Sunday, April 29, 2007

Truth behind the compensation package of West Bengal Government

There is propaganda that WB government acquires land with a reasonable rate. This becomes the logic to defend the ongoing land acquisition programme in WB. In reality, WB government or other government agencies acquire land and then hand over to different companies. Sometimes they give subsidies, for instance to TATA in Singur and sometimes make huge profit. In Haldia, near Nandigram, East Medinipur, Haldia Development Authority (HDA) acquired land (and it gave the circular for the land acquisition in Nandigram as well). They started land acquisition to ‘develop’ Haldia. Here we will see how HDA made huge profit from the land of poor peasantry.

Couple of days before, Buddha came Haldia to lay the foundation stone of a bio diesel factory of Imamy group. HDA gave 30 acres of land to Imamy with a rate of Rs 7 lakh/acre whereas when it acquired the land from farmers, it spent Rs 75 thousand to 1 lakh/acre. In the same way, HDA gave 25 acres and 3.5 acres to S T V Technologies at Bargashipur for IT park and housing complex respectively. In its 87th board meeting, HDA decided the rate Rs 14 lakh/acre for 25 acres land. The rate for 3.5 acres was Rs 20 lakh/acre. Interestingly when HDA acquired the same land it paid only Rs 1.15 lakh/acre at the most. Similarly, it gave 50 acres of land in Chakdwip and 10 acres more in three other places to R D B Industries for a proposed track terminal. For this land HDA asked the rate of 15 lakh/acre (and additional Rs 1000/acre as annual rent). This land was also acquired with a rate of Rs 1.15 lakh/acre from the farmers.

This is how WB government serves the interest of poor peasants.

On the other hand, in Singur, it continues to subsidize TATA. It decided to spend Rs 18 lakh for the dredging of Julkia canal and overall improvement of the drainage system near the proposed TATA factory in Singur. Interestingly, we have been listening from Buddha and other CPM leaders that TATA will spend money for the infrastructure development in Singur. In reality government is doing that in favour of TATA with our money. Interestingly, people of Singur demanded the dredging so many times in past years; it was turned down because of insufficient funding.

We would like to ask, from where this fund comes now?
Doesn’t it show that the sole job of the government is to lick the boots of big companies?

Crackdown In Jammu And Kashmir: Humiliation At Its Worst

Crackdown In Jammu And Kashmir: Humiliation At Its Worst

By Syed Junaid Hashmi

24 April, 2007
Countercurrents.org

Although people in Jammu and Kashmir have learnt a number of obnoxious terms in the last seventeen years yet the term which has dominated the discourse is "Crackdown". Legal experts describe the term as "illegitimate, high-handed and atrocious" and opine that such operations in the present atmosphere are uncalled for.

Oxford dictionary defines the term "Crackdown" as "An act or example of forceful regulation, repression, or restraint" while Cambridge explains it as "crushing, quelling, stifling, suppression, forceful prevention; putting down by power or authority. The dictionary adds that it is the oppression of heresy; the quelling of the rebellion and the stifling of all dissent".

In Jammu and Kashmir, especially in those areas where violence continues in some form, crackdown is a cordon-and-search operation in which security forces surround neighbourhoods or villages and compel all male adults and teenaged boys to assemble for identification.

Those who have faced this say that informer, whose face generally remain covered, working alongside security forces point out to "alleged militants" or militant sympathizers or relatives of the militants, adding that those pointed out are detained without any warrant of arrest memo.

Legal experts say that although the security forces enjoy special powers under various laws but nowhere has anything like crackdown been mentioned in these laws. They add that legal provisions do grant powers to security forces to arrest, search and detain without warrant but carrying out a search operation where threat to the lives of the common man increases cannot be justified.

They add that directions have been passed by various courts including the highest court of law i.e. Supreme Court of India have stressed that security forces should not be allowed to arrest or carry out any procedure on suspicion alone. These directions maintain that all their actions should have an objective basis so that they are judicially reviewable which would also assist those who file suit against the security forces.

Those who have faced the crackdowns say that those detained are often tortured and in some cases, those detained died in the custody of security forces. Human rights organizations Amnesty International (AI), Human Rights Watch (HRW) and even the state human rights commission (SHRC) have documented cases where people have been detained during the "crackdowns" only to be killed later on in custody.

Further, some analysts say that search operations like "crackdown" have alienated masses in Kashmir and those who may not have been in favour of secession in the past, have become so. "By allowing the security forces to carry out search operations like "crackdown", alienation has increased because people perceive it as government's persistent sanctioning of grave human rights violations by the security forces in the state," said a human rights activist.

He added that it is a common practice for security forces to conduct round ups. "Even today, houses are combed without reserve and inhabitants savagely beaten and threatened; old people were outraged. In general, a common man in any part of Jammu and Kashmir undergoes an experience of deep humiliation when he is caught in a search operation like crackdown, thus adding to the alienation and making the task of winning hearts stiffer," said a senior leader of a prominent political party requesting anonymity.

Researchers from Kashmir University maintain that a lot of women are crying for the fate of their husbands and sons who either went missing or were killed in custody after being arrested during a "crackdown" where they were identified by informers working alongside army and paramilitary forces.

Experts say that in-view of the emerging consensus on addressing the alienation of masses in Jammu and Kashmir; the term should have lost significance during the last ten years but they add that what "democratically" elected governments after 1996 should have taken care of was abandoned. They add that "Crackdown" is the worst form of abuse of special powers which security forces have been enjoying and an important factor in increasing alienation among the masses towards the democratic values.

When contacted, a senior police officer who was previously part of the Special Operation Group (SOG) of Jammu and Kashmir recently said that "crackdown" is worst form of human rights violation which should be stopped immediately. "People work alongside if you win their hearts, I have practically experienced this and it is amply important in the present circumstances that search operations like "Crackdown" are stopped once and for all," said the senior police officer.

He added that crackdown increases the hatred among the people towards the security forces and takes them further away from the road of peace and prosperity. Senior People's Democratic Party Leader Nizamuddin Bhat said that Crackdown is an obnoxious term.

"These types of operations go against the spirit of human values. Keeping people out in the chill of winter or blistering heat of summer do amounts to committing human rights violations, hence these type of operations should be stopped once and for all," added Bhat.

He stressed that PDP has always desired to create an atmosphere where peace is restored in the state with dignity. "For restoring peace with dignity, every such operation which can alienate people should be stopped, there are various other ways of conducting search operations," added the PDP Leader.

President Kashmir Bar Association Mian Abdul Qayoom said that this is the worst form of human rights violation. He stressed that "crackdown" is a punishment given to those people who rise against oppression and tyranny. "There are number of terms which have no legal justification but due to the prevailing uncertainty in the state, security forces hardly take care of legality and illegality while carrying out such operations," added Qayoom.

Writer is a journalist, presently associated with jammu and kashmir's oldest and widely circulated newspaper "The Kashmir Times". He can be reached at syedjunaidhashmi@gmail.com

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Nandigram effect on Raigard project

CM stays land acquisitions for Raigad SEZ
Deshmukh Has Issued Instructions To The District
Collector To Halt All Deals Immediately
Prafulla Marpakwar | TNN

Mumbai: After a delay of more than a month, chief
minister Vilasrao Deshmukh on Wednesday stayed all
land acquisitions for the Mukesh Ambani-led multicrore
SEZ project in the Uran-Pen-Panvel belt in coastal
Raigad district.

Though Deshmukh was not available for comment, a
senior Congress minister confirmed that the chief
minister had issued instructions to the Raigad
collector, saying pending the centre's decision on
size of the SEZs and procedure for land acquisition,
the ongoing land acquisition process should be
immediately stopped. "We are awaiting instructions
from the centre,'' the Congress minister told TOI.

On March 23, Deshmukh had assured the legislative
council that there would be no forcible acquisition of
land for the SEZ. A day later, the chief minister had
declared that even if the land acquisition was in
progress, the district collector would not pass the
final award for transfer of land from the farmer to
the SEZ.

On April 5, a high-level empowered group of
ministers (EGoM) decided that at no stage would the
government intervene in acquisition of land. They also
fixed a cap of 5,000 hectares for a SEZ.

Significantly, Deshmukh's assurance, followed by
the decision of the EGoM, prompted Raigad collector D
S Zagde to write to the forest secretary. In his
letter dated April 11, Zagde submitted that the
assurance given on the floor of the House and the
decision of the EGoM had led to confusion at the
ground level as there were no clear instructions.

Simultaneously, an MPCC committee led by senior
Congress leader Sanjay Nirupam too had cautioned
against making any hasty move in view of the
discontent among the local farmers. The farmers had
made it clear that they were against the project
irrespective of the compensation package.

Deshmukh's decision to stay the land acquisition
proceedings and the recommendation of the EGoM are
being viewed as a major setback to the Reliance SEZ
project, which had planned to acquire 9,103 hectares
of land in 45 villages of Raigad district.

Presently, the land acquisition process is in
different stages and, as per the provisions of the
Land Acquisition Act, if a notification under section
6 (intention to acquire land) is not issued before May
30, 2007, then the entire process will be declared
null and void. If that happens, the whole process will
have to be launched afresh.

Industries department officials say it's a piquant
situation. "Reliance has proposed to acquire more than
9,000 hectares. Will they agree to the proposal if
they are now asked to scale it down to 5,000?.
Further, if the government refuses to acquire the
land, who will undertake that work? Without government
support, it will not be possible to acquire land from
private parties,'' the official added.

In addition, even if the centre amends rules, it
remains to be seen if it will have retrospective
effect.

FIELDING FOR FARMERS

March 23: Deshmukh assures legislative council
that there will be no forcible acquisition of land for
the SEZ

April 5: High-level group empowered group of
ministers decides that at no stage will the government
intervene in the land deals. They also fix a cap of
5,000 hectares for a SEZ. Mukesh Ambani-led SEZ
project had proposed to acquire 9,103 hectares

Simultaneously, MPCC committee led by Sanjay
Nirupam cautions against any hasty move in view of the
discontent among local farmers

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Fall of the Tatas

[The following informative article was published in Comrade Anoop saha's Blog. I have just cross pasted it]

NDTV is running a poll for the “Person of the year”, urging its viewers to vote for the most influential Indian for the year 2006. The list has famous achievers from all sections of the society, and there is nothing wrong with the list. Except the glitch that the list starts with the name of Ratan Tata, head of Tata group of Companies.

Not only is the inclusion of Ratan Tata’s name in the person of the year nominees a slap on the face of all free and right-minded individuals, it is actually a sacrilege considering his involvement in rapes, murders and mass murders in past one year. There was a time, till the times of JRD Tata, when the Tata group was considered as one of the most honest and upright enterprises in India. The name of Tata inspired awe from free-marketers and socialists alike, for their fair approach to business. That was the time when the top management of Tata boasted of names like Moolgaonkar, Russi Mody, Palkhivala and many more strong individuals. That time is gone, Ratan Tata succeeded JRD as the chairman of Tata group, and under him the company has become more like an organized crime syndicate. This was even more glaring in 2006 than ever in the past.
The year started with the massacre of 12 tribals in Kalinganagar, Orissa. On 2nd January, as a new year gift to them, 12 tribals were showered with police bullets in Orissa. They were protesting against acquisition of their land for a Tata steel plant. On the appointed day, the foundation stone was to be laid for the steel plant. The tribals, outraged at the whole process of land acquisition, laid siege of the site. The state government, in its servility to the tatas, and to show the adivasis their proper place, mindlessly fired at the crowd. The sequence of events vary depending on whether you are asking the people involved or the government, but this report by a fact finding team tries to present the truth in its undiluted form. Not only were the adivasis killed, their bodies were badly mutilated afterwards. The arrogance of the state was all too much visible. The tatas have excused themselves of any blame, and have since then continued their steel-making enterprise with even more vigour.

Something similar happenned in Lohandiguda near Jagdalpur in the tribal heartland of Chhattisgarh. Lohandiguda was the theater of tribal unrest in mid-1960s, when led by their ex-ruler Pravir Chandra Bhanj Deo, the tribals revolted against the policies of the central government of India. Their demands were simple, cheaper rice and relief from famine. Just for asking that, the state forces open-fired on the protesters, who were assembled in the maharaja’s palace, and killed the raja along with “thirteen” tribals. (Although official records say that only 13 adivasis were killed, eyewitnesses claim that thousands were murdered.) This marvellous part of Bastar’s history demands a separate post, or a new book.

Coming back to Lohandiguda, the Chhattisgarh government sanctioned land for the tatas to build a steel plant there. The MoU signed with the tatas have not yet been made public. On the other hand, blatant force was used(link: pdf) to force the adivasis living there to surrender their land at paltry sums. The village elders were arrested on the eve of gram sabha, section 144 was imposed, and they were forced to sign on the documents. The details can be read here (Go to the section, “What Essar can do, the Tatas can too”). A group of 20 farmers, who were forcefully displaced from their land were in New Delhi in September 2006. They wanted to do a press conference in Delhi, describing their plight. However none of the media houses were interested in covering those protests, as they had no support from any politician. One particular magazine editor told them blatantly, “If we publish your story, first the tatas will stop their advertisements. Next they will file a defamation suit, and it will entail considerable expense on our part.”. So much for the fairness of the media.
By the yearend, the Singur imbroglio has reached its zenith. Both in terms of protests, and state repression. Protests at Singur symbolizes the poor man’s fight against the mighty state and its agents in the private houses (Or Private houses and their agents in the government). Ratan Tata, who is NOT an engineer, who has never been involved closely with the working of Telco has designed a car. According to him, a fundamental change in suspension, a plastic body, and in-house-parts will decrease the cost of a car. The state of West Bengal, is all too accommodating in catering to the whims of Ratan Tata. His personal choice of prime agricultural land was acquired forcefully, because raw materials will be cheaply available. How can the state be so subversive to the personal whims of a crook?

On 18th december, even when Ratan Tata was one his way to be NDTV’s person of the year, a 19 year old woman activist Tapasi Mallick was raped, burnt and murdered in the fields of Singur by the goons hired by the Tatas. The land where her body was found was inside the zone where boundary was been put and protesting villagers were not allowed. The state first dismissed the reports of rape, and the media chose to ignore it at first. The outrage that followed, compelled the WB state to order a CBI inquiry. Why was the woman raped? Just because she does not want to part with her land. Just because she had the courage of standing up to the personal whims of a crook? It is entirely possible that her rape was planned in the Tata office, inside Ratan Tata’s room, to send a signal to the protesting farmers? And then the man had the audacity of claiming that his competitors are fuelling the fire in Singur. Sick, I say. Buddhadeb thinks otherwise.
What’s common to all these events. What’s common to Kalinganagar, Lohandiguda and Singur. Tatas were involved in all of these projects. There are countless others in all oarts of India. It is shameful that the business house, that was once regarded as the fairest of them all, the one that was believed as it could never bribe its way to the top, has become such a nasty syndicate under the current leadership. It is indeed sad that the man who employed all kind of fraudulent means to defame his own colleagues, who were some of the best brains of India, the man who cheated his own employees and brutally crushed the trade unions, that man is media’s poster boy of 2006. He is going to be crowned as India’s Person of the Year. In the year when his organization was involved in rapes, cheating and mass-murders.
I Object.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Sick educational system of West Bengal

Inspite of the big claims made by the pseudo-leftist Left front govt. of West Bengal, it has been proved in a recent survey that the elementary educational system of Bengal is one of the worst in India.
Government of India (MHRD, Department of School Education and Literacy) and National University for Educational Planning and Administration (NUEPA) er educational development index er basis e report :

1. The five “worst ranking” states on a composite primary and upper primary (together known as elementary) are Bihar (35), Jharkhand (34), Assam (33), Uttar Pradesh (32), Arunachal Pradesh (31) and West Bengal (30).

2. The situation in Rajasthan (51.74), Jharkhand (59.38), West Bengal (58.26) and Uttarakhand (52.31) are alarming with less than 60 percent children completing the primary cycle


3. The net enrolement ratio at the primary level is 82.76 - with almost 17% children in the 6-11 age group not enrolled in school!

4. In 17 of the districts enrolment in classes 1 to 5 declines over the last year.

5. Only 46.14 percent of boys and 44.70 per cent of girls passes the class 4 examination with more than 60 percent marks.

6. In the academic year 2003-04, 79 percent of the children who completed class 4 were able to enrol in class 5 (upper primary school).

7. Only 33.11 per cent of teachers reported that they got any in-service training.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Amnesty International statement on state force built up in Jagatsinghpur,Orissa

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL

Public Statement
AI Index: ASA 20/009/2007 (Public)
News Service No: 069
11 April 2007

India: Orissa should avoid forced evictions in Jagatsinghpur, instead consult farmers protesting against displacement

Amnesty International is deeply concerned at reports that farmers in Jagatsinghpur in the eastern Indian state of Orissa, protesting against their proposed displacement by the state government for a new industrial project, currently fear forced evictions at the hands of the state police force.

Tension has been high in Jagatsinghpur district after 1,000 officers of the state police force encircled Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujang panchayats, apparently preparing to enter the area. Several villages in the area have been the scene of protests by farmers for the last 14 months against their displacement due to an integrated steel plant to be set up by the South Korean firm, POSCO.

Amnesty International urges that lessons should be learnt from the unfortunate episodes of violence which recently unfurled themselves in Kalingar Nagar (in Orissa) and Nandigram (in neighbouring West Bengal). The use of police force – in a context where consultations have not been held with protesting local communities – resulted in 13 deaths in Kalinga Nagar and at least 14 deaths in Nandigram, apart from serious injuries.

Amnesty International wishes to remind the Government of Orissa of Principle 9 of the Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, which says that “law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defence or defence of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury, to prevent the perpetration of a particular serious crime involving great threat to life, to arrest a person presenting such a danger and resisting their authority or to prevent his or her escape, and only when less extreme means are insufficient to achieve these objectives.” Any action by the police must be in proportionate response to the action by demonstrators and should avoid unnecessary injuries to civilians.

Amnesty International believes that full consultations about the human rights impact of economic decisions with those to be affected are vital means through which human rights are safeguarded in the context of development.

Amnesty International seeks to remind governments of their obligations to find ways of balancing respect for human rights with attempts to achieve
economic growth. Amnesty International reiterates that sustainable development cannot be measured solely in terms of economic indicators: it is a holistic process that embraces the development of civil society, the strengthening of the rule of law and the fulfilment of individuals’ and groups’ aspirations in the civil and political, social and cultural as well as economic spheres.

In this respect, the organisation reiterates its demand that the Government of Orissa should:

avoid forced evictions;

announce and implement a consistent policy of full consultation with local populations before any development which could affect their livelihood can
take place;

and ensure that, where it is proposed to resettle populations, there is just, adequate and culturally-sensitive rehabilitation, resettlement and reparation for those affected.

Background

Since June 2005, Jagatsinghpur district has witnessed frequent protests against possible displacement following the Government of Orissa’s decision to enter into an agreement with POSCO to enable the latter to set up its integrated steel plant. Since February 2006, protestors have erected barricades in the area where the plant is to come up and prevented officials from entering several villages. The area witnessed violence in February 2007 when elections were held to local bodies in Orissa.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Another Nandigram

The Orissa Govt. has been trying to grab land of poor fishermen and peasants at Paradip in Orissa and give it to steel giant POSCO to set up their Steel plant. The heroic people of the region have been carrying out mass movement to protest this inhuman land grab. But the reactionary govt. of Orissa led by Naveen Pattanaik, the trusted henchman of the Imperialists has not given any importance to the cry of the people and has been proceeding in his evil path.
Now his govt. has sent several platoons of police in the area to crush the resistance built up by the residents of the area.
Is it another Kalinganagar or Nandigram in the making?
Following is a news report on the recent events in Orissa:-

TENSION levels have shot up in and around the Posco project site with heavy police bandobast, even as the Orissa government is under immense pressure to pave the way for the ground-breaking ceremony of the 12 million tonne steel plant project at Paradip. It has deployed 16 platoons of armed police forces in and around Paradip with the public hearing on environmental issues scheduled to be held at Kujang, barely 15 km from the project site.

More police forces are being rushed to Kujang, police sources said, adding that the district authority is determined to hold panchayat polls in villages where the polling could not take place in February.

This is the first major step the state government has taken ever since villagers under various banners have been blocking the entry of government and Posco officials into the villages identified for the project site for the past two years.

The public hearing will be conducted on Sunday by the district collector in the presence of Orissa Pollution Control Board, union ministry for environment and forest representatives, villagers and company officials.

Protesters see the build up of police force for the panchayat polls as an alibi to enter villages that will be displaced. In fact, in a memorandum to the district collector, protesting organisations have demanded that the public hearing be conducted in the villages.

With the Kalinganagar episode still fresh in people's mind, the police have been asked to avoid direct confrontation. "We are sending armed police forces to Kujanga to clear roadblocks illegally created by some local people. As the first step, we will hold discussions and persuade them to remove all road blockades. If anybody tries to create trouble or indulges in illegal activities , we would certainly take action against them as per law," said Jagatsinghpur superintendent of police Yashwant Kumar Jethwa.

The standoff between reluctant villagers and the state government has of late worsened further after the violence at Nandigram and Kalinganagar.

Violent clashes between supporters and opponents of the Posco project were reported last week. Last month, some 50 people were injured in the clashes. Angry farmers have erected several blockades at the entrance to some villages under the Posco project area near Paradip to keep both government officials and Posco executives away. Government officials have not been able to enter the area ever since the country's biggest FDI project was announced.

Of late, the state government has decided to use force to clear the blockades, apparently to hold the panchayat election not held in villages that are protesting against the project. Later, it could plan to acquire the land from villagers in a subtle manner.

Anti-Posco activists led Abhaya Sahoo of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti have already declared that they would not allow the government to acquire an inch of cultivable or homestead land in Dhinkia, Gadakujanga and Nuagaoan panchayats, where the plant is supposed to come up.

Meanwhile, Tamil Pradhan, working president of Posco Jana Sampark Parishad, a pro-Posco organisation said his organisation would render all sorts of peaceful cooperation to the district administration for peaceful settlement of the land acquisition problem. He, however, criticised the state government for its "inept" handling of land acquisition.

Monday, April 9, 2007

SFI strike unsuccessful

Yesterday SFI called a student's strike in all universities of West Bengal and all colleges of Kolkata to regain the ground that they lost during the events of Nandigram. They tried all their dirty tricks of terror and intimidation to achieve their aims. But the democratic students foiled their plans and the strike was a total failure. Here is a newspaper report.

Strike fizzles out on JU campus
- SFI at Writers’ with assault complaints, pledged drastic steps

Jadavpur University (JU) defied the students’ strike on Monday, called by the SFI to protest vandalism on the campus on the night of April 5. Elsewhere in the city, classes were to some extent disrupted on campuses where the SFI controls the students’ union.

SFI supporters at JU could not prevent classes from being held, despite attempts at convincing students to join the protest. The bandh-supporters even tried to form a barricade at one of the gates, but police deployed outside the campus were quick to disperse them.

Members of the SFI state committee met chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee at Writers’ Buildings in the afternoon and sought his intervention in restoring normalcy at JU, on the boil since We the Independents (WTI) swept the science faculty election.

In their memorandum to the chief minister, the leaders alleged that two supporters were beaten up at JU and five at Jogesh Chandra College. “The chief minister promised drastic steps to restore a democratic atmosphere at JU,” said Apurba Chatterjee, SFI state secretary.

At Medical College and Hospital, SFI supporters tried to close a classroom but were outnumbered by students wanting to attend class.

At Presidency College, 10-odd SFI supporters put up posters and shouted slogans, but classes were held as usual.

Members of the JU Karmachari Sansad, observing an indefinite ceasework demanding arrest of those who had ransacked their office on April 5, refused to unlock the classrooms. But that had little effect, as teachers opted to take classes in their offices.

By 11 am, the 100-odd SFI supporters trying to enforce the bandh seemed to have lost steam, as representatives of the students’ unions of all three faculties arranged for the classrooms to be opened.

The Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association organised a sit-in on the campus in support of two of their colleagues accused of beating up WTI members, but only 100 of the 1,000-plus teachers could be seen at the venue.

The SFI supporters quit the university gates by noon, but announced in the evening that they would hold a rally on the campus on Tuesday.

Students, teachers and non-teaching staff members of other institutions have been invited to the meeting. Students expressed fear that outsiders are being brought in only to assault anti-SFI students.

Top

Friday, April 6, 2007

That Night In Nandigram

Source: Soumitra Basu, Editor, Anyaswar. March 16th, 2007

Last night 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.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Medical convention against Nandigram massacre

Yesterday there was a protest convention by Doctors, nurses and medical students in Moulali juba kendra(Youth centre) in kolkata.
Several distinguished guests form medical fraternity spoke against the fascist aggression against the people by the CPM lumpens and police.
A CD was shown where graphic details of the atrocities were filmed.
A 12 to 13 yrs. girl told that how she was raped by CPM men.
A mother of two , was raped in front of her children and husband by CPM goons. They threatened to kill her two children if she resisted the rape.

It was alleged that small children were hacked by choppers and their body parts were either burnt in brick field furnace or were taken to the sea and put into fishing nets filled with stones and thrown into the water.

IN A NUT SHELL THE TERROR IN NANDIGRAM WAS BARBARISM AT IT'S WORST FORM.

CPM terror after loosing

It seems that SFI, the student's wing of the social fascist CPM is on a never ending loosing spree.
Yesterday they were decisively defeated in the elections to the Engineering faculty(FETSU) and Science faculty(SFSU) elections.
In Science faculty an organisation named WTI(We the Independents) won all the four portfolio seats trampling SFI.
In Engineering and technology faculty SFI was defeated for the consecutive 31st year by DSF(Democratic Student's Front) in all the five portfolio seats.

SFI was visibly shaken by this defeated and they resorted to their predictable behavior of intimidation and violence.This time they called their elder brothers in CPM to unleash the fascist terror.
About 90 criminals belonging to the co-ordination committee(the govt. employee's wing of CPM) came with iron rods and chains and attacked the victory procession of WTI.4 to 5 students were injured. There were also allegations of molestation by CPM cadres on the female students.
However the students put up a valiant resistance and the criminals were forced to retreat.

Following is newspaper report on yesterday's events published in a leading Kolkata daily:-

KOLKATA April 5: Seven students were injured in a clash between students, teachers and non teaching staff following the victory of an anti-SFI students organisation in the science faculty students’ union elections at Jadavpur University this afternoon. In engineering faculty too the Democratic Students Federation (DSF) defeated SFI.
Students belonging to “We The Independent” (WTI), who won the elections in Jadavpur University’s science faculty, alleged that they were attacked by the members of Karmachari Sansad and two teachers, namely Prof Deepak Kesh of Mathematics department and Prof Arghya Deb of Physics department.
Among the injured students who were admitted in MR Bangur hospital were Surajit Sarkar, Someswar Chandra, Sourav Guha, Sourav Mitra, Suman Mazumdar and Proto Banerjee.
Prof Subrato Pal, dean of science faculty said it was difficult to identify the students and teachers amidst the chaos that took place in the University premises.
At a meeting attended by dean of science and engineering, heads of Physics and Chemistry departments, Prof Keshab Bhattacharya, secretary of Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) and Prof Deepak Kesh, the accused teacher, it was recommended that the students should submit a written complaint to the vice chancellor. Prof Swadesh Ranjan Roy Chowdhury, HOD (chemistry) said this meeting was necessary to safeguard the reputation of the University which has gained the status of a five-star institute. Another teacher on conditions of anonymity said: “There’s a certain political party who use outsiders and their political power to gain victory in the students’ poll and thus ruin the reputation of the institution.” Mr Swapan Ghosh, vice president of Karmachari Sansad said: “The students first attacked the science club and then vandalised the Sansad office. We were not involved in any clashes.”nSNS

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

SP admits to rape by policemen

KOLKATA: West Bengal police have confirmed that two of their men raped a woman protester at Nandigram — an admission that is sure to compound matters for the CPM leadership and the state government already reeling under the disastrous fallout of cop and cadre excesses at the proposed SEZ site last month.


The rape "confession" came from East Midnapore police superintendent Anil Srinivas and is part of a report that chief secretary Amit Kiran Deb has forwarded to the West Bengal Human Rights Commission, which is probing charges of rape and molestation on March 14, when Nandigram witnessed large-scale violence.


According to sources, the police chief of East Midnapore acknowledged that the claim of one of the two women who had accused policemen of raping them is true. "The brief fact of...Nandigram PS case number 44/07 is that on 14.03.07 at about 12 pm, the two police personnel caught Sona and raped her. The complainant fell unconscious and was taken to the Nandigram BPHC for treatment. Later (she was) referred to Purba (East) Midnapore district hospital on 16.03.07 and discharged on 25.03.07 after necessary treatment," the report states. The Times of India

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Final Medical Report on Nandigram

Final Medical Report from Nandigram
Here is the report of the injuries as documented by three medical teams.
The data were analysed and the report is prepared by Dr. Sumita Das and Shubhashis Mukherjee.
Circulate the report widely.

After the incident of firing by the police at Bhangabera, Nandigram on 14.3.2007, report of large-scale ailment arising out of and as a consequence of the said incident had reached the media. Some doctors and health workers decided to visit the affected area to render the very urgent medical help to the people affected by the incident.

A team of doctors (Medical Service Centre, Kolkata) visited several affected areas of Nandigram on 17.3.2007 and came out with a report which was reported in the press.

On 18.3.2007, a team comprising of 6 physicians including 2 female physicians, 3 junior doctors, 3 sisters, medical students and health-workers, organanised by three public-spirited organizations working on health, i.e., SRAMAJIBI SWASTHA UDYOG, PEOPLES’ HEALTH and JANASWASTHA SWADIKAR MANCHA visited some of the affected areas of Nandigram to render medical help to the affected people.

They found that the severely injured persons were already taken to the hospital and persons who were critically injured had already been transferred to Tomluk and SSKM/ RG Kar MCH of Kolkata. But they found that a large population, predominantly women were suffering from blunt trauma, very often multiple, had not received any medical help. The same is true also for a very large number of people, suffering from eye-problems ( watering, photophobia, burning sensation, redness in eyes etc.) even 4 days after the tear-gas exposure ( on 14.3.2007). People were also suffering from mental trauma, though unfortunately the medical team did not have a psychiatrist or a psychologist who could have professionally assess the actual extent of the trauma.

The medical team treated 129 patients and had the opportunity to talk to about 300 victims, who described the unprovoked and brutal attack on unarmed assembly of villagers, including a large number of women and children which continued even after people had dispersed and was trying to flee from the scene. The women also described with horrid details of sexual assaults on them. Attackers, they said included a large number of persons with police uniform but with chappals. The Medical Team had also found that return to their home and resume their normal activities. Camps were organized by the local people to provide food for these affected people. These camps were suffering from an acute shortage of provisions required to run the kitchen ( the medical team provided a day’s provision to one camp).

The next visit took place on 21.3.2007. It was a general relief cum medical relief team consisting of two physicians and 4 health workers. There was plan for documenting the trauma of the victims, though due to shortage of time, addition burden of general relief work, the number of patients treated and documented was limited to 30 in three different places. We provided general relief and provisions to four different relief camps in the affected areas worth Rs 15, 790.

The third visit was on 24-25th March, 2007 . from the experience of two previous visits by the medical team, it was decided that the team should stay in the affected areas for overnight to render more intensive and extensive medical assistance, and that it would concentrate on medical relief only. This time the team comprised of eight doctors, including two female doctors and one orthopedic surgeon, one sister and seven health workers. They organized 4 medical camps, in Southkhali ( 24.3.2007), Sonachura High School (25.3.2007), Kalicharanpur Primary School ( 25.3.2007) and Dakshin Jalpai, Bhangabera (25.3.2007).
GENERAL OBSERVATIONS:

It was seen from the T.V. clips that many persons were shot at the chest, abdomen and even in their heads, though when dispersing a mob, the police is to “use as little force and do as little injury to person and property as may be consistent with dispersing the assembly, arresting and detaining such persons”. ( Section 130, CrPc).
The medical team also saw bullet injuries (grazing) at the face level.
The number of victims was found to be very large and included a large number of women and children also.
The lathi charge was extensive, it was inflicted even on women who had already fled from the place of assembly and was hiding in nearby houses and bushes in and around the place. This lathi charge was severe, producing multiple blunt injuries with bruises which was evident on medical examination even on 4/7/11 and 12 days after the event. These injuries included fracture, spine injury, chest injury etc. Injury marks were mostly found on abdomen upwards. It may be mentioned here that when the medical team reached the scene, the people with major injuries had already been taken to various hospitals.
Many people suffered from the musculo-skeletal injuries including fall etc., as they were trying to escape the scene and police was persistently chasing them.
Many persons were injured due to beating by the police while they were trying to rescue the injured persons and the children.
Many women complained of sexual assault. They were also found to bear injury marks on their breasts, abdomen and private part. However, lack of privacy and other infrastructure prevented the medical team from proper physical examination and even thorough history taking.
A very large number of affected people, predominantly women, were found to be suffering from eye problems (burning sensation, watering, phototophobia, foreign body sensation, dimness in vision, headache etc), persisting even 11 days after the exposure to tear gas.
So much so that every camp attended to about 70-80 percent of patients suffering from eye problems related to tear gas exposure. Some persons also had injury from tear gas shell explosion, burning injury from contact of tear gas shell, history of breathlessness from close and prolonged exposure to tear gas etc. It may be mentioned that almost all the persons affected by the tear gas rinsed their eyes continuously with water for quite some time.
Thus it appears to the medical team that the gas used against the people may not be the usual tear gas ordinarily used to disperse the mob, but something unusual having more permanent and serious effects. The medical team urges a serious investigation into this matter.
It was found that although most of the severely wounded people were transferred to hospitals, a few seriously wounded persons, including a nine years old boy suffering from supracondylar fracture of arm, a case of spinal injury etc., practically received no medical attention. Also, many people, who attended Nandigram Hospital , did not receive medicines due to shortage of required medicine and many patients could not be investigated properly due to lack of infrastructure there. Patients suffering from eye problems specifically did not receive any medical treatment. It may be noted here that Nadigram Hospital (BPHC) may be called a glorified primary health center and not equipped to deal with so many serious injury and other cases. It was also learnt that Nandigram Hospital did not receive much additional support even after the incident.
An interesting observation was that very few patients came to the medical camp for ailments unrelated to the incidence of 14.3.2007 and those who came for injuries etc also mainly reported the injuries only and generally had no other medical complain.

Many patients were found to be suffering from mental trauma with symptoms of sleeplessness, anorexia, anxiety and fear. They were in fear of repeat of attack, anxiety for the safety of near and dear ones, and particularly about sexual assault of young daughters. But unfortunately the medical team did have trained human resource to properly assess situation, so the number of patients suffering from mental trauma mentioned here would be an understatement of the actual state of affairs. However, a team of psychiatrists and other mental health workers has already organized a camp in Sonachura on 31.3.2007. Their reports will be published soon.
Members of the March 24-25 medical team trained about 20 activists regarding cardio-pulmonary resuscitation, control of bleeding, management of fractures and transport of the injured. The trainees included two quack doctors. They were provided with first aid kits. The aim of the training was to prepare activists in handling injuries in further attacks.