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Archive for November 17th, 2007

Maoists admit their presence in Nandigram

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

Rebels admit resistance role

Calcutta, Nov. 16: Maoists today admitted “standing by” Nandigram villagers to resist attacks by “armed CPM” supporters.

In a statement issued today, the CPI (Maoist) Bengal secretary, Somen, said his guerrillas were “motivating people and building up a resistance”.

This is the first acknowledgement by the rebels of their involvement in the violence. Earlier, they only admitted supporting the movement against land acquisition.

“Our activists held a series of meetings with the villagers to gain their trust. We camped in Nandigram for several months and stood by the people,” Somen said.

The statement suggested that despite the CPM armed squad’s recapture of the area, the rebels were active. “We are still a force to reckon with and we shall rise like the glowing sun in the days to come,” said another spokesperson for the outfit.

The statement comes weeks after the intelligence branch warned the state home department about the Maoist threat in Nandigram, saying the rebels had built a strong base in villages like Garchakraberia, Sonachura, Adhikarypara, Ranichowk and Satengabari. The warning also spoke of villagers being trained in the use of firearms.

“They set up training centres in pockets where the Trinamul Congress-led Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee was active. Not only men, they were also giving training to women,” an intelligence branch official said.

“We have led a people’s war for an exploitation-free society. We make a clear difference between revolutionary and reactionary violence,” said the CPI (Maoist) spokesperson.

The state chief of the outfit announced that they were lining up “programmes to make people aware of the CPM’s attacks on them”.

The CPM has been insisting that the Maoists were backing the Trinamul Congress-led Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee but Mamata Banerjee has trashed the claim. Asked about the weapons and explosives found, she said: “They were all planted by the CPM, desperate to establish the presence of Maoists and to malign our party.”

Inspector-general (law and order) Raj Kanojia today said 650 bullets, eight firearms and Maoist training manuals, in Telugu and Bengali, have been found in Sonachura.

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Gangrape victim’s house vandalised, police say can’t go there …

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

Nandigram, Nov 16: It’s been 10 days since Sabina Begum (name changed to protect her identity) was allegedly gangraped by CPM men during “Operation Recapture,” as first reported in The Indian Express today. But the Nandigram police, who registered a case after the medical report confirmed the rape, say they have not been able to visit the victim’s house in Satengabari, the scene of the crime that can yield crucial evidence in the case.

record, Superintendent of Police S S Panda says: “Investigation cannot be started because the situation is so tense.” When asked if the delay could hamper evidence collection, Panda said: “It’s possible to get conviction on the basis of the victim’s statement. It’s very difficult to get witnesses in these cases.”

That’s hardly a surprise.

For, The Indian Express was able to reach Sabina’s Satengabari house this afternoon, dodging past the close surveillance of a 150-strong mob of CPM supporters. Any one who enters the village has to explain the purpose of their visit and get the cadres’ permission. The mud house of Sabina Begum is thoroughly ransacked. There is hardly any household article left inside. Overhead mud tiles are smashed, clothing is strewn on the floor.

The police have also not taken any step to search for Sabina’s two missing daughters who she said were also gangraped and abducted by CPM cadres.

CPM cadres now guard the village and mill around Sabina’s house. Asked if any police team had come to investigate, CPM member Shyamal Jana said: “No. A CRPF team made a round but no policeman has come after the village was freed from terror unleashed by the Bhumi Uchched men.”

At the Brojomohan Tiari relief camp in Nandigram, Sabina’s relatives are traumatized. They are afraid to even step out of the camp. Still, they keep making several rounds of the local police station to inquire about the two missing daughters. “But the police have no time to listen,” says Sheikh Motleb, the victim’s brother.

He says that Nasreen, 14, and Fatima, 16, (both names changed to protect their identities) had studied up to Class IV and Class VI respectively. The younger one studied in Satengabari primary school while her elder sister used to go to Brindaban Chawk Girls’ School.

“They dropped out because of financial constraints in the family and began zari work. Each earned about Rs 3000 per month working under a trader in nearby Bajkul. But the biggest worry now is to find out if they are alive,” said Motleb.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/240207.html

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Nandigram:‘CPM imposing fines on those willing to return’

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

Six-member NHRC team records statements of villagers who were driven out of their homes during the “recapture”

Nandigram, November 16: The CPI(M), after its “recapture” of Nandigram, is allegedly levying fines on Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee supporters to allow them to return to harvest their crops.l

“The CPI(M) is imposing fines of thousands of rupees, depending on our land holding, to allow us to return home,” said Ranjit Dasadhikary, a Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee supporters (name changed) at a relief camp here.

“Our crops are ready to be harvested. If we don’t return home, the CPI(M) will harvest our crops and not allow us to return home also,” Dasadhikary said.

Voicing the same fear, Sanat Maity (name changed) of Garchakraberia said: “In that case they will also take over our houses. There is no question of refusal. In that case, our houses will be set on fire. The CPI(M) is also forcing our supporters to take part in their processions to show that all is well,” he said.

Trinamool Congress MLA, Subhendu Adhikary said BUPC supporters are being asked to pay thousands of rupees as fine. “This is true that those BUPC supporters trying to return home are being threatened and asked to pay thousands of rupees as fine. They are also being asked to join CPI(M) processions and take the lead to prove that they have returned to the Marxist’s fold,” he added.

Meanwhile, a six-member NHRC team on Friday recorded the statements of several villagers in Nandigram who were rendered homeless during the recent “recapture” by CPI(M) from rival BUPC activists.

“We are recording the statements of the affected people who are staying at a relief camp in a school here,” Special Superintendent of Police S P Singh, leading the team of National Human Rights Commission said.

Asked whether they had arrived at any preliminary conclusion, another team-member and SSP Mamta Singh said “It’s too early to comment. We’ve to talk to all concerned and see for ourselves the affected areas before coming to any conclusion.”

The NHRC team is trying to ascertain whether there has been any lapse on part of the local police and authorities and would collect information, particularly on cases relating to killing and molestation of women.

Four representatives of the six-member team spent a considerable time at the relief camp in the Brajamohan Tiwari Shikshaniketan. They would submit a report to NHRC chairman in Delhi after completing the inquiry.

The NHRC team met the Superintendent of Police S Panda and district magistrate Anup Agarwal of East Midnapore to know the views of the administration on the recent developments in Nandigram.

http://www.indianexpress.com/story/240148.html

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Bastar villagers protest against Tata steel plant

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

While Nandigram still simmers, there is another land-related dispute brewing in Bastar in Chhattisgarh where farmers are up in arms against a proposed steel plant by the Tatas.

The farmers in the tribal Bastar area in Chhattisgarh are fighting to hold on to their land. They say that the government is forcibly evicting them to make way for the 10,000 crore steel plant to be built by the Tatas.

Protests have reached a pitch where government officials and the police are running scared to visit the affected villages.

”They were about 300 in numbers, carrying lathis. They spoke against the Tatas. They accused us of disbursing compensation to the project affected people. They asked us why we were patrolling during night,” said Anant Ram Nag, an injured police constable.

A villager of Bastar said, ”They are threatening us. People are opposing the Tatas. We are not afraid. We will stay here and die here.”

Some villagers who work for government departments say they are being threatened with transfers or even dismissal if they don’t part with their land for the project.

The Tatas will need more than 4,000 acres of land in 10 villages in Bastar for its steel’s plant.

With the protests getting stronger, the Chhattisgarh government has been able to only acquire only a fourth of that so far.

GS Mishra, Collector, Bastar said, ”They are trying to create unrest and a law and order problem. Is it possible that the administration could threaten and force the people to accept compensation towards land acquisition”.

But ignoring the farmer protests could prove costly. Nandigram too started on a similar note.

http://www.ndtv.com

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Video from Nandigram: CPI(M) cadres fired 5000 bullets

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

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Terror in a microcosm – Taipara, Burdwan – the Party GRIP.

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

The following is an appeal sent by Suparna Goswami. It tells the story of her uncle Balaram Goswami, who has been fighting the corrupt Party machinery through civil and judiciary channels for years, and what that struggle entails. The appeal has been put forward unedited. Her phone number has been removed.

************************************************************************************************************************************************

Dear friends

It’s all about another nandigram….we belong from the remote village named TAIPARA ,p.o-khalispur, burdwan….its our permanent residence…though I have not born there…but…We feel we still belong from there…because my its my father’s ,uncle’s, grandparent’s place….

Our house is in end of that village…though all other villagers of that village enjoy electricity… we r in still in unprivileged class…I have little cousins there…they still studying with the help of lamp or hariken..

My youngest uncle, balaram goswami is fighting the ruling party as a civil person…with the help of law since last 8-9 years…but still now all his attempts goes in vein…There is an another example of nandigram…caders of ruling party is all in all there…If they can not support u can not leave their happily..My uncle is abused physically mentally for several times… His family leaves under fear.. We are also suffered mental pressure due to it…

They are succed to take one of my uncle, kanailal goswami into their party..using him as an weapon against balaram goswami…police supports them ..n my corrupt uncle..Before 3 years they attacked n physically abused my youngest uncle Balaram goswami. Lagged criminal cases…police arrest him from kalna hospital ..then..me and my 72 years aged granny asked help fron different ngos, human rights commission n honorable ministers in writes building…dats also in judicial proccedings..there are several pending cases in season court,high court..

My grany started detoriating…she was in sevior depression… we fight last 3 -4 year…There was no improvement…at last in 15 th September,’07 she set herself in fire n died in B.r.singh eastern hospital,shealdah…

But still now we have faith in justice..law & order…we are not able to enter in that village..so who ever wants to know the truth & wants documents..please visit that village. Ask Balaram goswami..u will get…

No one killed my granny… after this if my uncle or anyone of my family dies in this way that will also not be considered as homicide …but is it normal…are we in peace? Ask me…who see all this suffered & witnessed.. How I feel…can you understand my pain… we want peace…please visit these places ..please support these helpless people..

Please please please…………………………………
Suparna goswami

http://sanhati.com/news/464/

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Students protesting against Nandigram violence attacked by SFI

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

Nov. 16, 2007:

From the morning, around 20-30 PDSF members from various colleges in Kolkata were going on a Matador to various colleges in North Kolkata in order to raise awareness on Nandigram issue and also to collect funds for the victims. At around 2:30 pm, neas St. Paul’s College, the team was surrounded by a gang of 200 SFI goons from St. Pauls and Surendranath College and was severely beaten up.

After breaking the microphones & mouthpieces, the hooligans set the leaflets on fire and looted the collected money for Nandigram relief. Students of Presidency college, Medical college, Jadavpur University & others has condemned the incidence strongly. An FIR has been launched against the hooligans at Amherst Street police station. State President Sourav and many others are seriously injured and have been taken to Medical College Hospital for treatment. Press release from PDSF is awaited.

http://sanhati.com/front-page/408/#25

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Nandigram:Maoist shadow on CPIM’s ‘victory’

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007

KOLKATA: A day after pro-CPM forces took out a rally in Kolkata to mark the “return of peace in Nandigram”, Maoists have threatened to “destroy the party’s victory mood”.

A strongly-worded statement, issued by the outfit on Friday, reminded the state government that it was not at their mercy and will resort to violence if the people of Nandigram were subjected to torture and subjugation. “Nandigram,” it said, “was still alive and will rise very soon as a glowing sun.”

The statement, issued by the state committee of the Communist Party of India (Maoist), assumes significance in view of the fact that a large cache of arms was recovered from Nandigram on Thursday.

While CPM has been accusing the rebel outfit of abetting violence, it sought to dismiss the claim as “unfounded”. “CPM wants to shift focus from the fact that they have been perpetrating violence in Nandigram, aided by the police. They are throwing out farmers and depriving them of their rights to set up a useless SEZ. We stand by the people of Nandigram at this hour of crisis,” the statement added.

Congratulating students, film-makers, intellectuals, artists and the media for their positive role, it came down heavily on CPM leaders Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Biman Bose and Prakash Karat.

“They must answer what compelled the villagers to revolt in January. CPM cannot deny that it has been carrying out a brutal attack on the people for several months to crush their resistance. It has been proved that most of those, who fled Nandigram after the March 14 carnage, were criminals backed by the CPM,” the statement said.

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Nandigram:Trio in net yield Maoist clues: Official

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 17, 2007


Nov. 14: Last night’s arrest of three Nandigram residents who “confessed” to receiving arms training from Maoists has confirmed the rebels’ role in the violence, the Bengal government said.

“We are convinced about the presence of Maoists,” home secretary P.R. Ray said.

The Sonachura residents — identified as Gourhari Mondal, Prakash Munia and Radheshyam Giri — have apparently named their rebel leaders. “But we cannot reveal the names now,” said Ray.

The three were held on a fishing trawler in Kakdwip, 60km south of Calcutta. Inspector-general (law and order) Raj Kanojia said: “A route map of Nandigram, a SIM card, telephone numbers and a diary were found on them.”

The chief minister had yesterday named “most-wanted” Maoist Ranjit Paul, who allegedly brought a team of 20 to 30 people from Jharkhand. Kanojia said: “They were training about 150 villagers for the past few months.”

Intelligence sources in West Midnapore said another Maoist, Sasadhar Mahato, had visited Nandigram several times since January. “He is an expert in making the IEDs (improvised explosive devices), cutting trenches and erecting bunkers. He also trains the rebels in shooting.”

A woman from Calcutta, Devlina, had apparently helped build the women’s brigade — Matangini Bahini.

The security forces today recover-ed an IED, two improvised guns, a country-made revolver and 153 bullets from Satnegabari.

Four IEDs and guns were found in Sonachura yesterday. The CRPF had said they resembled those used by Maoists in Jharkhand.

A CRPF officer said villagers were providing them with information on arms depots. The force set up camps in Khejuri today.

Asked about the CRPF’s role, the chief minister said: “They would dwell on confidence-building measures. The CRPF would move into areas where police could not.”


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