[DEBATE] : [Fwd: Press Release: Savage State Terror in Nandigram!]
s.guttal at focusweb.org
Wed Mar 14 16:18:27 GMT 2007
-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [HelpAsia] Press Release: Savage State Terror in Nandigram!
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2007 07:25:15 -0700 (PDT)
From: Sukla Sen <suklasen at yahoo.com>
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A situation of terror has been created by the ruling C.P.M Government and party in Nandigram over the past few days. The matter reached a head as a huge contingent of 4000-5000 comprising the Police Force along with Para-Military, Rapid Action Force and Combat Commando Force attacked Nandigram in the name of "Operation Nandigram". This has come as a repressive measure in the face of protest and local movement (Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (Committee to Prevent Farmland Eviction)) by the people of Nandigram against the forceful land acquisition for proposed SEZs (Salim Group, Indonesia) in the area.
This is the second instance of violence in the area, the first being in early January when 6 people were killed. The last instance was provoked in the wake of the local adminsitration serving notices for land acquistion. After country wide crticism and protests againt the state government, the Chief Minister had issued a statement that no land would be acquired in Nandigram if the people are not willing. Despite this statement government has continued to maintain pressure in the area through deployment of armed forces. This clearly shows on whose side the Fascist West Bengal Government is.
Today, on Wednesday morning the armed forces broke fire on the people as a result of which 20 people have been killed and over 200 injured. The State Government and West Bengal police are still not declaring the numbers dead and injured. A huge protest movement has spread accross West Bengal. In every district rallies,demonstrations, road-blockages are being organised.In Kolkata a protest in the Rajya-sabha and other places is going on. National Hawker Federation and
Hawker Sangram Committee is also strongly condemning this barbaric fascist action of West Bengal government and organizing rallies all over Kolkata. Reporters from all the major media institutions are also being forcefully stopped from covering and reporting the reality. Two reporters of TARA BANGLA News were threatened by CPM party caders and are now missing.
WE APPEAL TO ALL THOSE WHO BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY TO CONDEMN THIS FASCIST MOVE BY THE GOVERNMENT TO PRESSURISE LOCAL COMMUNITIES TO GIVE UP THEIR ONLY SOURCES OF LIVELIHOODS. WE SEE THIS NANDIGRAM POLICE FIRING AS A MASS KILLING LED BY THE GOVERNMENT WHO STANDS ONLY IN SUPPORT OF CAPITALISTS AND ITS OWN SELFISH INTERESTS.
WE APPEAL TO ALL CONCERNED TO
SEND LETTERS TO THE PRIME MINISTER, PRESIDENT AND CHIEF MINISTER OF WEST BENGAL CONDEMNING 'OPERATION NANDIGRAM'
ORGANISE PROTEST MEETINGS AND DEMONSTRATIONS IN OUR RESPECTIVE CITIES AND REGIONS
SPREAD THE NEWS OF THIS HENIOUS ACT OF THE GOVERNMENT IN WEST BENGAL
WRITE TO HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION FOR IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
International Federation of Hawkers and Urban Poor
National Hawker Federation
Hawker Sangram Committee
16/17 College Street, Kolkata-700012, West Bengal, India.
E-mails: ifhup.secretariat at gmail.com , nationalhawkerfederation at gmail.com , hawkersangramcommittee at gmail.com , sudipta.y2k at gmail.com , saktimghosh at yahoo.com
Samar Das, NAPM - 0943335946
Sumit Chowdhury, NAPM - 09830249430 sumit_chowdhary at yahoo.com
Rifat Mumtaz and Manshi Asher
PLEASE CIRCULATE THIS MAIL WIDELY
ncas (national centre for advocacy studies),
ncas (national centre for advocacy studies),
rifat_at at yahoo.co.in
rifat.mumtaz at gmail.com
'Seven die' in India farm clash
At least seven people have died after police in eastern India fired at farmers protesting at industrial plans.
Riot police were sent to Nandigram in West Bengal after protests against land being used for a planned chemical hub.
Police confirm two deaths. Doctors say five others died of bullet wounds. Unrest in January claimed six lives.
Protests have gone on despite the state government pledging to move the plant elsewhere. New economic zones are a hugely contentious issue in India.
Farmers in Nandigram have fiercely resisted the West Bengal government's plan to acquire farms for a hub for chemical industries by an Indonesian company.
Six people, including a policemen, died during protests in the area in January.
Earlier this week, the Communist-led state government promised to shift the proposed chemical industry hub out of Nandigram if locals continued to oppose it.
But Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharya said the administration would have to "regain control" over the area and plans to send in riot police were announced.
Angry farmers along with political workers, belonging to the state's governing Communist party and the opposition Trinamul Congress, have dug up roads, burnt down wooden bridges and attacked government officials and policemen trying to enter Nandigram during the past two months.
The BBC's Subir Bhaumik in Calcutta says it is not clear why Wednesday's clash happened inspite of government assurances to the local farmers about their land.
On Wednesday morning, nearly 5,000 policemen set out to take control in Nandigram when protesting farmers prevented government and the police from entering the area.
Police officials say they ran into fierce resistance from thousands of farmers, both men and women, at the village of Bankaberia.
Senior West Bengal official Prasad Ranjan Roy said the police fired tear gas shells to break up the protests, and then fired and charged through the protesting crowd when they came under attack.
"Nandigram has descended into lawlessness and no government can simply be inactive," he said.
Eyewitnesses say the local hospital is teeming with injured persons, many of them with bullet wounds.
The Trinamul Congress has called for a statewide strike on Friday to protest against the police firing.
Two allies of the Communist party have said the police action was "most unfortunate".
The issue of farm land acquisition has generated much emotion in West Bengal in the past few months.
The government's move to allot 1,000 acres of land to industrial giant, Tata Motors, to build a car factory in the Singur area in Hooghly district generated widespread protests.
State governments in India are acquiring large tracts of land to set up special economic zones (SEZs) to push up employment and earnings.
The federal government reckons that SEZs will bring in $13.5bn in investment and create 890,000 jobs by 2009 if the ambitious plan is allowed to proceed.
Critics say this is destined to become the biggest land grab in post-colonial India, given the lack of transparency and rampant corruption in government.
Are you a farmer in West Bengal? Do you have relatives or friends who are affected by the industrialisation there? Use the form below to send us your experiences and reaction:
You can send pictures and video to: yourpics at bbc.co.uk or to send via MMS please dial +44 (0)7725 100 100.
Your E-mail address
Town & Country
Phone number (optional):
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