist conception of STATE, which is nothing but machinery in the hand of a particular class to oppress others. This state machinery has three major components, (i) armed forces, (ii) laws and (iii) administration. Its sole orientation is to serve the class interests. Now we see how Buddha-government uses these three components as the trusted agent of imperialism-comprador capitalism-semi feudalism. In the name of the establishment of law and order, it uses administration and sends armed forces to unleash repression on the people to acquire land for the Salim and displace people. Whereas, when workers are being exploited, when people are under the brutal semi feudal exploitation, it doesn’t feel as a problem of law and order.

This is what we can only expect from this system.
No question of justice.
No democracy.
Only brutal repression.

How long will we let it to continue?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Protest against mass killing in Nandigram

Michhil of Sanhati Udyoug, March 15, 2 p.m.: College Square, Calcutta

Meeting Called by women groups like Nari Nirjaton Pratirodh Mancha, Ahalya and others, March 15, 4 p.m.: Front of Metro Cinema, Calcutta

Mass killing in Nandigram

We condemn the mass killing by the armed forces of the fascist West Bengal government in Nandigram.

The fascist chief minister, the left front chairman and all high profile CPM leaders justified the murder as Nandigram had been out of reach to the armed forces. We would like to ask these pets of big companies why it became necessary for the armed forces to reach Nandigram? Why the people of Nandigram shouldn’t have the right to determine what will be the best for them? Who gave the authority to these running dogs of imperialism to decide what will be the best for the people of Nandigram? These shameless fascists always claim that whatever they are doing is for the betterment of the people. Now, what sort of betterment they are aiming for? What sort of development they are achieving by the murder of at least 25 people?

Their hands are stained with the blood of people.

They have been dedicated themselves to serve the interest of the imperialism-comprador capitalists; it has been proved by their activities for the last couple of decades. So, we cannot expect anything else than killing of people, detention of democratic-progressive-revolutionary people in this fascist regime.

We just hate this brutality.
We don’t find appropriate words to express our hatred.

We believe that this mass killing will determine us to extend our support in every possible way to the people’s resistance of Nandigram and all other parts of India.

  • Red salute to the martyrs of Nandigram.
  • Red salute to the mothers of Nandigram who gave birth of these heroes of people’s resistance.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Singur land lease agreement

West Bengal government signed the land agreement with TATA for the proposed Singur plant. It’s a good deal for TATA, no doubt.

Government gives the land to TATA with a lease for 90 years.

The bonanza could be summarized as follows:

We must appreciate the potential of West Bengal government for discovering tricks to make us fool. Apparently, TATA will pay more than Rs 800 crore. But, look at the payments it needs to pay in the first 30 years. Only Rs 56.25 crore. In the next 30 years it will pay Rs ~200 crore. But, if we consider the rate of inflation (currently more than 6%) then this figure will not be that big. The same is true for its payment for last 30 years.

Essentially, TATA doesn’t need to pay anything right now for the land. Although West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) has borrowed Rs 150 crore with 10% annual interest to acquire this land. WBIDC has to pay Rs 15 crore per year as interest; for 90 years it has to pay Rs 1350 crore for interest only, whereas for 90 years TATA will pay only Rs 800 core.

It means West Bengal government signed an agreement to subsidize TATA for Rs 700 crore over the period of 90 years. Again consider the figures. For the next 90 years, TATA will pay Rs 800 crores and enjoy Rs 700 crore as subsidy. In reality the actual subsidy is far bigger than what is being reflected in those figures. WBIDC has already borrowed Rs 150 crore. Considering the rate of inflation, after 90 years, this amount will be really huge. And it has to pay Rs 15 crore each year as interest. On the other hand right now TATA needs to pay only Rs 1 crore in a year. And it will pay its most of the payment at its last 30 year period of lease.

Who will actually pay the subsidy?
Or other running dogs of imperialism-comprador capitalism?

No. This subsidy will be paid from our hard earn money. With our hard earn money these running dogs of imperialism and comprador capitalists subsidize crores to Multinational and big companies while letting our people dieing of starvation.

This is what they call as DEVELOPMENT.
We call as LOOT.

Don’t you think it is our duty to make an end of it?

(The detail of the lease agreement is taken from the, March 11, 2007)


Nirupam Sen, the commerce minister of West Bengal government confirmed the above mentioned lease agreement in assembly on March 15, 2007 (source: ganashakti, March 16,2007). He pointed out that TATA will enjoy other facilities like Tax holidays for Singur plant.

Workers dieing of starvation

While Buddha is busy and crazy with industrialization of West Bengal, so many tea gardens have been closed in North Bengal.

The workers have been starving.

For an instance, Kathalguri tea garden has been closed on July 2002. There were 1479 workers. 500 workers already died after the closure. The survivors have been under the extensive semi-feudal exploitation. They have to borrow money from moneylenders with an interest rate of monthly 20%. For Rs 500/- they have to pay Rs 100 per month as an interest (Anandabazar Patrika, March 10, 2007).

Download a report on closed and reopened tea gardens of North Bengal.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

I am busy with my work. For the next couple of months, this blog is going to be very irregular. However, I will try my best to post all the materials received by email.

I hope, by August, it will be regular.

Red salute to people's resistance against imperialism, comprador capitalism and semi-feudalism.