सीपीएम की क्रांति

सीपीएम की क्रांति
हम एक लोकतंत्र में रह रहे हैं! 14 मार्च को हुई घटना और उसके बाद सीपीएम के बंद के दौरान गायब हुए दो सौ लोगों का अब तक कोई अता-पता नहीं है्. हां। कुछ लाशें हैं जो इलाके में इस हालत में पायी गयी हैं. क्या हम बता सकते हैं कि इन्होंने किस बात की कीमत चुकायी? क्या हम इसको लेकर आश्वस्त रह सकते हं कि हमें भी कभी ऐसी ही कीमत नहीं चुकानी पड़ेगी?

Monday, November 12, 2007

12 Nov 2007 - How CPM recaptured Nandigram

12 Nov 2007 - How CPM recaptured Nandigram

MIDNAPORE/KOLKATA: The plan to recapture Nandigram was drawn two weeks back in a meeting between two top CPM leaders from East and West Midnapore. An MP from East Midnapore and a state minister from West Midnapore were also present at the meet. The main point of discussion was how to bring back Nandigram, out of bounds for CPM supporters for the last 11 months. Armed men were used from at least three districts — West Midnapore, Bankura and North 24 Parganas — for ‘Operation Nandigram’ to flush out the opposition.

The first attempt to re-enter the villages and oust Bhumi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee supporters, who had held fort since early 2007, was made on March 14. The operation was conducted mainly by state police and did not bring the desired result. CPM had to go on the backfoot following widespread protests after the March 14 massacre. Since then no CPM leader has been able to set foot in Nandigram.

The party’s East Midnapore district unit was under pressure from its supporters in Nandigram who were forced to flee to Khejuri. Despite the talks of peace and aborted attempts to make the refugees return to the villages in small number, the guns along the Nandigram-Khejuri border were hardly ever silent. Leaders from both the districts had to set aside their differences to sort out the problem. CPM could not afford to let Nandigram remain out of its control till next year’s panchayat polls.

Also, the West Midnapore district unit has the experience of leading such an operation — Keshpur — in 2000. On November 4, local DYFI unit held a meeting at Heria (close to Khejuri) where it pledged to send back its homeless supporters to their villages. Two days before that, the process of withdrawing police from the troubles spot had already started.

Cadres — local criminals mostly involved in dacoity cases — for the operation were drawn from Chandrakona and Garbeta zonal committees. Also, cadres were sent from Narayangarh and Keshiary areas. Another group of around 250 armed CPM supporters and criminals came from the villages of Punishol at Onda and Rajpur, Taldangra in Bankura.

Sources said criminals were given money in advance and given a free-hand to bring whatever they could from the empty homes once the operation is complete. Sources said one such group that has returned to Onda came with motorcycles.

The Bankura group reached Nandigram after travelling by train and then road. The group boarded trains and allegedly got off at Balichak, four stations after Kharagpur, and then headed towards Nandigram via Khejuri in the guise of daily wage earners. They take the same disguise when they go to Bihar and Jharkhand to collect arms, sources said.

Most of these people are suspected to be running arms smuggling rackets. The arms used in the recapture operation are believed to have been supplied from these suppliers.

Another cache of arms came from Purulia where party workers had received arms to combat Maoists. It is also suspected that the arms gone missing after the Purulia arms drop are with CPM supporters and were smuggled to Nandigram.

The coal mafia from Burdwan is also believed to have played a key role in the operation. The money from the mafia is believed to have supplied funds for the operation, helped in procuring ammunition and hire vehicles that carried the armed men to the interior areas as the attack progressed.

November 11, 2007 - Who is fighting this turf-war, and why sides need to be taken

November 11, 2007 - Who is fighting this turf-war, and why sides need to be taken

By Partho Sarathi Ray, Sanhati

A few months ago Nandigram erupted over the question of forcible land-acquisition, protesting neo-liberal models of “development”. Today it can be said that the battle over Nandigram is not about the SEZ directly anymore - it is about territory. Economic questions and progressive issues have taken a back-seat, while all that seems to go on is turf-war. It is necessary to examine this, and clearly understand why one must still take sides, and in doing so who it is one supports. The CPI(M) district leadership has clearly stated that they are out to “recapture” lost territory. It is unthinkable for the CPI(M) that the people of a certain area has defied them and set up a pocket of resistance where the writ of the CPI(M) cannot run. (My home is in an area where not even a street light can be fixed if the CPI(M) doesn’t want it - a generic feature in the city, magnified thousandfold in the villages). The people of Nandigram had committed the cardinal mistake of defying the state government and the party machinery. They had to pay. A pocket of resistance could not be allowed to survive.

It is incidental that the Trinamul Congress or other political parties are leading this Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee; as soon as the CPI(M) authority in the area collapsed, there was a vacuum which was occupied naturally by the next available political party. The important fact is that CPI(M) hegemony in the area collapsed due to genuine progressive issues and the violent protests of masses of common people. The same masses of people have vehemently denied the ruling party the luxury of resuming control over their lives - a control that they have no reason to have faith towards. Conciliatory damage-control promises of compensations made at opportune moments cannot change the basic fact that the party-police machinery intends to regain economic control over peoples’ lives and mete out its perverted justice once it does so. People have protested - the leaders of this protest have emerged from existing political vacua - but it is the people who have protested.

The CPI(M) is trying to cover up the entire issue by telling us that it’s their homeless supporters who are returning to their homes in the process, but what they’re not saying is these people constituted the party machinery in the area and were naturally targetted when people realized that the CPI(M) was out to acquire their land for the SEZ. Its important for the CPI(M) that these people return in order to reinstate the party machinery. It is also important to discard the party’s attempts to distance itself from the police by promises of punishment towards offending officers- in reality, the police is the party and the party is the police, with minor reshuffling when the heat gets turned on.

The No-spin Zone - Nandigram, facts and myths (ongoing commentary)

The No-spin Zone - Nandigram, facts and myths (ongoing commentary)

November 11, 2007 - Are Maoists the new WMDs?

By Debarshi Das, Sanhati

To put things back into perspective, and to abstract from the histrionics of Mamata Banerjee, why did the Communist Party of India (Marxist) send its ground troops to Nandigram? Aided by a paralysed, obliging, administration? And Police looking the other way (even getting wounded in the process by CPM bullets!?

Let’s see what the Politbureau says. In a statement titled Nandigram: Check Maoist Violence it proclaims, “..they [BUPC] have ganged up with the Maoists who have brought in armed squads from outside West Bengal. For the past few months the administration and the police have been out of the area which has been utilised by the armed elements led by the Maoists to entrench themselves. Bunkers have been built and landmines laid. One of the squads is led by Ranjit Pal who was involved in the killing of JMM MP, Sunil Mahato in Jharkhand. The Maoists’ role has been exposed by the landmine blasts which took place on November 6. Of the five landmines that were planted, three exploded, killing two persons… ”.

Pretty impressive details of the enemy one must admit. But do the Police and the administration know all this? 7th November (the day after the said blast) Anandabazar Patrika reports, “..a part of the CPM claims two of their supporters have been killed by the mines laid by the Maoists who are members of the Resistance Committee [BUPC]. There was no satisfactory answer, however, as to how the Maoists could lay mines in the Mansingber area, beside the Bhangabera bridge in the CPM stronghold of Khejuri, evading the strong Police vigil. The district Police super says, ‘Two people have died in the explosion. Whether this is due to bombs or mines is not possible to assert at this moment.’ On land mines the state home secretary states, ‘Cannot be ascertained at present. We are investigating.’ Are the Maoists behind the blasts? Prasadbabu [the secretary] is of the opinion, so far it’s not clear. But he comments, ‘If it is a handiwork of the Maoists then it’s a matter of concern.’” (our translation)

Is the Politbureau in possession of information which is not available even to the Police? Or is it simply indulging in blatant lies? Has W. Bush become its partner in the hunt for WMD?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Nandigram has stood up

Nandigram has stood up

March 30, 2007

By Saroj Giri

Everytime in India, large numbers of people, as in Kalingangar, Singur and Nandigram today, stood in a direct and antagonistic relation to capital and the state, a middle class ideology of alternative plans and people’s plans has not just acted to limit the initiative and political character of the movement to the ‘enlightened interests’ of the urban radical intelligentsia but, as a consequence, capital has instead ultimately gone ahead with its own original plans without even any kind of green restructuring. And this happened since the problem is always identified at the level of a particular technology or system of production (industrial modernisation) and not in terms of social relations, not in terms of class and power relations.

The suggested way out is then not the overthrowing of the existing class, social relations, relations of power, but a new mode of technology, a new way of, as they say, ‘relating to nature’. The question of who will control this new way of relating to nature, who and which class will be in power, the fact that the proposed new, alternative people’s plan will also be part of the regime of capital is not raised. Hence the middle class debate on displacement and rehabilitation, and people’s plans ultimately ends up justifying, providing the rationale for a possible restructuring of capital: worse, when such middle class initiatives take the form of a social movement it ends up rallying huge masses of people in the interests of capital. However we have not seen anything like this really take place in our country and this is not due to the radical character of such a social movement but since capital in India is so arrogant and powerful today that, given the extremely favourable class and political balance of forces, it does not, on this account, feel the need to restructure itself. This means that post-Narmada Bachao Andolan, the radical urban middle class is redundant, no longer needed and retrenched by capital.

This, however, has opened the space for a direct and antagonistic fight between capital and the state on one side and the people on the other. Nandigram and before this Kalinganagar represent this new juncture in the relationship between capital and the different social sections and classes. Reports from Nandigram seem to suggest that people are not just fighting to keep their land and their present means of livelihoodbut they are also destroying the relations of power that tied them to capital and the state: the CPIM after all is not exaggerating when it says Nandigram was beyond the reach of the law. Now the problem for the state is not just the setting up of the industrial plant there but of first establishing this relationship, of ending the ‘liberated’ status of Nandigram.

In the absence of any middle class radicals ‘from outside’ in the movement (for example, Medha Patkar also seems to be no more than a concerned visitor there) and the isolation of the local MP who happens to belong to the CPM, Nandigram is today unrepresentable. Different political forces willing to represent Nandigram are making their rounds to end its unrepresentability and put it in some relationship with one or the other sector of capital and the state so that while the land acquisition would not take place and the proposed plant would not come up there, it should not become another Maoist ‘hotbed’. It has therefore triggered off a clear polarisation in the Indian polity today between capital and broad masses of the people. And this polarisation is clear and the contradiction sharp since except for the CPM the rest of the left and social movements who are broadly siding with affected people are however not in there among the masses fighting the brutal might of capital and the state in both Nandigram and Kalinganagar: they are outside lamenting at the violence and ‘loss of life’ and busy dissociating themselves from the CPIM. The Maoists are of course a different story.


In perhaps the most obscene instance of the internalisation of dissent, a West Bengal minister recently claimed that the ongoing industrialisation of the state through SEZs seeks to undermine Fukuyama’s thesis of the end of history. While this claim is ridiculously bogus, its obverse is strikingly true for some voices opposing the SEZs: don’t large sections of social movements believe that there is no possibility of large systemic transformation and most such attempts at revolutionary transformation end up in one or the other form of totalitarianism. History has ended and we need to work towards bettering conditions under some form of a benign, reformed capitalism. In the CPIM and the social movements we therefore have two forces: one speaking in the name of the onward march of History and the other opposing precisely the rationality of such a History which only tramples peoples’ lives and autonomous ways of life. If one is speaking in the name of History, a History which is objectively given from before, the other is opposing what happens in the name of History, History as a ruse to justify power.

Both positions are, however, complicit in exonerating itself from History as such, from the making of History. In treating History as identical to the depredations of capital or as merely an ideological construct used to legitimise certain regimes of power, both positions exclude the possibility of people as the makers of history. This is the possibility opened up by Nandigram which refused to submit to the dictates of capital nor to any kind of ‘pro-people’ representation or bargaining for the right kind of technology or rehabilitation package. Nandigram did not just reject the setting up of the plant but also freed itself, at least temporarily, from the relations of dominance and subjugation that tied it up with various sectors of capital and its representatives. Thus they have actually displayed the energy and creativity of making history and have actually disproved the thesis of the end of history. Again here Nandigram’s convergence with the Maoists cannot be underestimated.

The convergence of the positions of the CPIM and of the urban intelligentsia-led social movements, therefore, cannot be underestimated. Their refusal to view people as the makers of their own history comes out very clearly also in the debate on the question of the impact of industrial plants in the concerned areas. In its broad essentials the CPIM argues that industrialisation will create much needed employment in the state while the social movement position is that it will lead to displacement and the destruction of the means of livelihood. Now this is in many senses a sterile debate since there is no basic difference between them. Both the positions view the problem in terms of what impact the new technology or plant has on the people in the region so that each tells only half the story: for isn’t it true that both displacement and the creation of jobs would take place once the plants come up so that, within this framework, what position one takes now depends on a kind of cost-benefit analysis of whether the given employment generation justifies the displacement of people. Add to this the entire issue of rehabilitation package and other economic benefits to thedisplaced and then the entire issue turns on narrow economic benefits, compensation and relief packages. What is overlooked in this framework, is that regardless of whether people, in narrow economic terms, get a good or a bad deal, they are already in a relationship of dependence with capital and hence are regarded as merely victims of modernity.

The problem is that formulating the problem in terms of the impact of the industrial plant on the people or the region completely overlooks the fact that the setting up of these plants and industrial units are the expression of the relationship in which the people and the area stands to those who wield power both within that area and outside. The proposed plant or the technology to be used and the fact of displacement are an expression of the social relations that exist both in Nandigram and in society as a whole. Capitalist or feudal social relations existed in Nandigram before the present attempts at land acquisition and it is precisely since it was already enmeshed in such relations that capital and the state attempted to set up an industry there.

Now in most cases of the movement against displacement from industrial projects, social movements have failed to challenge these oppressive social relations since they do not view displacement/rehabilitation as a reflection/symptom of these relations, of the particular form of society. The coming up of the industrial plant is viewed as something coming from outside, which will, for social movements, lead to displacement and loss of livelihood and, for the CPIM, lead to much need employment generation in the state. It is true that the technology, the capital equipment etc come from outside the village or perhaps from even outside the country but that itself is not the problem. The problem is that it usually comes as a further intensification of the oppressive social relations that exist in Nandigram or in the country as a whole: that Nandigram is in the chain of capitalist and feudal exchange and production, whose political form is provided by its representation in Parliament.

Nandigram today has rebelled against these oppressive relations and have refused to be represented in the political processes of Indian democracy. The events there so far testify that they are not just against the industrial plant or for a better rehabilitation package but against the very power relations that seek to represent them in any form, including any mediation by social movement or NGOs. Further, it also forecloses radical middle class debates on big dam versus small dam, nature-friendly technology versus nature-destructive technology that are largely forgetful that capital, particularly late capitalism, can operate as much through small dams, wind-mills or through solar energy. The essential question is who controls, who has the power to decide, what are the social relations within which the technology, the industry, the dams operate. In rejecting not just the plant or the fact of displacement but all channels of representation and rehabilitation by all factions of capital and the state, Kalinganagar and Nandigram stand in an immediate and antagonistic relationship with capital today. No wonder various leaders of the CPIM are stressing on the role of Naxalites in fomenting trouble in Nandigram.


Kalinganagar and now Nandigram stand out since instead of making the cost-benefit calculations through the displacement/rehabilitation, livelihood-loss/job-creation, big industry/small industry ledger, they have refused any kind of quid pro quo, any truck with any faction of capital and the state. As the state ministers bitterly complained, Nandigram has been out of the reach of the law and the state since the last two months: like the banned Maoists it has outlawed itself. It has de facto seceded providing no chance to capital and the state to show their human faces, to provide jobs, to bring in perhaps a more eco-friendly technology which will not lead to displacement, or to put in place a more robust, inclusive democratic process.

This only means that the people of Nandigram have stood up and are defending themselves. In exiting from all relations with capital and the state their lives had no value and were killed. Various concerned citizens, human rights groups, and social movement initiatives are trying to side with the victims of the massacre and have called for a judicial inquiry and have upheld their right to dissent and protest. The way however to save them is not by bringing Nandigram back into the relations of capital and the state, by revalorising them as partakers in the system, but by reversing the flow of traffic: joining the people in Nandigram in seceding from the existing social relations. Marx once said, the educators need to be educated. One can today say, the saviours need to be saved. There is a real danger today that civil society initiatives might be used by capital and the state to bring Nandigram back to the ‘democratic process’ and stop it from slipping into the hands of the Maoists. Nandigram, unmediated and unrepresented, is what needs to be defended and replicated elsewhere in the country today. This will be the first step in refuting the thesis of the end of history.

2 Responses to “Nandigram has stood up”

  1. Anonymous Says:
    April 2nd, 2007 at 11:16 am

    Saroj’s writeup, though coherent and to the point, defocuses his own correct logic by utilising borrowed notions from ideological populism (”people” etc) and post-modernism. Statements like the following, which are abundant in the note, are in fact his own non-inclination to put things in a class perspective, of which he accuses others:

    “Reports from Nandigram seem to suggest that people are not just fighting to keep their land and their present means of livelihood but they are also destroying the relations of power that tied them to capital and the state”.

    Who are these people? Are all of them seeking to destroy “the relations of power that tied them to capital and the state”? If we understand the West Bengal situation in a political economic and historical perspective, we will have to disaggregate this “people”, since there isn’t any homogeneous connection of “the people” to “capital and the state” today (at least not in the societies like West Bengal, which are well integrated with the mainstream Indian political economy). There must be an attempt to understand and ‘deconstruct’ the present agitations in terms of class differentiation that has perpetuated in rural Bengal under the CPIM rule. Various class interests might have integrated temporarily in the present agitations, but this is not sustainable, any Marxist intervention should start with disaggregating them and strategising on this basis. Any “people” vs capital type logic is bound to lead to the deadend of the status quoist power politics which nurtures itself by such homogenised dichotomisations, “civil society” vs the state etc.

    In my view, Saroj is correct when he criticises “rights groups” “social movement” for their legalist and ‘right’-ist discourses, but he utilised similar reified notions of people, outside, secession etc. Like the former, he too thinks in terms of “middle class” “joining the people”. The only difference is that the former suffers from the middle class impotency, while Saroj seems to represent his energy from the middle class self-hatred which integrates him with the Maoists.

  2. rama Says:
    May 31st, 2007 at 7:12 am

    Here’s an article by Sunanda Sanyal published in The Statesman (Kolkata) of 31 May 2007.

    The pus focus of a deep festering abscess

    by Sunanda Sanyal

    What’s absolutely the limit to violence on their women that males in Bengal can bear with? What future do those living in Bengal intend for their children? These are two of the many questions that confront us today, following the state terrorism at Singur and Nandigram.

    On 18 December, 2006, Tapasi Malik went out, before it got light, to defecate in a field close to her house at Singur. Girls her age have to because the state government has failed to cash in on the centrally-sponsored Nirmal Gram (Clean Village) Project which funds toilets in poor homes. Tapasi was seized by the hands and legs, gagged, and repeatedly raped. She was lifted to a fireplace and thrust into it – headfirst. Well, my description of her death by fire is imaginary but, you can see, the reality must have been as grim, if not grimmer. However, contemporary Bengal failed to sense the searing pain Tapasi had been through – till she died. We in Bengal failed to burst into the kind of rage that the CPI-M takes seriously. And Nandigram happened, as a result!

    Dr Sarmistha Roy, who has worked with medical teams at Nandigram, says the women in particular had been shot at the genitalia. A cadre, reported Medha Patkar to the Governor, pressed a rod into a woman’s vagina. Her uterus ruptured. Another woman, Kabita Das (35), was pinned between two sticks, and gang raped. Her husband tried to rescue her, but forced to watch on instead, since the cadres had threatened to dash their six-month-old baby to the ground and stamp it underfoot. The Statesman reported (21 March) that Sahadeb Pramanick (30), a CPI-M cadre from Gangra, was caught on 20 March while sneaking into Sonachura. He admitted to having raped two women, including a 13-year-old, on 14 March. It is also widely reported that police had opened fire near a bridge on March 14, virtually helping the CPI-M cadres to shepherd 17 girls into a deserted house owned by Shankar Samanta, a CPI-M leader. The CBI officials later found bits and pieces of women’s undergarments there, stained with blood. “Villagers had heard women’s shrieks from that house, which the cadres guarded.”

    Led by Ganamukti Parishad, this writer visited Tamluk Hospital where he met a farmer’s wife in her twenties. Seeing a man in his mid-seventies, she confided that she was gang raped in the presence of policemen, the cadres tore off her blouse, and bit off her nipples. One of the women she knew had a part of her cheek bitten off. I urged the camera crew of a Bengali TV news channel, shooting around, to record her experience. But she didn’t breathe a word of what she had unburdened to me. I later heard Dola Sen reporting, at the instance of Mamata Banerjee, to Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi that the number of women thus maimed ran into hundreds.

    The whole truth, though, will never be out with the CPI-M government, headed by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, in place. And Biman Bose expects people to “forget about Nandigram very soon”. Our insensitivity to Tapasi’s death shows that he might well be right.

    Reportedly again, when cadres and police together acting in tandem went on the rampage at Nandigram, a child was seen falling to a cadre’s bullet. A woman rushed to him. They beat her with truncheons. She fled. The cadres beheaded the child, dead or half dead, for the ease of transportation – or for the fun of it. Some they buried and covered with slabs of concrete. They disembowelled the rest, so that the corpses wouldn’t float, stuffed the severed heads and torsos into sacks, drove off in truckloads, and flung them into the canals. Those who ended up in the hospitals had bullets in their heads, stomachs, chests and so on, which proves that the cadres had shot to kill them. The Dainik Statesman has since published photographs of a cadre in police uniform thrashing a villager. A local shop, called Sunny Tailors, sewed the uniforms.

    The whole operation was a blitzkrieg – masterminded by Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Nirupam Sen – with Laksman Seth, Benoy Konar, Biman Bose and the rest of the party providing logistic support at various levels. Much as Buddhadeb owns up his “constitutional responsibility”, he pleads innocence. Kshiti Goswami, RSP leader, said on TV Buddha had two faces – one of them was a mask. Prasad Ranjan Ray, state home secretary, commented: “We had mobilised forces on the basis of Intelligence reports… of course in the full knowledge of the chief minister.” Unsurprisingly, the most preferred charge against Buddha is that he is a “habitual liar”, a “confirmed liar”.

    The Dainik Statesman reports (10 March) that at a meeting of 14 political leaders and police, the District Magistrate of East Midnapore announced that “any resistance to the repair of the bridges and roads at Nandigram would be dealt with according to the law of the land”. On 13 March in another meeting held at the house of Sambhu Maiti (CPI-M), police and cadres together decided on the plan of action for the capture of Sonachura and Nandigram. They fabricated fake number plates for the cars in which to carry off dead bodies, the caps the cadres and their leaders would put on – down to the last detail.

    Another report says the CBI found at the Jononi Brickfield, where the cadres had encamped, buntings, bulletins and leaflets of various CPI-M outfits, six police helmets, a Chinese revolver, 500 bullets, 14 country-made firearms, nine modern rifles and two binoculars.

    Now given the size of the village, and the time (two to three hours) taken to complete the operation, the whole village, including children, must have witnessed the arson, rape and murder in action. What is to become of them – particularly the children? Small wonder, Bengal’s society today teems with arsonists, rapists and supari killers.

    Dr Tapash Bhattacharjee, who frequently visits Nandigram with medical help, says living as they do under the depressing prospect of a perpetual threat of CPI-M attacks, the young men there demand “weapons rather than medicines”. The fear is not baseless, if you keep in mind Benoy Konar’s warning that only the first two of the “five-act play” are over.

    Actually the CPI(M)-run state government is the pus focus of a deep social abscess that has festered over the past 30 years. Its brand of politics is an unremitting evil. It splits the entire society into us and them: those who take dictates of Alimuddin Street are us – the rest them. When the farmers of Nandigram, including their cadres, disobeyed the party, Benoy Konar threatened to knock hell out of them (life hell kore debo). Konar, of Sainbari notoriety, in which a young Sain was hacked to death before his mother, had earlier warned that, should Mahasveta Devi, Medha Patkar or Mamata Banerjee dare to visit Nandigram, the women of his party would show their bottoms (pachha). And he was as good as his word. He wouldn’t care if what he said had demeaned Indian womanhood, not to speak of that of his own party. So the villagers of Singur and Nandigram had to pay the price with arson, rape and murder. If the CPI-M has its way, the rest of India will have to in the not too distant future.

    (The author is former member, West Bengal Education Commission)

    from sanhati.com

Nandigram and the Unravelling of Social Democracy

Nandigram and the Unravelling of Social Democracy - Blog article (open for comments)

June 12, 2007

By Saroj Giri, Sanhati

Movements against displacement have for a long time been understood in India largely in pre-political terms of an almost natural opposition between an undifferentiated modernity of global capitalism and equally undifferentiated local communities of traditional societies. Kalinganagar and Nandigram, in putting up a tenacious resistance to capital and the state, have however made such viewpoints untenable and call for a political understanding of movements against displacement. Events in Nandigram therefore will be here presented in the light of the decomposition of social democracy represented by the CPIM. The jolt of Nandigram comes at a time when, after long years of social democratic containment of working class movements, the party was just settling down to actively spearhead the march of capital in the state.

Nandigram, like Narmada or Kalinganagar, marks a specific conjuncture in the balance of political forces, of class and power relations and hence cannot be understood as yet another ‘movement against displacement’ whose contours are given from before. Nandigram represents an implosion against the specific conjunction between social democracy and neo-liberalism. It has dealt an early blow to the CPIM’s vanguardist role as enforcer of capital’s interests in the state. Further, in both their methods of resistance as also their success in forcing capital to retreat, Kalinganagar and Nandigram stand out as marking a break from neo-Gandhian social movements like the Narmada Bachao Andolan.

Indian democracy

In Indian democracy till recently, while the parties like the Congress and the BJP were directly in the interests of capital, those like the CPIM and the Socialists, that is the social democratic left, played the role of controlling and limiting working class struggles against capital [1]. It was as though the Congress and the BJP actually planted and run the capitalist machine; the CPIM and others protected it from assaults by the working class. But in the division of powers and shares, the latter were always of secondary importance: after all, they only guarded the machine, the system from outside, never themselves taking the burden of owning, running, managing it.

Around the early 1990s however as the international and national balance of forces between capital and labour went in capital’s favour, and capital emerged stronger and more confident, capital’s need for social democratic protection became negligible. From the viewpoint of the system as a whole, social democracy lost its rationale. It has to now find ways to save itself or be ready to accept the end of its own history. While it might have lost its systemic use to capital, the CPIM however holds political power in West Bengal. So it need not go into oblivion. It will use what it has at its disposal to prove itself useful to capital. It crosses over to the other side.

In a situation where capital does not need social democracy to rein in the working class, where capital is strong and labour weak, but where as in West Bengal today social democracy still holds political power, capital can march without much problems since social democracy’s political power and clout can work to neutralise any working class opposition to capital. However given that capital perceives hardly any threat from working class movements, when the social democratic party in order to save itself from oblivion, deserts the working class and jumps completely to the side of capital, things can go in either of two directions. It might lead to complete domination and hegemony of capital so that class contradictions go extinct – a post-Marxist assumption. Or, with what the working class thought to be its own party now leading the drive of capital, with no disguises among the working class, class polarisation sharpens and the resistance to capital gets radicalised. Kalinganagar, Singur and Nandigram point to this latter possibility.

Movements against displacement

Industrialisation projects have not, however, always faced the kind of sustained opposition not to speak of antagonism that we saw earlier in Kalinganagar and now in Nandigram. This cannot be explained only in terms of a general opposition of an undifferentiated ‘people’ or community to any attempt to displace them from their age-old habitat, and their refusal to loose their autonomy, self-sufficiency and freedom at the altars of again an undifferentiated modernity. Most accounts, particularly among proponents of local communities and indigenous ways of life as a bulwark against neo-liberalism, treat opposition to industrialisation and displacement in frustratingly pre-political terms, as though it is not itself a function of the particular balance of political forces, class and power relations that exist.

Even as presenting this opposition to displacement as primordial, spontaneous or natural (hence pre-political) might paint it as uncompromising or radical, with neatly given dichotomies of human/nature, science/tradition, community/state etc, it often works as no more than an ideological cover to the actual conflict of interests and class positions that constitute the movement. Among other things, treating movements against displacement in pre-political terms and hence as homogenous does not enable us to explain the differences between them, or the reasons for their failures and successes. More importantly, it does not give us politically relevant answers to why for example the Narmada Bachao Andolan failed. Frustration with such a way of thinking is what seems to be expressed by Arundhati Roy when she states: “The NBA had a lot going for it — high-profile leadership, media coverage, more resources than any other mass movement. What went wrong? People are bound to want to rethink strategy” [2].

If we are then not to portray Nandigram as another spontaneous, natural, primordial opposition by local communities to industrialisation then we need to examine the balance of political forces and the related class and power relations that constitute the socio-political terrain there. This is a task which cannot be done in a neutral, objective manner but in the spirit of partisanship against capital and the state. Nor is it an appeal for an objective social science understanding but as something which cannot be detached from the movement and its interests. In spite of the huge amount written on movements against displacement, hardly anything serious has been written on it from a political perspective, examining the class basis of the movement and its relationship to the various detachments of capital. I here provide an initial broad outline of one possible aspect of such a political understanding which can be described in terms of the decomposition of social democracy in India, with the CPIM a key component of this trend in the country.

Everytime in India, large numbers of people, as in Kalinganagar, Singur and Nandigram today, stood in a direct and antagonistic relation to capital and the state, a middle class ideology of alternative plans and people’s plans has not just acted to limit the initiative and political character of the movement to the ‘enlightened interests’ of the urban radical intelligentsia but, as a consequence, capital has instead ultimately gone ahead with its own original plans without even any kind of (green) restructuring. Kalinganagar earlier and now Nandigram however mark a new turning point, in this long tiring history of co-option and failures of movements against displacements.

Nandigram so far has stood up in its militancy and antagonism towards capital and the state without giving way to negotiations and appeals, dharnas and hunger strikes, and knocking at the doors of the powers that be. Reports from Nandigram seem to suggest that people are not just fighting to keep their land and their present means of livelihood but they are also destroying the relations of power that tied them to capital and the state: the CPIM after all is not exaggerating when it says Nandigram was beyond the reach of the law. The agitators blew off bridges, and cut off contact with state authorities or any representative of capital and the state [3]. While one has to examine the role played by dubious factions of capital and the state like the Trinamool Congress, Nandigram stands out for its refusal to engage in any dialogue or compromise with state authorities, for its refusal to bargain for its interests, better rehabilitation package etc with the state and agents of capital. Now the problem for the state is not just the setting up of the industrial plant there but of first bringing Nandigram back into channels of mediation and communication. As we shall see, the balance of political forces in terms of the specific trajectory of social democracy in the state is what explains the character of the movement against displacement in Nandigram.

Balance of political forces

Like all social democratic streams the CPIM’s long political history of course suited its present bid to don the interests of capital and usher in development of the state. Having successfully ‘run’ the working class movement for decades, with sound, time-tested knowledge of the ‘toiling masses’, the CPIM was, among the political forces, in fact best placed to push through the agenda of primitive accumulation of capital in the most unapologetic form of SEZs. Its misplaced confidence in pushing through this agenda in Nandigram and Singur was based on years of experience in containing working class movements at the service of capital.
However now that it closed all distance with capital and fully identified itself with it, there was no ‘neutral’ force or party left to do what the CPIM earlier did: negotiating between capital and labour in order to contain labour. This was partly the result of its dictatorial clout over political power in the state so that the state lacks any developed social movement, NGOs or citizen groups with some following in society that could have now carried out the CPIM’s earlier function of mediation and class compromise in favour of capital. Maybe it thought now that it is spearheading capital, how can the oppressed raise a voice against it. Maybe it hallucinated that it is now a party which cuts across classes, that it simultaneously represents the interests of both the capitalists and the oppressed masses: a classless party in a class-ridden society. Here, it fell victim to its own promise of bringing about the development of the state as a whole, as though this development represented the interests of all classes in the state.

By putting up an immediate and antagonistic opposition to capital and the state, Nandigram drove home the point that the CPIM and the development it promises are not just not above class interests but they are directly in the interests of capital. Further in refusing to be a party in the dialogues and discussions with the state Nandigram has steered clear of the alluring fictions of finding a middle path, of protecting the interests of all, in the interests, for example, of the development of the state as a whole. Forget the CPIM and the social democratic left. There is here a strange paradox for capital itself. As soon as capital in its confidence forsakes those who looked after its interests and guarded it from working class assaults, precisely in this moment of self-congratulatory celebration of its inevitable and uninterrupted march, the dispossessed and the oppressed offers the strongest and unyielding resistance. Maybe it was a bit too premature for capital to invite those guarding the outer frontiers to come and join in managing the system from the inside.

Thus, the situation in Nandigram going out of hand was not just a result of the CPIM’s dictatorial use of state power or of its utter disrespect of human rights. For it was true that the people in Nandigram had indeed refused any kind of negotiation or rehabilitation package: it was a radical situation and with no social movement representative or party or citizen’s group to negotiate and mediate on behalf of capital or of the people, the ground was indeed laid for a violent confrontation. Even as it spearheaded the onslaught of capital, the CPIM’s political dictatorship presented itself as the sole voice of the workers and peasants and the marginalised who are subjected to this onslaught. This meant that other social movements, NGOs etc could not work among the affected people as the negotiators/mediators to silence/infiltrate the movement in Nandigram. Nandigram, unrepresented and unmediated, stood on its own, without giving in to the machinations and sops of the representatives of any sector of capital and the state.

Such a situation led to a radicalisation of the movement, quite clear from the presence of Maoists in the movement. This is what explains the fighting spirit and radical position of the people in Nandigram and their unwillingness to buckle under pressure from the CPIM and the administration. This is what explains the fact that the people in Nandigram did not stand in awe at the upcoming industrial plant and desiringly watch the impressive equipments and machinery of capitalist industrialisation, ready to be part of it any moment. Nor is their self-understanding based on any kind of blanket rejection of modernity or of pitting the local versus the global [4].

With no middle class radicals able to put up base there, agitators in Nandigram, unlike in many other anti-displacement movements, have not fallen victim to the pre-political, class-effacing conceptualisations in terms of a blanket opposition to modernity. Thus the present movement can be understood only as an antagonistic opposition to the state and capital without taking an anti-modern stand to science and industry. It comes as a challenge to the post-modern, neo-Gandhian left represented by social movements and many NGOs. Foreshadowed by the unprecedented 431-day road blockade in Kalinganagar, in its tactics as well Nandigram has gone in for active resistance and antagonism in place of disobedience and satyagraha. The covert and not so covert presence of Maoists in the movement further proves this point.

Moribund social democracy, weakened working class movement and an aggressive, confident capital, therefore, constitutively define the present socio-political conjuncture wherein the events of Nandigram can be placed. While, given its political power in West Bengal, even this moribund social democracy, the CPIM, secures its function as the vanguardist henchman of capital, it has also narrowed down the space for middle-class led social movements, NGOs and citizens groups to act as mediators in order to disactivate through dialogue and the search for ‘common solutions’, any immediate and antagonistic struggle against capital. It is in such a specific conjuncture of socio-political forces and tendencies that the specificity of Nandigram (partly foreshadowed by Kalinganagar) needs to be understood, instead of understanding it in terms of a pre-given generalised, supposedly primordial opposition to modernity by self-sufficient local communities. This of course calls for the need to have a fresh critical look at the nature and political character of the movements against displacement in the country so far.

Commodity fetishism and social democracy

Marx had long ago pointed out the mystical powers of the commodity. One key mystification is that the relations between persons appear as the relations between things expressed in the term commodity fetishism [5]. Capital no longer appears as accumulated dead labour (capital-labour relation), as the result of its exploitative relationship with labour but only as the ‘things’ owned by the capitalist as the reward for entrepreneurship etc. In this mystification, the worker is a worker, poor and exploited, not because of the specific social relations in which he exists but because he does not own those things. It appears as though those things are not the result of the surplus extracted from his own labour but as something to be earned by competing, working hard etc. Capitalism therefore spontaneously generates tendencies among the working class to overlook the underlying social relations and instead join in the run after things, to make a fast buck in what looks like a neutral, competitive space (the economy, market).

Capitalism is therefore unique in presenting itself as an immense accumulation of commodities, obfuscating the underlying social relations. In the face of a revolutionary working class movement however, when these underlying social relations are challenged and the mystifications torn down, it is social democracy which steps in to stunt working class consciousness with the mystificatory powers of the commodity. The major form which social democracy took in this context has been welfare state capitalism in most countries and of course in India too (but in the form of ‘socialist pattern of development’). It was however the Congress which earlier carried out this function but after its rightward shift it is the CPIM which occupies that ideological space. But now the CPIM seeks to combine that role with its present neoliberal turn.

The historical role of social democracy has been to keep the working class enchained onto the run after things, in treating itself and its politics as partakers in this competition to acquire things [6]. It gives away the revolutionary potential of the working class to overthrow capitalist relations in exchange for welfare benefits, increased wages etc. Under a welfare state framework, in the short run, as in India under Nehruvian socialism, social democracy as a form of capitalism does ensure that some sections of the working class get a greater share of social wealth. In the long run, however, the series of compromises and defeats so weaken the working class movement as a whole that capital realises that it can now do without the social democratic deal with labour [7]. Once capital feels no threat from the working class, social democracy itself, so far parasitic on a strong organised working class movement, is no longer needed by capital.

As we see with the CPIM today, the earlier service it provided capital in containing working class movements is now no longer needed. But since it still wields political power in the state, capital still needs its service. Singur and Nandigram are the new services it is providing capital and ‘development of the state’ is the new mantra through which it is redefining and strengthening its time-tested relation with capital. The CPIM might have been useless for capital, would have died as a fading social democratic force, retrenched by capital through a golden handshake but with the political power it commands in the state it is vitally needed by capital: as the regional henchman of neo-liberalism.

Capital’s vanguard

In West Bengal today, the older form of the working class movement has not just been weakened but systematically decimated. The point is that now that social democracy through its own acts of commission and omission have so badly impaired the working class movement which was earlier its own basis for bargaining with capital, it cannot but cringe before neo-liberal capital and carry out its dirty job. The party’s organisational tactics built in the name of proletarian vanguardism is now used to force people out of capital’s way. The fact that CPIM’s present drive to develop and industrialise the state has come not in the form of, for example, reviving the locked-up industries and restarting numerous such industries that are lying sick with lakhs of workers unemployed, but in the form of setting up neo-liberal capital, only goes to show that, in the name of development and industrialisation, it is presiding over capital’s consolidation of its present victory over the working class and the start of capital’s neo-liberal aggressive, arrogant drive.
With the option of being at the forefront of containing a strong organised working class no longer available, the CPIM cannot continue with fostering the older kind of capital, the old industries that lie sick and moribund; on pain of being retrenched by capital, it can continue its relationship with ever-dynamic capital only if it identifies itself with the most advanced detachment of capital which is what the SEZs represent today. In order to publicly prove capital that it is not communist, it has to go that extra bit which even parties like the Congress might not need to: it has to assume the vanguard role.

It is this aggressive, vanguardism in favour of capital which explains the ruthless violence in Nandigram. It was actually not a question of the Left Front government’s violation of human rights or its violent tactics when dealing with any opposition to it which is what explains the violence and brutality in Nandigram. The rot is deeper than that. Apart from the violations of human rights these events mark an important phase in capital further tilting the balance of political forces and power relations in its favour. It is important to keep this point in mind since in trying to pull up the CPIM for what it is doing, we should not let capital off the hook for this latter is the larger enemy: the CPIM, the Left Front or social democracy are no more than its different moments.

1. I think it is standard practice now to consider the CPIM as social democratic party (perhaps the debate henceforth being whether it is neo-liberal). One recent such application in a respected journal is in R. Sandbrook, M. Edelman, P. Heller and J. Teichman, ‘Can Social Democracies Survive in the Global South?’, Dissent, Spring 2006, pp. 76- 83. Incidentally, the article is in deep appreciation of the CPIM.

2. See her interview with Shoma Choudhury in Tehelka, March 31, 2007.

3. The character of the resistance put up by the movement in Nandigram against any kind of dialogue with representatives of capital and the state or intervention by mediators or ‘civil society actors’, is clear from its actions destroying bridges and roads and putting up dug-pits and trenches, seceding from the social relations of power and domination. See Medha Patkar’s report posted at http://www.kafila.org/2007/03/15/medha-patkar-on-civil-war-in-nandigram/

4. One main argument given by those opposing displacement is that panchayats and other local bodies were not involved in the decision making process for the industrial plants. However, as Nandigram for one showed the local panchayat itself is a divided house, not just between different sections of the local but also between the local and the global so much so that the local pro-displacement panchayat leader, Shankar Samanta was killed by agitators. Presenting the local (communities, panchayats, gram sabhas) as forever benign weakens the fight against capital by overlooking its local basis, thereby often ending up on the side of global capital’s local detachments. The National Alliance for People’s Movements report on Nandigram for one suffers from such a valorisation of the local. See NAPM Report: To Nandigram via Singur posted at http://www.kafila.org/2007/02/27/napm-report-to-nandigram-via-singur/.

5. K. Marx, Capital, Vol. 1, Progress Publishers, Moscow, 1986.

6. Based on class compromise through the presence of a political party which can keep the working class organized into a movement under its thumb, the benefits the working classes get under a welfare state are those that the elite, the ruling classes agree to in order to buy peace and stability in society so that business as usual does not come unstuck. For a pro-social democracy exposition of this point see R. Sandbrook, M. Edelman, P. Heller and J. Teichman, op.cit., pp. 76- 83.

7. Proponents of social democracy however advise the capitalist classes to maintain the ‘social pact’ with labour and wisely “accept a smaller share of the surplus in exchange for legitimacy, political and social peace, and high productivity” (ibid., p.79).

One Response to “Nandigram and the Unravelling of Social Democracy - Blog article (open for comments)”

  1. Sukla Sen Says:
    June 13th, 2007 at 11:51 am

    The author, if I correctly remember, had written quite a lot on last year’s popular upsurge in Nepal. He was apparently more sympathetic towards Baburam Bhattarai as opposed to Prachanda. Gradually grew somewhat apathetic with the Maoist movement as the things unfolded the way it did since April 24 last year.

    Quite an informed analysis. Only problem is its reluctance to come to grips with the reality of the TMC providing the leadership at the ground level in West Bengal. The TMC is of course nowhere near Kalinganagar.

    The other point is that all these are essentially open mass resistances, with varying degrees of very controlled and calibrated violence, falling in a category very different from Dantewara.
    And while Dantewara has evoked only negative responses from the state, Nandigram has to a very large extent slowed down, though far from halted, the onward march of SEZ with the state taking due note of the agitation after its initial disastrous failure in crushing it.

    And equally significantly all these struggles - Kalinganagar, Singur, Nandigram and scores others all across the country, are by all means for protecting lands and livelihoods, not for state power, even if Nandigram became, and still remains, a “liberated zone” in the model of Tamluk in 1942.

    Then brutal violation of human rights is of course a very important issue though not for the votaries of Pol Pot and the likes.
    And in case of Nandigram, we come across the merger of the State and the Party. An dit is precisely in this respect it differs significantly from Kalinganagar.

    Then as regards the shifting balance of political power is concerned, the scenario is pretty complex.
    The people displaced by Bhakra-Nangal, Hirakud and such other huge dams and other state-owned steel plants and such were completely invisibilised. One is hardly aware of the fact that human beings were affected on a massive scale. Those who knew they considered these are necessary sacrifices to be made, as long as of course the victims belong to the lowest rungs of the socio-political order, at the alter of “development”.
    Baliapal, in Orissa, was one of the rare instances where the local farmers could effectively resist the state’s move to evict them in spite of the fact that the issue of “national security” was involved.
    The Narmada Bachao Andolan, in spite of its apparent failure, changed all that. It could successfully register, the first time on a significant scale, with the national psyche that the victims of “development” are also human beings - citizens of the country, even if children of a lesser god.

    So on the one hand, we find a state driven by neoliberal economic doctrine coming out openly and aggressively on the side of the corporate capital and out to destroy the lives of thousands and thousands of common citizenry.
    At one level, there is grand convergence of political forces, and on the other the democratic consciousness percolating down to grassroots levels people are actively resisting such aggressive moves by the state with commensurate ferocity, but broadly from within the perimeters of the given political order and trying to make fullest use of it, and thereby causing a degree of disarray amongst the “political” class and rupture in the consensus leading to partial reversal of the state policy.

    The common people have, to a very significant extent, become adept over the decades in making use of the system to fight the system - whether, media, courts, mass protests or whatever, without shying away from breaching the red line in a very calibrated manner.

    This had been totally undreamt of in the days of Bhakra-Nangal.
    And this is how not only Singur and Nandigram, even Kalinganagar, fall in a category so very different from Dantewara.
    The contrary impression given in the article notwithstanding.

    courtesy : http://sanhati.com

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Medical Team Report from Nandigram with names, locations, and injuries

Medical Team Report from Nandigram with names, locations, and injuries - April 5


After the incident of firing by the police at Nandigram on 14.3.2007, report of large-scale injuries and ailments 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.

OUR FIRST VISIT (18.03.2007)

On 18.3.2007, a team comprising of six physicians (including 2 female physicians), three junior doctors, sisters, medical students and health-workers, organised by 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.

The Medical Team found that more severely injured patients had mostly been taken to the hospital and persons who were critically injured had been transferred to Tomluk Hospital (District Hospital) and SSKM Hospital / RGKar MCH of Kolkata. But they found that a very large population, predominantly women, were suffering from blunt trauma injuries, very often multiple, and had not received any medical help. The same is true also for a very large number of people, suffering from eye-problems ( headache, watering, photophobia, burning sensation, dimness of vision 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 assessed 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 in police uniform but with chappals on.

The Medical Team had also found that many could not 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 found to be suffering from an acute shortage of provisions required to run the kitchen (the medical team bought a day’s provision to one camp).

2ND VISIT (21.03.2007)

The next visit took place on 21.3.2007. It was a general relief cum medical relief team, consisting of two physicians and four 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 only 30 in three different places. General relief and provisions worth Rs 15, 790 were provided to four different relief camps in the affected areas.

3RD VISIT (24-24 March, 2007)

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 overnight in the affected area 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 orthopaedic 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). It may be mentioned here that one eye relief camp was organized concurrently in Sonachura High School on 25.3.2007 by ARGUS COMMUNITY EYE SERVICES.

A brief description of various patients on 18.3.2007. The documentation quality was not upto the mark on this day as the medical team was overwhelmed by the extent and the magnitude of the problem.

Camp: Sonachura

Date: 18.3.2007

Total cases seen: 129
Female : more than 80% .

Eye problems 40%
Direct hit by the police 45%
Other Musculo-skeletal injury 5%
Wound 5%

A brief description of various types of patients seen on 21.3.2007 is as follows:

Camp: Sonachura and Garchakraberia

Date: 21.3.2007

Total cases seen: 30
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 25
Male 18 (72%)
Female 7 (28%)
Child 3

Eye problems 16 (64%)
Direct hit by the police 6 (24%)
Other Musculo-skeletal injury 4 (16%)
Mental problem 3 (12%)
Thigh Injury 1
Headache 1
Back pain 1
Blunt Injury 4 (16%)
Ear problem 2 (8%)
Wound 3 (12%)
Haematoma 1

A brief description of various types of patients seen on 24/25.3.2007 is as follows (details in Annexure 1):

Camps: Soudkhali, Kalicharanpur, Dakshin Jalpai, Sonachura

Date: 24.3.2007 and 25.3.2007

Total cases seen: 261
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 230
Male 83 (36%)
Female 147 (64%)
Child 9 (4%)
Hindu (mostly SC) 222
Muslim 8

Eye problems 135 (58.6%)
Direct hit by the police 54 (23.4%)
Other musculo-skeletal injury 41 (17.8%)
Multiple Injury 27 (11.7%)
Bullet Injury 4
Ear injury 2 (children)
Fracture 1
Spinal Injury 1
Mental trauma 28 (12.1%)

· 70% to 80% of the patients of all camps had eye problems since 14.3.2007, but in Sonachura camp these patients attended cocurrently running eye camp, hence the average shows a lower figure
· The details of different camps has been shown in Annexure I.
· The doctors in the team (except those at Sonachura camp) had no training in properly assessing post traumatic stress, hence this condition may be found to be under reported particularly in the three other camps.

Eye Camp: Sonachura

Date: 25.3.2007

Total cases seen: 155
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 114
Male 55 (48.2%)
Female 55 (48.2%)
Child 4
Hindu (mostly SC) ALL
Muslim Nil


1. It was seen from the TV 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).

2. The medical team also saw other cases of bullet injuries at face level in the village.

3. The number of victims was found to be very large and included a large number of women and children also.

4. 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 4/7/11/12 days after the event. These injuries included fracture, spine injury, chest injury etc. Injury marks were mostly found on the upper part of the boby upwards. It may be mentioned here that when the medical team had reached the scene, the people with major injuries had already been taken to various hospitals.

5. 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.

6. Many persons were injured due to beating by the police while they were trying to rescue the injured persons and the children.

7. 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.

8. A very large number of affected people, predominantly women, were found to be suffering from eye problems (burning sensation, watering, phototophobia, headache, dimness of vision etc), persisting even 11 days after exposure to tear gas. So much so that every camp attended to 70-80 percent of patient suffering from eye problems related to tear gas exposure. It may be noted that the people were aware that there may be tear gas attack, they knew that in case of tear gas attack they were to wash the eyes with copious amount of water, and they followed this instruction. Some persons also had injury in eye and other parts of the body from tear gas shell explosion, burn injury from contact of tear gas shell, history of breathlessness from close exposure to tear gas.

9. 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.

10. It was found that although most of the severely wounded people were transferred to hospitals, a few seriously wounded persons, including a nine year old boy suffering from supracondylar fracture of arm, a spinal injury patient 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 examined and investigated properly due to lack of infrastructure there. Patients suffering from eye problems received almost no medical treatment. It may be noted here that Nadigram Hospital (BPHC) may be called a glorified primary health center and is not equipped to deal with so many serious injury and other cases. It was learnt that this Hospital did not receive much additional support even after the incident.

11. Many patients were found to be suffering from mental trauma with symptoms of sleeplessness, anorexia, anxiety and fear. Many women saw people, even children being killed, wounded people snatched. 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, psychologists and other mental health workers has already organized a camp in Sonachura on 31.3.2007. Their reports will be published soon.

12. 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.

13. The team of doctors also conducted a training camp for local volunteers so that if any untoward incident takes place again, these volunteers would be in a position to render rudimentary patient care (containment of bleeding, removing the patients observing proper protocol, wound dressing and things like that). 22 volunteers from different parts of the area covering almost the entire affected area were trained and 10 emergency kit with a couple of manuals in Bengali language were distributed among them.

14. On the two previous visits the Team attended to 169 patients. Though those two visits were not very well documented, it can be said that the general observation was basically the same.

15. Members of the Team also visited Nandigram Hospital, Tamluk Hospital

(Annexure II) and SSKM Hospital (Annexure III).

Dated 3.4.2007


Camp: Southkhali

Date: 24.3.2007

Total cases seen: 80
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 72
Male 16 (22%)
Female 56 (78%)
Child 1
Hindu (mostly SC) 64
Muslim 8

Eye problems 55 (76.4%)
Direct hit by the police 13 (18%)
Other Musculo-skeletal injury 7
Multiple Injury 10 (13.9%)
Fracture 1
Bleeding P/V since 14.3.2007 1
Injury to private parts (female) 1
Mental Trauma 6 (8.3%)

Camp: Dakshin Jalpai, bhangabera

Date: 25.3.2007

Total cases seen: 54
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 46
Male 24 (52.2%)
Female 22 (47.8%)
Child 1
Hindu (mostly SC) ALL
Muslim Nil

Eye problems 33 (71.7%)
Direct hit by the police 8 (17.4%)
Other musculo-skeletal injury 17 (37%)
Multiple Injury 1
Spinal Injury 1
Sexual assault on 14.3.2007 1
Mental Trauma 6 (8.3%)

Camp: Kalicharanpur

Date: 25.3.2007

Total cases seen: 56
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 53
Male 8 (15%)
Female 45 (85%)
Hindu (mostly SC) ALL
Muslim Nil

Eye problems 43 (81.7%)
Direct hit by the police 13 (24%)
Other musculo-skeletal injury 7 (13%)
Multiple Injury 4
Bullet Injury 2
Sexual assault on 14.3.2007 3
Mental Trauma 4 (7.5%)

Camp: Sonachura

Date: 25.3.2007

Total cases seen: 82
Cases directly related to the incident of 14.3.2007 59
Male 35 (59.3%)
Female 24 (40.7%)
Child 7 (11.8%)
Hindu (mostly SC) ALL
Muslim Nil

Eye problems 5*
Direct hit by the police 19 (34%)
Other musculo-skeletal injury 29 (17%)
Multiple Injury 13 (20.3%)
Bullet & Splinter Injury 2
Ear injury 2 (children)
Mental Trauma 13 (20.3%)
Others 2

· A concurrent eye clinic was running at the same place


Patients In Tamluk Hospital

Some of the members of the team paid a visit to the Tamluk State Hospital on 1.4.2007, where a large number of injured patients of the said incident
(on 14.3.2007) were admitted. Most of the patients were admitted in this Hospital on or after 16.3.2007; some of them had been referred to by the
Nandigram Hospital, either due to lack of infrastructure, or because of the seriousness of injury. The team talked with the patients, had discussion with the attending physicians. Some of the salient features that the members of the medical team came to know may be summarised as follows:

1. The patients admitted in Tamluk Hospital Hospital had major trauma. They has bullet injury, fracture, multiple fractures, Head Injury, amputation, eye injury, chest injury, breathing problems, history of sexual assault etc. Some are immobilised in POP casing and castings, many had operations, one was on Intravenous drip even 17 days after the incidence.

2. Almost all of those who had been admitted to this Hospital (Tamluk State Hospital) on or after 16.3.2007, complained of various degrees of eye problems ranging from watering, burning sensation, headache, photophobia and dimness of vision. As on 31.3.2007, only about half of the patients have more or less recovered from the problems on treatment with antibiotic and steroid eye drops along with lubricating and analgesic eye drops, but in the other half the problem is still persisting.

3. On 16th March 37 patients were admitted from various parts of the affected area, who had major injuries and injuries inflicted by bullets, tear gas shells, police lathi charge, rubber bullets etc. These patients were initially treated for these grave conditions, but when they recovered a little, they also complained of similar eye problems.

4. 18 patients were transferred from Tamluk Hospital to SSKM Hospital, Kolkata between 17th and 31st March, 2007. 15 of them had bullet injury
and one had Head injury from lathi charge. 7 of bullet injury patient were female and 8 male.

5. Between 16.03.2007 to 1.04 2007 seventy-four patients have been treated for severe injury and conditions in Tamluk Hospital. Of them, 28 were
male and 46 female.

Patients admitted in ‘Nandigram Ward’ of Tamluk Hospital (Female)

1. Satyabala Mondal w/o Anadi Vill.Soudkhali Headache

2. Arati Maity w/o Tapan Vill. Kalicharanpur Headache, Eye complains

3. Kabita Das Adhikari w/o Subal Vill.Gokulnagar # Rt patella, Lt wrist

4. Renuka Kar w/o Shyamapada Vill. Kalicharanpur pain all over due to lathi charge

5. Bidyut Basanta 48/F w/o Mahadev # Lt forearm, Rt finger, eye complaints

6. Radharani Pakhira 45/Fw/o Kishan Vill 7 no Jalpai eye complains

7. Salma Bibi w/o Fakrul Vill.Garchakraberi Bleeding p/v

8. Anima Jana 32/F w/o Prasanta Vill.Soudkhali Eye pain, dimness of vision

9. Sovarani Singh w/o Gorachand Vill.Soudkhali Blunt Injury waist, thigh

10. Paribala dhapar w/o Ranjit Vill.Soudkhali Eye pain, Headache

11. Sandhyarani Sinha 25/Fw/o Ramkrishna Vill.Soudkhali Eye complains, Headache

12. Chhabirani Dhapar w/o Badal Vill.Soudkhali Eye complains, Headache

13. Angurbala Dolui w/o (late) Makhan Vill.Soudkhali Eye complains, dimness of vision

14. Sandhya Dhapar w/o Paresh Vill.Soudkhali Eye complains, Headache

15. Sulekha Das w/o Pravanjan Vill. Kalicharanpur # Lt leg

16. Sailabala Das 48/F w/o Nandalal Vill.Gokulnagar Chest pain, Breathlessness, eye complains

17. Shyamali Mahato45/F w/o (late)Gobinda Vill. Sonachura Head Injury, Bullet injury

18. Radharani Ari 45/F w/o Pratap Vill.Gokulnagar Headache, Eye complains

19. Anubha Khanda 48/F w/o Rasbehari Vill. Sonachura Bullet Injury knee, Eye Complains

20. Kalpana Jana 40/F w/o Nandalal Vill. Kalicharanpur Eye complains

21. Sankari Gol 47/F w/o Manoranjan Vill. Sonachura # tibia, multiple injury head, eye complains

22. Shyamali Mahato w/o (late) Gobinda Vill. Sonachura Bullet injury head

II. Patients admitted in ‘Nandigram Ward’ of Tamluk Hospital (male)

1 Gopal Das s/o Mrityunjoy Vill. Sonachura bullet injury, shoulder

2 Niranjan Das 38/M s/o (late) Radhakrishna Vill. Sonachura Chest Pain

3 Lakshmikanta Gayen s/o Ramhari Vill. Sonachura subconj Hmge, # finger, loss of teeth

4 Subodh Das 45/M s/o Gangadhar vill.Gangra Bullet injury finger

5 Asok Mondal s/o Jagadish Vill. Sonachura Bullet injury, finger amputed,

6 Srimanta Mondal s/o Joydev vill. Gokulnagar Bullet injury, thigh

7 Gopal Majhi s/o Santosh vill. Gokulnagar Bullet injury, arm

8 Sk.Fasi Alam s/o Abdul Vill 7 no Jalpai Bullet injury, finger

9 Abinash Mondal s/o Gorachand vill.Gangra Pain Back, eye problems

10.Madan Mondal s/o Ramhari Vill.Soudkhali Headache, Eye complains

11. Ramkrishna Maiti 33/Ms/o Chintamani Vill 7 no Jalpai Shoulder Dislocation, Head injury

III. Cases transferred to SSKM Hospital,Kolkata (female)

1. Haimabati Halder Vill. Gangra Bullet injury

2. Kanchan Mal w/o Sripati Vill. Gokulnagar Bullet injury

3. Tapasi Das w/o Sambhu Vill. Gokulnagar Bullet injury

4. Banasri Acharya w/o Chandan vill. Badkeshabpur Bullet injury

5. Swarnamoyee Das w/o Gopal Vill. Berachak Bullet injury

6. Bhabani Giri w/o Hitendralal Vill. Kalicharanpur Bullet injury

7. Anjali Das w/o Mrityunjoy Vill. Sonachura Bullet injury

8. Gourirani Das w/o Chittaranjan Vill. Kalicharanpur Bullet injury

9. Purnima Mondal w/o Gobardhan Vill. Gokulnagar blunt Injury

IV. Cases transferred to SSKM Hospital,Kolkata (male)

1. Rasbehari Khanda s/o (late) Kumar Vill. Sonachura Bullet injury

2. Abhijit Samanta Vill. Sonachura Bullet injury

3. Swapan Giri Vill. Sonachura Bullet injury

4. Salil Das Adhikari s/o Bhupati Vill. Gokulnagar Bullet injury

5. Prithwish Das s/o Purnachandra Vill. Gangra Bullet injury

6. Abhijit Giri s/o Pratap Vill. Kalicharanpur Bullet injury

7. Parikshit Maiti s/o Abinash Vill. Kalicharanpur Bullet injury

8. Mani Rana Vill. Gokulnagar Bullet injury

9. Saddam Hossain Vill 7 no Jalpai Bullet injury

Some Highlights

1. Radharani Ari. Found unconscious (and without clothes) in a bush 2 days after the incidence. Complained of pain in whole body and particularly in
private parts after regaining consciousness. According to her, 3 male police took her to a bush and were beating her, when she lost consciousness.

2. Kabita Adhikari. Fracture Rt patella and Lt wrist. According to her, she was in Anadi Mal’s home on 14th March, when male police dragged her out and beaten her severly.

3. Sankari Gol. Severely beaten by male police, admitted with Rt leg fracture and multiple injury with stitches on head.

4. Sovarani Sinha. According to her, a child was snatched away and killed before her eyes.

5..Anubha Khanda. Admitted with bubber bullet in knee, admitted and operated on 14th March. Her husband Rasbehari Khanda has been transferred
to SSKM Hospital, Kolkata in very serious condition, now in intensive care unit.


List of Patients Injured in Nandigram, now Admitted in SSKM Hospital :

Sl no. Name Age/sex Village Injury Remarks
1 Parikshit MaityS/o (Late) Abinash 55/M Kalicharanpur Bullet Injury abdomen

2 Avijit SamsntaS/o Subimal 33/M Sonachura Bullet Injury Chest, Opeation done on 28.03.2007

3 Avijit GiriS/o Pratap Chandra 22/M Kalicharanpur Bullet Injury Rt hand, Charra Injury Abdomen

4 Pritish DasS/o (Late) Purnachandra 29/M Gangra Bullet Injury Head, Back

5 Swapan GiriS/o Gobinda 21/M Sonachura Bullet Injury Rt Hand

6 Mani RanaS/o (Late) Beni 18/M Gokulnagar Bullet Injury Rt Thigh, Operation done on 27.03.2007

7 Salil Das AdhikariS/o (Late) Bhupaticharan 35/M Gokulnagar Bullet Injury between Lt eye and nose

8 Anjali DasW/o Mrityunjoy 50/F Sonachura Injury, beaten by police and CPI(M) cadres

9 Swarnamoyee DasW/o Gopal Das 32/F Gokulnagar Bullet Injury Lt Elbow

10 Kanchan MalW/o Swapan 45/F Gokulnagar 4 Bullet injuries in Breasts and 3 in Lt Hand, Operated twice.Injured while trying to rescue an injured person

11 Purnima MondalW/o Pipu /F Gokulnagar Heavily beaten up by CPI(M) cadres on 24.3.07 at Tekhali. Admitted on 25.3.07 via Tamluk Sadar Hospital

12 Gouri Rani DasW/o Chittaranjan 40/F Kalicharanpur Injury from Tear Gas Shell, Transferred to ICU

13 Bhawani GiriW/o Jiten 40/F Kalicharanpur Bullet Injury Lt Chest

14 Rasbehari KharaS/o(Late) Kumar 45/M Sonachura Bullet Injury Abdomen

15 Saddam HossainS/o Serajul Islam 18/M Barjamtala7 no Jalpai Bullet Injury Rt Eyebrow. A student of class IX. Now almost blind

16 Tapasi DasW/o Sambhu 32/F Gokulnagar Bullet Injury Hip

17 Manju Mal Discharged on 29.3.07

18 Banashree Acharya Discharged on 26.3.07

19 Haimabati Halder


Photographic evidences of some of the persons injured in the incidence of 14.3.2007

1. Minhazur s/o Noorjahan Age 8 years, Villege Soudhkhali. Was with his mother in the Namaz ceremony that was held at Bhangabera. When police
resorted to lathicharge, he received 4 blows in left elbow, resulting in a supracondylar fracture. These two photographs show the extent and seriousness of the injury before (1A) the team had rendered medical care and after (1B).

2. Saraswati Das, w/o late Kalipada Das, Villege Gangra F 40. Was in the puja ceremony at Bhangabera. When the tear gas shelling started, she
started running for shelter. A shell exploded close to her. She had a burning sensation. The police chased her out and she received two mighty blows in her right leg. The police had beaten her up when she fell down in the ground. The photograph ( 2) shows the wound because of the blows that she received from the police. It may be mentioned here that even after a week of the said incident, she did not receive any medical attention.

3. Tapasi Das, w/o of Late Ratan Das, who was killed during the firing on 14.3.2007, Villege Gangra, Sonachura, F 24. Widowed with two small kids.
Lost all tranquility, stopped speaking. Accute Stress-induced trauma.

4. Sonali Das, W/o Pabitra Das, F 26, Villege Sonachura. Was near to the puja ceremony site. When firing started she started running and was
engulfed by the tear gas fumes. She lost direction and was beaten up by the police at the left elbow. Did not receive any medical help even after a week.

Previous Report

On 18th March 2007, 4 days after the massacre at Nandigram a medical team comprising of six doctors ( including two female doctors ),three junior doctors ( house staff of Medical College, Kolkata ),3 sisters and two health workers went to the affected areas to provide medical service to the victims of police atrocities. Three voluntary organizations (working in the field of health), namely Shramajibi Swasthya Udyog, Peoples’ Health & Janaswasthya Swadhikar Manch organized the medical camp.

The members first went to Nandigram Hospital (actually a glorified health center, with minimum infrastructural facilities), talked to four women (one of them accompanied by a very young child), who were admitted in the wards. Then the team went to Sonachura and Adhikaripara (Gokulnagar Area) and gave treatment to 129 affected persons. They also talked to above 300 villagers. Locals like Sri Prodyot Maity, Sri Buddhadeb Mondal, Sri Subhendu Karan; Sri Nishikanto Mondal (a leader of the committee for prevention of land acquisition) helped the team much and guided it to the worst affected areas.

From the dialogue with the villagers that included many eye- witnesses of the ghastly incident, a horrifying story of torture, murder, molestation, rape and killing of children gradually unfolded—which in our view is a planned genocide and barbaric large scale sexual crimes committed upon innocent people. The description, appear to us nightmarish and in spite of our long standing association with medical profession ranging from some years to few decades—some of us felt mentally sick.

Ours was not a fact finding team. These are collateral information that we have gathered. But we feel that it is our duty to communicate this monstrous and sinister incidence that stands singular and in isolation (the comment made by Winston Churchill in the British Parliament after Jalianwala Bag massacre) to the world outside Nandigram. Rest is up to the readers to believe or to reject.

We took some photographs also, which are in our custody and may be circulated in future. With the prelude, let us divulge what the locals said on that day to us.

The local people irrespective of their villages, ages and sex told us the incidences as summarized below—


A lot of people (ranging up to few hundreds) are still missing. It is not that all of them are killed. Some have fled away but the number of casualties are many fold of the officially declared number of 14.In Sonachura alone 50-60 people are untraceable.

No comprehensive list of the missing person is available till date. Firstly, because they are still shell socked and dumb in horror and pain. There is no one to take such initiative for door to door survey (like a census) in the vast stretch of area. Secondly, due to absolute lack of faith in administration/ police and to avoid harassment (including arrest), no one has formally lodged a missing diary either.


The locals say that many families have been torn apart as occurred after Tsunami. One house has got only two children with the father battling for life at hospital and in the other missing. Many have lost their parents, children or beloved who are not included in the lists stain and hospitalized persons. The villagers say that some of them, who ran away, may come back after some time and a proper account of the loss can be taken only after that.


Many small children of the K.G. school are missing in Bhangabera (another badly hit village). The villagers say that during the commotion they were released from the school. Many of them had been butchered by the attackers. Their throats were slit or heads chopped off, put in gunny bags, loaded in trucks and transported to unknown destinations. The locals feel that either the bodies had been burnt in brick-kilns, thrown to Haldi River / Bay of Bengal (not very far off) by tying with stones in fishing nets or dumped in marshy land or jungles. It may so happen that the bodies to the ditches and the overlying roads repaired. Some people said that they have either witnessed themselves or heard from other that the legs of a small child were torn apart. A breast-fed baby was reportedly thrown to a pond.


It is the general perception that the trucks carrying the materials for road repair were extensively used to transport dead bodies during 48 hours subsequent to the attack, when neither the media nor the ‘opponents’ from outside the ‘action area’ were allowed to infiltrate.

It may be mentioned here that news was published in the Bengali Daily Statesman on March 19 that a truck loaded with bullet-ridden bodies covered with tarpaulin was taken to the Haldia State General Hospital at Durgachak past midnight. The hospital superintendent was asked to keep the bodies of the victims of a so called road traffic accident in the hospital morgue ‘temporarily’. The superintendent refused to oblige and was threatened with dire consequences. By refusing to oblige he drew the wrath of almighty Sri Laxman Seth, the M.P. of Haldia.


Many persons were chased and hacked or smashed to death by sharp or blunt weapons. Their bodies were carried away to abolish evidence as it occurred in Chhoto Angaria of West Midnapur, where bodies of eleven murdered persons could never be traced. The local wanted to show us a portion of a road at Bhangabera which was still thickly smeared with blood and even with soft brain matter. They said that the CPI (M) goons tried to wash away the blood stains throughout the night by lighting halogen lamps with generators but failed. The site has been visited by the CBI officials.


Stories of rape and molestation are widespread. The locals say in the aftermath of the attack, the hard core criminals hired by the CPI (M) took advantage of the situation in a full swing. The male members of the families ran away. The criminals attacked, molested and even gang raped the hapless farmers’ wives and daughters even in the broad daylight. They did not spare the aged also. One lady in her fifteen bears deep cut marks on chest by sharp weapons and other marks of molestation. Villagers tell that a number of teenage girls or young unmarried women have been abducted without trace. The locals believe that were taken to the house of Naba Samanta ( a CPI(M) party member cum muscleman and brother of the local tyrant Sankar Samanta who was burnt to death after the fired on the mob from his house ),gang raped and slaughtered. Villagers insisted us to visit the place to see blood stained female undergarments, sarees,broken bangles etc.still lying there. But we could not go, partly due to the shortage of time and partly due to the fear. We saw a young girl (14 to 16 years) is moving all along the team with a small packet in her hand. On enquiry, it was known that many young girls are afraid of staying back home alone lest they are attacked and tortured by police or cadres of CPI(M).They were loitering in public places in the village. At night, many women are hiding in the bushes and not staying at the thatched houses which can be attacked any time. Men are also sitting or lying sleeplessly on the paddy field for last 3-4days (since the attack).The apprehension of quick and organized removal of dead bodies is overwhelming. At Sonachur, an eyewitness lady told that after the firing a number of persons (including children) were jolting in pain and screaming for help on the bank of the pond of Naba Samanta .They were wanting water. The pond turned red. The assistance could reach them on the face of attack. The attackers killed some by them by stones or by bamboo sticks. After two hours, when the villagers could approach the spot, no one was left out. This is a big puzzle. The villagers believe that the bodies and half dead are carried away.

Who fired on them?

Men in uniform, but some of them with ‘chappals’ on their feet. It was revealed subsequently that the CPI (M) procured some 250-300 sets of police uniform from the local ‘Sunny Tailors’ a month back. The villagers concluded that the uniform clad goons accompanied the police force on that day.

The injury marks:

There were all sorts of injuries e.g.

1. Bullet injuries—most of the injured either died or were transferred to hospitals.
2. Injuries on heads caused by blunt weapons.
3. Injury on the forehead of a woman in her seventies caused by some sharp weapon.
4. Extensive and barbaric lathi-charge marks on the whole bodies of women and men. Even after 4 days the parts were red, hot, swollen and very painful. Some of them may have fractures but x-rays could not be done. Some of them were still unable to move from beds.

About three-fourth of the victims are children and women. Interestingly the preferred part of the woman body for such attack was below the umbilicus and above the knees. A rod was forcefully driven to the private part of a lady.

When some persons attacked a lady, her husband resisted. The attackers threatened to kill their small child. The husband ran away with the small child and the lady was molested.

We met two victims who requested to remain anonymous lest they were not accepted by the society. One of them came to her father’s house and was molested on the black day. Villagers said that there were more victims who were too shy to depose before us.

5. Many patients (including children) complained of eye problems—blurring of vision, eye pain and burning sensation in eyes following exposure to tear gas. A number of elderly patients complained of loss of vision.

Name of the attackers

Police and CPI (M) henchmen like Naba Samanta, Jaidev Paik, Anup Mondal, Badal Mondal etc. allegedly led the attack.

Current situation

Still there is tension in the locality and enough provocation by the CPI (M) men from the other side of the canal (Khejuri side), they bring out armed processions with slogans like ‘Those who want to destabilize industrialization will not be spared’. We saw such a long procession ourselves.
There are spates of bombing across the canal throughout the night. People spend sleepless nights. The assurance of peace appears hollow to them and they believe that CPI (M) is taking a breathing time only to bounce back with more force after a month or two.

There is no faith in police as the criminals are hiding in the police camps at times. The police camps are the source of constant fear to the villagers and they want removal of the camps. They are not even ready to allow any government medical team to enter the villages. A fear psychosis looms large in the whole area.

Since agriculture and other economic activities are at stake, there is crisis of food in many houses. Moreover the villagers can not go freely to the market places as police and CPI (M) musclemen often abduct persons moving alone or in small groups.

What we felt
The loss of life is huge, the physical injuries widespread, the psychological trauma unthinkable. The women and the children are the worst affected. In the days to come, many of them are likely to suffer from various psychiatric disorders.

But the morale is still high. Still they are not ready to part with even an inch of their ancestral land, which they consider like their mother. They declare that even further blood shed will not be able crush their movement.

Many people spontaneously came out and spoke to us. They said repeatedly that since they were almost living in ghettos, they were unaware of the impact of their movement on the outer society. There are needs of medicines, food and clothes. But most badly needed is the healing touch of the civil society.

Another team visited Nandigram on March 24-25. They have examined 240 vicitms, treated them and documented their injuries. They also trained activists in First Aid. Their report will be sent to you soon.

नंदीग्राम पर नयी फ़िल्म

यह फ़िल्म 14 मार्च की घटनाओं के सूक्ष्म विवरण के साथ आयी है.

देखें : नव उदारवाद का नया चेहरा बजरिये नंदीग्राम

देखें : विकास के नाम पर लोगों के उजड़ने की कहानी

उन्होंने मेरे पिता को टुकडों में काट डाला

देखें : न हन्यते

नंदीग्राम में 100 से ज्यादा लोग मारे गये हैं, 200 अब भी लापता हैं. वहां महिलाओं के साथ सीपीएम के कैडरों ने बलात्कार किया. बच्चों तक को नहीं छोड़ा गया है. सीपीएम की इस क्रूरता और निर्लज्जता का विरोध होना चाहिए. हमें नंदीग्राम, सिंगूर और हर उस जगह के किसानों के आंदोलन का समर्थन करना चाहिए, जो अपनी जमीन बचाने के लिए लड़ाई लड़ रहे हैं. यह दस्तावेज़ी फ़िल्म किसानों के इसी संघर्ष के बारे में है. यह फ़िल्म नंदीग्राम के ताज़ा नरसंहार से पहले बनायी गयी थी.

नंदीग्राम में जनसंहार के बाद के द्श्‍य

यह फिल्‍म पुलिस द्वारा नंदीग्राम में बर्बर तरीके से की गयी हत्‍याओं एवं उनकी भयावहता व बर्बरता के बारे में है. इसके कई दृ़श्‍य विचलित कर देनेवाले हैं.

नंदीग्राम प्रतिरोध्‍

नंदीग्राम में सरकारी आतंक

देखें : माकपा की गुंडागर्दी

नंदीग्राम में सीपीएम सरकार की पुलिस ने जो बर्बर कार्रवाई की, वह अब खुल कर सामने आने लगी है. यह फ़िल्म उसी बर्बरता के बारे में है. इसके कई दृश्य आपको विचलित कर सकते हैं. आप इसे तभी देखें जब आप वीभत्स दृश्य देख सकने की क्षमता रखते हों. हम खुद शर्मिंदा हैं कि हमें ऐसे दृश्य आपको दिखाने पड़ रहे हैं, पर ये आज की हकीकत हैं. इनसे कैसे मुंह मोडा़ जा सकता है?