Bengal Resistance

Monday, March 26, 2007

Nandigram killings : Get informed

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Factual Information

March 14 and onwards

  1. Villagers in Nandigram killed in police firing on march 14th, when around 3000 policemen and many CPM cadre moved in to occupy the area.
  2. Newspaper reports put the death toll between 6 and 32 (biases and govt censorship) but actual death toll is more than 100. (reference ) Hundreds more have been injured severely. Many women and children are among those killed and injured.
  3. Around 600 people are missing according to latest reports on bengali news channels.
  4. Contrary to CPI(M)'s claims, Trinamul congress and Maoists are not at the centrestage of the resistance against
  5. There are reports that the govt is not letting people access to bodies of relatives, in fact bodies are being put in plastic bags and thrown into the sea.
  6. Due to bold (and even violent) resistance by the people, some policemen have also been injured (not one has been killed). The govt and sections of the media are trying to exaggerate and shift focus to this.
  7. The area had been a no-entry zone for policemen and the state administration for more than two months.
  8. Many left-leaning intellectuals and artists have denounced the CPM and have strongly come out in support of the Nandigram villagers.
  9. Intellectuals and artists who have protested strongly: Nabaneeta Dev Sen (writer), Romila Thapar (historian), Arundhati Roy (writer), Tanika Sarkar (historian), Sumit Sarkar (historian), Jean Dreze (Economist), Bibhas Chakraborty (theatre), Monoj Mitra (theatre), Ashoke Mukhopadhyay (theatre), Kaushik Sen (theatre), Bratya Basu (theatre), Nabarun Bhattacharya (writer)

Background info

  1. 22,500 acres of land to be acquired for chemical hub SEZ by multi-national salim group of indonesia.
  2. On 2 January 2007, a notice was officially issued by HDA that initially about 14,500 acres of land in Nandigram.
  3. Clashes between people and police and CPM cadre on 3rd Jan.
  4. Since then violent incidents have been frequent, and the villagers have put up stiff resistance. (Medha Patkar's report )
  5. Social activists had already warned of a growing build-up of CPM cadre and policemen around Nandigram.
  6. Krishi Bhumi Uchched Virodhi Samiti is the organisation of the villagers. The Trinamul Congress, main opposition party, is externally supporting it.
  7. Nandigram is a predominantly Muslim area and an erstwhile CPM support zone. Muslim organisations were among the first to get active.

CPM's perspective

  1. Official CPM statements: 1. what happened 2. press statement 3. Buddhuda's assembly speech
  2. "Anarchy would not be tolerated and would be crushed with a heavy hand." --Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, CM of West Bengal on March 11.
  3. "This is no way to run a coalition regime. Things are being decided unilaterally," says Jyoti Basu, CPM big-shot and ex-CM of WB.
  4. CPM version:
  5. CPM claims (press statement ) that Trinamool Congress workers were fighting the police in Nandigram. Independent media reports do not corroborate this claim.


Editors' Choice
  2. For a detailed account, see Sanjay Sangvai's report:
  3. Biases in the media
  4. reports from various sources:
  5. Lots of updates daily and videos from unbiased sources:

News Reports (larger issue of Nandigram SEZ and response)

  1. MASUM fact-finding report:
  2. resistance news:
  3. reports from various sources:

News Reports (14th march police firing) and reactions

  1. Violent censorship of press: (original in bengali )
  2. Monobina gupta's account:
  3. Sanjai Sangvai's report:
  4. CPM terrorizes journalists: Times of India report
  5. historian couple returns award:
  6. Leftist intellectuals protest:
  7. List of news:
  8. BBC 1:
  9. BBC 2:
  10. Amnesty:
  11. I fled but my brother is missing:
  12. Buddha-bashing:
  13. Poetry: See the video here:
  14. Arms and ammo recovered in a CPM base near nandigram:
  16. The centre will not back out from the SEZ plans : Kamal Nath.
  17. Criticism of Hindu's reports: By a blogger,

Articles/Analysis/blogs/well-researched reports

  1. fact-finding report:
  2. NAPM Report of the larger issue:
  3. Criticism from the left:
  4. Medha patkar's report:
  5. The left is split
  6. History and reality of CPI(M) in west bengal (Vir Sanghvi):,00300001.htm
  7. interesting personal opinion:
  8. The CBI probe into the Nandigram incidents has already yielded significant results as CPM flags and leaflets have been confiscated from the area.
  9. The reality of CPI(M) in Bengal:

Action initiatives

  1. Online petition:
  2. Online Petition:
  3. local resistance:

How each of us can make a difference...

  • Get informed.
  • Talk to your friends, relatives, neighbours, etc about the issue.
  • Use the information and existing petition to draft your own petition and do a signature campaign.
  • Edit wikipedia article on Nandigram. But please be responsible with it.
  • Any other ideas, questions, just mail us at nandigram AT gmail DOT com

Contact info of people you can register your protest with:-
  1. Governor of West Bengal(WB) - Gopal Krishna Gandhi Fax: 033-22002444
  2. Chief Minister (WB) - Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee Fax:: 033-2214-5480/1341
  3. Chief Secretary (WB)- Amit Kiran Deb Fax: 033-2214 4328
  4. Home Secretary (WB)- Prasad Roy Fax: 033-22143001 , Email:
  5. Minister of Land and Land Reforms Department (WB) - Abdur Rezzak Mollah - Fax: 033-22144025
  6. Minister of Industry (WB) - Nirupam Sen Fax: 033-22144900
  7. Mr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Fax: +91 11 23016857, Email:
  8. Justice Mr. Y. K. Sabharwal, Chief Justice of India, Fax: +91 11 23383792, Email:
  9. Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, Fax: +91 11 2334 0016, Email:
  10. Shri Prakash Karat, General Secretary CPI(M), A.K. Gopala Bhavan, Bhai Mahavir Singh Marg, Golmarket, New Delhi –1

Related struggles:-

  1. Singur (WB) -- TATA motors factory -- 1000 acres
  2. Kalinganagar (orissa) -- TATA steel factory --
  3. Bastar (Chhattisgarh) -- industrial estate
  4. Haripur(WB)

About this document:-

Shared information and sources about Nandigram killings. If there is anyone else you want to add as editor, let us know at nandigram AT gmail DOT com.
Anyone can view this document at:
Angad Chowdhry
Satabdi Das
Vaishnavi Srivathsan
T. Venkat

Thanks to:-
Sanjay Sangvai for his excellent report
Aditya Nigam for postings at Kafila
And all others whose reports and articles have been the basis of this page.

Guidelines for Editors: Please dont reject anything based on the point of view. Feel free to add to it but dont remove anything without a really good reason. If you feel some information may be factually incorrect or biased, please mention the reasons for that.

This document is copyleft. Anyone can make copies, distribute, modify and publish anywhere. But please dont take credit for what you havent done.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Protest by Chennai youth

Youth present memorandum to CPI(M) members on the Nandigram violence

Chennai, March 23, 2007: Members of a Chennai-based youth collective, 'Youth for Social Change' today held a silent demonstration in front of state CPI(M) office against the Nandigram violence. The members of the youth collective handed over a petition, signed by more than 170 students and concerned citizens from all over Chennai, to Mr. Padmanabhan, member of CPI(M) central committee.

After a hour long demonstration outside the party office the members of the group requested to meet a representative of the party to present the petition. Office bearers received the petition and upon learning that the group was not affiliated to any political party proposed to have a dialogue. Mr. V. Meenakshi Sundaram, editor of CPI (M)'s Tamil publication 'Marxist' offered to narrate the party's version of the controversy. He said that "the Nandigram issue was all a manifestation of the opposition's political game, the law and order in the area was in shambles and the government had to intervene."

"Contrary to the claims of CPI(M) and its mouthpieces, the protesters were not affiliated to any particular political party. It is a farmers' struggle for their right to life and livelihood, and many concerned citizens, literary figures and artists are staging strong protests all over the country. It was CPI(M) which initiated land reforms in West Bengal but they are now bent on violently grabbing the same land from the people", says T. Venkat of Youth for Social Change.

In response to a question on inviting Dow Chemicals for setting up facility at the proposed Nandigram chemical hub, Mr. Meenakshi Sundaram said that "foreign investment for industrialization is necessary to provide jobs to the people and in the era of globalization we are not in control". Dow Chemicals is the owner of Union Carbide, the company responsible for the world's worst industrial disaster in Bhopal. The gas leak in Bhopal killed 20,000 people and severely injured 150,000. 23 years later, the site is still heavily contaminated because Union Carbide and its current owner Dow Chemical who refuse to clean-up.

The youth group also went to the State head office of CPI, alliance partners of CPI(M) in the west bengal govt. and presented a copy of the petition to Mr. T.Pandian, general secretary of the state CPI. T.Pandian, while appreciating the concerns of the youngsters said that they have already voiced their serious concerns about the killings. He added that there was nothing wrong in accepting one's mistake.

The youth collective, in their memorandum, has demanded an apology from the Chief Minister of West Bengal, withdrawal of police forces from all the affected villages and free access to these areas for the media and the public. Their demands also include a repeal of the SEZ act and return of the land acquired in Singur for the proposed TATA Motors small-car factory.

Similar struggles against displacement and forcible land acquisitions are going on all over the country. Whether it is Kalinganagar in Orissa or Bastar in Chhattisgarh, the people are being denied their rights to dignified life and livelihood. "Nandigram is not an isolated incident. Such incidents are happening across the country and they will continue to happen if governments continue to disregard the interests of farmers and common people in their reckless drive for industrialization", said Jeny Dolly, from Youth for Social Change.

On March 14, around 5000 policemen and many CPI(M) cadres entered Nandigram, where thousands of local villagers were protesting the forcible acquisition of 22500 acres of fertile land for a chemical SEZ. The protesters were brutally attacked and fired at. Official reports say that 18 villagers were killed but unofficial reports put the count to around 125 with hundreds more injured. Women and children were the primary targets of the bullets. Eyewitness stories of gore, rapes and inhuman violence during the incident pour out of the area everyday.

Youth for Social Change will continue to engage concerned citizens and students from around Chennai in the public debate on the path of development that should be followed.

For more information, contact:- Yash Jain 9380488384; nandigram AT gmail DOT com


Sunday, March 18, 2007

Welcome to Bengal Resistance

This blog is being created in response to Nandigram, Singur and other conflicts involving the people of Bengal and their right to a dignified life.