Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Nandigram: Waiting to explode

11/29/2007 9:00:15 AM

Abandoned homes in a village in West Bengal's Nandigram are mute witness to the violence and simmering anger

In Nandigram, there is dead stillness as not a soul passes there anymore - an eerie contrast to the burning only three weeks ago.

But while it may look as though this fire has been put out, all is not as it seems. Behind the lull there may be a storm brewing as two rival camps are secretly consolidating their bases.

"We will resist with the people…everyone remembers what kind of atrocities CPI(M) carried out in Nandigram. They cannot rebuild their party like this. The CPI(M) will learn their lessons. The Bhoomi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee was there, is there and it will be there," Trinamool Congree MLA Sisir Adhikary tells TIMES NOW.

BUPC leader Samir Patitunda claims the organisation has gathered mass support and is reorganising itself.

Highly placed sources have told TIMES NOW that both sides are piling up arms and ammunition, particularly in the communally sensitive areas which include Sonachura, Garhchakraberia, Satengabari and Hajrakata.

Sources also tell TIMES NOW that a slew of new Maoist youth are consolidating to lead an insurgency into Nandigram - youth who have been trained by Maoist leaders camping in Nandigram for the last six to seven months.

Maoist red flags might have replaced BUPC flags, but the truth is that villagers there may not have completely changed their loyalities yet - and that is why CPI(M) cadres at the local level, as TIMES NOW sources say, are seeing red. It is a volcanic situation in Nandigram as the CPI(M) struggles to get villagers to side with them.

"People of this area cannot write or read Hindi, that's why we still believe that Maoists are still hiding here in these villages. The trained people and weapons are still here. We have informed the police, but we are not protected. We are being terrorised," villagers told TIMES NOW.

Others meanwhile claimed they were being threatening with Maoists, and being pressurised into registering with the Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress.

Many villages are still bearing the burnt of the violence and by the look of things it does not seem as if the end is anywhere near.

(By Sambit Pal)

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