Nandigram Genocide: Demands and Details
Demands raised by a fact-finding team:
1.A Judicial Enquiry with a seating Supreme CourtJudge into the whole incidence of firing and associated atrocities on thepeople of the villages of Nandigram. Punish all the culprits who aredirectly or indirectly responsible for this barbaric act.2.Immediate investigation into the missing cases ofpeople from each of the affected village of this area, if necessary with ahousehold survey by an independent agency. Digging up of the trencheswhere people suspect that the dead bodies have been buried near theCanal of Bhangabera.3.Immediate withdrawal of the police force not inphases and restrict the CPI(M) from any kind of protest, repression andattack.4.A formal and official announcement with writtennotification of the withdrawal of the proposal of the Nandigram SEZ,Chemical Hub allotted to the developer Salim group of Indonesia.5.Withdrawal of all the proposals of SEZs across Indiaalong with the very SEZ ACT.6.Constitution of the concerned citizens’ committeewith prominent democrats to start a process of establishing normalcyin the affected areas of Nandigram.7.Adequate compensation package for the victims andproper treatment for the injured after shifting them to Kolkatahospitals so that they get sufficient care and medical facility.8.The medical case profiles of the victims should beprotected and deposited immediately with an independent and neutralagency.
Members of the team:
Medha Patkar(NBA & National Alliance of Peoples’Movements)D. Thankappan (New Trade Union Initiative)Dr. B. D. Sharma ( Bharat Jan Andolan)Tridib Ghosh (People’s Democratic Front of India)G N Saibaba (Preparatory Committee for the Formationof Anti Displacement Front, Ranchi Conference )Arun Khote (National Campaign for Dalit Human Rights)Rakesh Rafiq (Juba Bharat)Ram Dhiraj (Ajadi Bachao Andolan)Srimant (Kalinga Nagar Movement)Meher Engineer (Scientist and Academecian)
Nandigram: A Reprt on March 14 Vioplence and Some News Clippings
I.Report of the team who went to Nandigram in the district of Purba Medinipore in terms of the order of the Hon’ble High Court dated 15.03.2007 passed by the Hon’ble Division Bench comprised of Mr. S.S. Nijjar, Chief Justice and the Hon’ble Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghosh in a writ petition filed by the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights and Paschim Banga Khet Majdoor Samity. 1. That soon after getting a plain copy of the order of the Hon’ble High Court a team consisting of the following persons proceeded towards Nandigram from the High Court.i) Sri Amit Dyuti Kumar, representing the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights;ii) Sri Prasad Roychowdhury, Secretary, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights;iii) Dr. (Mrs.) Subabrata Bhadra, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights;iv) Sri Raghu, Association for Protection of Democratic Rights;v) Smt. Anurada Talwar, representing Paschim Banga Kheth Majdoor Samity;vi) Sri Jeeban, - do –vii) Ms. Panchali Roy - do –viii) Sri Sandeep -do-ix) Sri Chiro -do-x) Sri Pramod -do-xi) Sri Gangyly,xii) Sri Sadhan Roychowdhury, representing Manabidhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM);12. Sri Subrata Roy, representing Manabidhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM);13. Sri Arjun Das , representing MASUMxv) Bibek Tripathy, Advocate, High Court , Calcutta2) At about 8 PM on 15.03.2007 a team went to the office of the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore where Mr. Anup Agarwal, District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore was present. The team expressed their strong will and desire to go to Nandigram and sought for security escort or necessary police protection to enable the team to proceed for Nandigram immediately.3) The District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore, however, flatly refused to entertain any such request for rendering police protection to the team on various counts or grounds saying that the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore is not a party in the writ petition and that the said District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore has no legal or moral obligation to entertain any of the requests on the subject. Then the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore advised the members of the team not to go to Nandigram on the ground that seeing the members of the team the people of Nandigram may be charged thereby there will be apprehension of breach of law and order.4) All persuasions made by the team for allowing the members of the team to go to Nandigram failed.5) At about 8.30 PM the team went to the office of the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore but in the said office of the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore no one was present. The night guard also could not provide the team with any information as to where the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore will be available or telephone number either of the office or residence of the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore. Mrs. Anurada Talwar from her own sources after making several calls could get mobile phone number of the Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore and tried for several occasions to talk to the said Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore but the said Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore did not pick up the telephone on any occasion.6) Then the team proceeded for Tamluk Sub-Divisional Hospital. The team could get the following informations from the hospital -i) All together 36 persons both male and female were admitted with bullet injuries, head injuries and different types of other severe injuries. Four police personnel were also admitted in the hospital but in the said hospital record there is no mention as to the nature of injury allegedly suffered by such police personnel. From records it could be ascertained that few patients have been referred to the PG hospital and 4 police personnel have been referred to Nilratan Sarkar Medical College and Hospital. The members of the team then were allowed by the hospital authorities to talk to the patients and a few numbers od the tem entered into the ward where the victims of the incident narrated the entire episode as to how and in what manner such persons were subjected to indiscriminate, reckless firing committed by both police personnel and the goons of the rulling political party.ii) Then the team could ascertain that several bodies have been brought dead in the hospital and such bodies have been kept in the morgue. Some bodies have been claimed by the relatives but there were still some bodies which were not claimed by the members of family of the deceased victims. In the Sub-Divisional hospital the team could find that a CBI team headed by Sri B.B. Misra, Joint Director of CBI, already arrived there to conduct investigation in terms of the order of the Hon’ble High Court. Then the team at about 00.30 AM left the Tamluk Sub-Divisional Hospital and then stayed at Tamluk at night. In the morning on 16.03.2007 the team preceded for Chandipur Police Station.At about 8.00 AM the team could reach the Chandipur Police Station where the team could meet Mr. Kalyan Banerjee, Additional Superintendent of Police in Charge, Purba Medinipore. The said Additional Superintendent of Police in Charge in a diplomatic way told the team that being a police officialthe said Additional Superintendent of Police in Charge should not say that the team should not go to Nandigram in violation to the Constitutional guarantee but the said Additional Superintendent of Police in Charge advised the team not to go to Nandigram in the same and similar tune and version of the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore. The said Additional Superintendent of Police did not receive the copy of the order of the Hon”ble High Court on the alleged ground that the said Additional Superintendent of Police is not a party to the writ petition. The team told the Additional Superintendent of Police that the team will convey the decision of the team after sometimes and accordingly after about 45 minutes the team intimated the said Additional Superintendent of Police in Charge that the team has taken a decision to go to Nandigram. After communicating the decision of the team to go for Nandigram at about 10 AM the team started for Nandigram and could reach atNandigram Hospital at about 10.45 AM.iii) In the hospital at Nandigram which is a Primary Health Centre the team could ascertain that all together 69 persons (male, female and children) have been admitted in the said hospital. Several cases of bullet injuries and various other injuries due to blasting of tear gas shell and hand made bombs have been recorded in the record. A few cases of rape by the police personnel and other persons have also been reported by the victims to the hospital.iv) The team could find that the hospital do not have any facility for rendering treatment to the victims. The members of the victim family were waiting outside the hospital are all trauma stricken. A deep sense of frustration was prevailing in the entire hospital compound at Nandigram. The patients have not been provided with food and minimum medicines which they require. There is no ambulance in the hospital and one ambulance provided by some NGO is not functioning properly. The Block Medical Officer of Health admitted that thre is an acute problem for transportation of the victims to Tamluk due to shortage of ambuance and vehicles.7) At about 2.30 PM the team proceeded for Sonachura which place is situated at about 20 Kms. from Nandigram Hospital. On their way to Sonachura the team could find thousands of persons were sitting on the road or assembling jointly in some areas.Upon seeing the team reaching the area all the villagers started narrating their story as to how and in what manner the poor villagers have been subjected to torture by the police and the murderers of the ruling political party. The nature of allegations made by the villagers is as follows:i) On 14.03.2007 the villagers assembled near Bhangabera which is a bridge connecting Nandigram and Khejuri. At Bhangabera. the villagers of both the communities were offering prayers to God and the gathering for offering prayers to the God were comprising of women and children mostly. All on a sudden the police personnel without any notice to the villagers proceeded towards the the villagers offering prayers and without any notice started indiscriminate firing of rubber bullets, killing bullets and tear gas. Several persons were killed at the spot by such indiscriminate police firing. Just after opening of the fire of the police upon the gathering the villagers were trying to escape to a secured place and such villagers were surrounded by the murderers of the local political party who were also in uniform but sandle in their feet and fully armed with local made arms and ammunitions. Children were murdered indiscriminately; bodies have been thrown to nearby Chunibuririver. The children of Primary Schools at least 8 in numbers have been killed by the murderers and then all those children were buried in a particular place near Bhangabera area. The police and hooligans then ransacked the huts of the villagers, indiscriminately fired the residential huts of the villagers and captured upto the village Sonachura and the adjoining villages. The team could find that a good number of persons who have received various kinds of injuries including bullet injuries not less than 100 in numbers, receiving such bullet injuries are in their respective huts in their village. Such persons could not dare to go to hospital because of threats perpetrated by police and the murderers of the political party. A good number of women have complained that they have been raped, sexually abused and molested by police personnel and the murderers of the political party. The team could ascertain a good number of persons not less than 60 in numbers still remainuntraced. The exact figure as to the particulars of the untraced persons could not be ascertained because villagers of some villages could not return to their home so as to ascertain as to how many members of persons are remaining untraced. The team could ascertain that the CBI team reached Bangabhera for the purpose of investigation. The team could not ascertain the exact numbers of victims of killing, rape, injured and untraced.ii) The team returned to Nandigram Hospital at about 8.00 PM to start for Kolkata.This brief report is supported by the statements made by the victims recorded by the members of the team personally and also the video clippings and footage.8) Observation of the team from the trend of statements made by the victims of the incident and the villagers in general.i) The people of Nandigram have been subjected to torture by the police and the political hooligans in a concerted way;ii) The villagers, the police have started operation at the first instance for mass killing and the job has been completed by the murderers of the political parties. The peaceful movement of the people of Nandigram to oppose acquisition of land and/or for establishing Special Economic Zone by the State Government under the approved scheme of the Central Government has been sought to be broken and/or demolished by the ruling political party in aid and abatement of the police and the local administration.iii) A good number of persons have been killed in the action. The exact number of the dead persons, untraced persons, victims of rape and the persons who have been severely injured could not yet been finalized because the villagers of Adhikari Para, Sonachura and the adjoining villages could not return to their respective huts as yet.iv) The administration have shown their total callousness in securing minimum force for providing medical assistance and for building up confidence upon the people of Nandigram.vi) The indefinite attitude of the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore, Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore and the other functionaries of the Purba Medinipore administration clearly suggest that those officials have had their definite knowledge and participation in the whole operation of causing indiscriminate firing upon the people of Nandigram.vii) There is no presence of administration at Nandigram either through the District Magistrate, Purba Medinipore, Superintendent of Police, Purba Medinipore or the other administrative persons.viii) The dignatories indicated in the order of the Hon’ble High Court to the best of the information received by the team include Mr. Lakhman Seth, the Member of Parliament who is personally responsible for the incident of this mass killing. Informations have collected by the team to the effect that Lakhman Seth deployed professional murderers to commit murders of the villagers at Nandigram and that police started the operation but the rest of the operation has been conducted by the professional murderers engaged and deputed by Lakhman Seth, M.P. and the functionaries of Haldia Development authority and the local CPIM murderers at Haldia.ix) CBI team conducting investigation may not be successful in unearthing each and every incident of murder, kidnapping, rape and other various kinds of offences in its meticulous details because that CBI team do not have sufficient and adequate expert officials of the CBI and the team constituted by CBI is a skeleton team and is too inadequate to conduct investigation over the incident at Nandigram occurred on 14.03.2007.
II.A.http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=1&theme=&usrsess=1&id=150335Nandigram rape: CPM man owns upJoydeep ThakurNANDIGRAM, March 20: Villagers have been looking for some people who came in on 14 March disguised as policemen to rape and murder women. They chanced upon Sahadev Pramanick (30), who had raped at least two women. The CPI-M activist from Gangra, Sonachura, left the village after the first spell of violence in January and sought refuge in a party camp at Khejuri. Last evening, whilst trying to sneak into Sonachura along with four accomplices, he found himself captured. Pramanick admitted to two rapes, including that of a 13-year-old girl. “At least 17 girls were raped inside a deserted house near Bhangabera on 14 March when police opened fire near a bridge. The victims were dragged into the house of Shankar Samanta by CPI-M cadres,” Pramanick said. Samanta had been burnt alive by villagers on 7 January and his dwelling since then lay vacant.CBI officials have visited it, collecting pieces of torn cloth, bangles and undergarments. It was also stained with blood. Villagers had heard women forced into the house cry out in agony but there were CPI-M goons guarding it. Haldia’s sub-divisional police officer, Mr Swapan Saha, said if the CBI wanted Pramanick for interrogation, he would be handed over to it. ----------------------------------------------------------B.http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=6&theme=&usrsess=1&id=150390CBI probe: Witnesses fear retributionStatesman News ServiceNANDIGRAM, March 20: Eyewitnesses of the Nandigram carnage declined to depose before a special team of CBI officials today owing to reported fear of being attacked later by CPI-M cadres.A eight member team of CBI officers led by special director Mr ML Sharma, who had come from CBI headquarters in Delhi went to Nandigram today to inspect the spot and get a first hand account of the carnage. Joint director Mr BB Mishra who was heading the investigation till date was also in the team to assists Mr Sharma.The team first went to Bhangabera, to inspect the spot where police and CPI-M goons had opened fire on the villagers on 14 March. Still photographs and video footings were taken where officials had earlier found bodies, blood stains and other evidence.The team however failed to get any first hand account of the villagers as the eyewitnesses evaded the question posed by the officials and declined to dispose before them. The team enquired with several people who had gathered at the spot today, but no one came up. The officers then visited some houses on the banks of Talpatty canal which were attacked on Wednesday last. The residents however divulged nothing. The villagers just revealed that they were being threatened for passing on information to the CBI by CPI-M cadres. Bombs are being hurled regularly from across the canal.Women who go to the field to graze their cows are being shown guns and threatened. At night the CPI-M goons flash searchlights from the other side of the canal just to show their presence.The CBI team however found some eyewitnesses in Adhikaripara and also took a first hand account of some victims, including women who were molested. The women were asked if the men who had molested them were wearing police uniforms and whether they were known to them earlier.The team also went to Nandigram and Khejuri police station to inspect the arms and ammunition which have been seized earlier by the CBI officers. Mr Sharma said “I have just come to assist Mr Mishra and the other officers and not for any investigation.” A ten member CID team also visited Nandigram today to start investigations into last Wednesday’s massacre.----------------------------------------------------------C.http://www.thestatesman.net/page.news.php?clid=6&theme=&usrsess=1&id=150391Cops depart but trauma remainsStatesman News ServiceNANDIGRAM, March 20: Simmering tensions and anxiety engulfed people from trouble-torn areas in Nandigram although the state government officially declared that no land will be acquired here for industrialisation. Many people are still missing and many others are homeless.As lives limped back to a semblance of normalcy, police moved out today from two camps, to the relief of villagers. Police camps at Sonachura and Gokulnagar were removed to Bhangbhera and Tekhali in Khejuri on the other side of Talpati canal. About 1,000 policemen were deployed at Sonachura and Gokulnagar camps after the mayhem on 14 March. Thanks to CBI scare, CPI-M cadres left Sonachura and Gokulnagar and the villagers could return back to their homes in these areas.Since then policemen had to bear the brunt of curses and abuses of villagers. Mrs Suhasini Mondal, mother of late Pushpendu who died in the 14 March carnage, said: “The protectors of law have turned into murderers. Don’t police have children at their homes?”Trinamul leader Mr Shubendu Adhikari addressed meetings at Maheshpur and Sonachura today. He said: “I feel sorry for the victims of the carnage on 14 March but our movement does not end at a declaration of state government only. The CPI-M cadres and policemen who committed this heinous crime must be punished.”Leaders of Bhumi Uchhed Protirodh Committee are now preparing a list of missing people who are feared dead already. As per the list, 25 people from Sonachura and 37 from Gokulnagar area are missing while similar reports of other villagers in the trouble-torn areas are yet to be completed. Many people were seen searching from their relatives and asking leaders if they know their whereabouts. Mrs Shankari Das thanked God when she found her 11-year-old daughter Deepa, who ran six miles to escape killers’ clutches, safe. Others may not have been as lucky, villagers said.The other side of Talpati canal, Khejuri, has been deserted by CPI-M cadres following the raid of CBI at Majanani brick kiln to arrest 10 people with arms who were allegedly CPI-M cadres. However, protesters of Nandigram believes that once the CBI team completes its job here and leaves the area, the CPI-M would certainly inflict a fresh round of attacks. The Bharat Sevashram Sangha has been offering meals to 1,000 homeless and penniless villagers at Sonachura relief camp over the last three days.The officer-in-charge of Nandigram police station, Mr Sekhar Roy, was today replaced by the district police administration and Mr Partha Sanyal, the officer-in-charge of Mahishadal police station, was appointed in his place. Mr Sanyal will take charge tomorrow. According to a senior district police officer, Mr Roy had applied for leave to go on a training. “He wanted to go for training for higher ranks and the leave was granted today,” said the officer. Meanwhile, state women commission chairperson, Ms Jasodhara Bagchi visited the Tamluk Sadar Hospital and Nandigram Block Hospital today and spoke with the injured victims of the violence that took place at Nandigram on 14 March. She, however, declined to comment saying it would be improper as a CBI probe was on.
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