Friday, November 16, 2007

Nandigram:‘CPM imposing fines on those willing to return’

Six-member NHRC team records statements of villagers who were driven out of their homes during the "recapture"

Nandigram, November 16: The CPI(M), after its "recapture" of Nandigram, is allegedly levying fines on Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee supporters to allow them to return to harvest their crops.l

"The CPI(M) is imposing fines of thousands of rupees, depending on our land holding, to allow us to return home," said Ranjit Dasadhikary, a Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee supporters (name changed) at a relief camp here.

"Our crops are ready to be harvested. If we don't return home, the CPI(M) will harvest our crops and not allow us to return home also," Dasadhikary said.

Voicing the same fear, Sanat Maity (name changed) of Garchakraberia said: "In that case they will also take over our houses. There is no question of refusal. In that case, our houses will be set on fire. The CPI(M) is also forcing our supporters to take part in their processions to show that all is well," he said.

Trinamool Congress MLA, Subhendu Adhikary said BUPC supporters are being asked to pay thousands of rupees as fine. "This is true that those BUPC supporters trying to return home are being threatened and asked to pay thousands of rupees as fine. They are also being asked to join CPI(M) processions and take the lead to prove that they have returned to the Marxist's fold," he added.

Meanwhile, a six-member NHRC team on Friday recorded the statements of several villagers in Nandigram who were rendered homeless during the recent "recapture" by CPI(M) from rival BUPC activists.

"We are recording the statements of the affected people who are staying at a relief camp in a school here," Special Superintendent of Police S P Singh, leading the team of National Human Rights Commission said.

Asked whether they had arrived at any preliminary conclusion, another team-member and SSP Mamta Singh said "It's too early to comment. We've to talk to all concerned and see for ourselves the affected areas before coming to any conclusion."

The NHRC team is trying to ascertain whether there has been any lapse on part of the local police and authorities and would collect information, particularly on cases relating to killing and molestation of women.

Four representatives of the six-member team spent a considerable time at the relief camp in the Brajamohan Tiwari Shikshaniketan. They would submit a report to NHRC chairman in Delhi after completing the inquiry.

The NHRC team met the Superintendent of Police S Panda and district magistrate Anup Agarwal of East Midnapore to know the views of the administration on the recent developments in Nandigram.

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