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News & Views on the Revolutionary Left

Bengal Govt’s new gameplan

Rajib Chatterjee

KOLKATA, April 17: Forgo violence and put up an economic blockade seems to be the new tactic of the CPI-M to teach Nandigram farmers a lesson. Faced with much criticism from all quarters of the society including the intellectual classes over the Nandigram massacre, the party has put up many makeshift camps in and around Nandigram allegedly to "restrict farmers" from accessing Haldia, Contai, Tamluk and other business hubs to sell their produce.

Supporters of Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee supporters alleged that CPI-M cadres have put up many camps in roads connecting Nandigram with Haldia and other business towns to restrict them from accessing suburban markets. "Most people of trouble-torn villages in Nandigram collect livelihood by selling pulses, betel leaf and fish. Those who have participated in the anti land-grab movement are now facing an economic terror as CPI-M has started building up forces in several places to prevent farmers from accessing market," BUPC leader Mr Subhendu Adhikari said.

According to him, CPI-M cadres have put up camps at Battala, Bidyapith, Sherkhanchowk and Haldia ferryghat to deny farmers access to Haldia and other business hub markets. With the ferry services ~ the most convenient and economical mode of transport between Nandigram and Haldia ~ remaining suspended for many days, farmers of five trouble-torn villages, Kalicharanpur, Adhikaripara, Garchakraberia, Sonachura, Satnambar and Jalpai, are unable to access nearby markets, Mr Adhikary told The Statesman. The CPI-M has built up forces at Chowk Kendamari area near Tekhali, said Mr Adhikari. He alleged that betel leaf farmers are unable to access Mecheda Market because the CPI-M has put up camps near Khejuri.

Members from various social organisations and human rights groups, who visited Nandigram after 14 March massacre, have also observed that CPI-M has resorted to "economic terror" in Nandigram. They observed that farmers of affected villages have virtually been confined to their respective villages.

Agriculture and fishery are the two main economic activities of more than 60,000 people of the affected villages in Nandigram. A large number of people are engaged in trade of betel leaf. "Farmers told us that they were unable to take their produce to markets because CPI-M cadres are resisting them at Chandipure, a small town which connects Nandigram to Haldia," Mr Amitdyuti Kumar, state committee member of the Association for Protection of Democratic Rights, said. The CPI-M has also put up camps at Bhangabera for allegedly restricting Nandigram farmers from accessing markets.

When contacted Mr Ashok Guria, a CPI-M district secretariat member from Midnapore (East), said that he was "unaware" of any "economic blockade" in Nandigram. "We didn't dig up roads to restrict administration from accessing Nandigram. Those who had resorted to violence and kept Nandigram beyond the reach of administration for months are responsible for the consequences," said Mr Guria.

The Statesman

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posted by Resistance 4/18/2007 08:02:00 AM,


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