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  • » 11/12/2007, 00.00


    West Bengal, general strike in the wake of massacre ordered by communists

    Nirmala Carvalho

    Members of the Communist Party yesterday attacked the storage centres of local small farmers, to convince them through violence to give in to their lands being requisitioned. The opposition declares the shit down of the entire State.

    Kolkata (AsiaNews) – The great strike of  West Bengal began today, organised by the opposition in response to the massacre which took place yesterday in rural Nandigram carried out by the local Communist Party. According to sources in Trinamul – companies which oppose the communist government – the strike will last until tomorrow night.

    It is still unclear what exactly took place yesterday in Nandigram, even if some eye-witnesses tell AsiaNews: “Communist Party members carried out raids on the crop storage centres.  They beat men and raped women, while the police remained completely indifferent”.

    Tension in the area is high. The government had legislated for the expropriation of lands in  Nandigram to create a “special economic zone”, to attract investment through cheap land and low taxes.  But the programme was cancelled after months of popular protest and clashes with the police who on March 14th shot at the crowd killing 14 people.

    Despite this clashes have continued between Communist government supporters and Trinamul, who have the backing of local farmers.  According to some yesterdays attack was programmed to “convince farmers once and for all that their lands must be taken”.

    Lenin Raghuvansi, a well known human rights activist, commented to AsiaNews: “Nandigram is symbolic of the hypocritical democracy in India and also a shame on the international trumpeting that India is a growing global economic power”.

    Communist leaders he explains, “want to control the state and remove democracy from W. Bengal.  There is also the grass root presence of the Maoists in Nandigram which compounds the problems from the poor people in this eastern state, and the Union government is doing nothing to stop this”.

    Now concludes the activist, “The urgent concern is primarily to establish the ‘rule of law’ and democracy in Nandigram and also to do a serious rethink on the Special Economic Zone and development in general. This is the crisis in India today, not just in Nandigram : “How to reconcile Globalization with the real presence of Marginalization.  ”.


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    See also

    30/07/2007 INDIA
    People continue to die in Andhra Pradesh and West Bengal over land
    In Andhra Pradesh police fire at leftwing groups who want land distribution for the poor; eight people are killed. In West Bengal clashes between supporters of the state’s leftwing administration and local farmers defending their land continue. Appeals are made to the central government to take action against the two states.

    30/04/2007 INDIA
    Bengal communists at war with the farmers
    Guns and home-made bombs were used during clashes in Nandigram between Communist Party activists and farmers. Dozens wounded and at least one person was left dead, while the police failed to intervene. The communist government convokes party members, while the opposition asks the central government to intervene. .

    15/03/2007 INDIA
    Police fire on crowds: dozens dead and injured
    Nandigram farmers oppose land requisitions for industrial plants. The government accuses subversive groups, but the opposition calls for strike protests.

    02/02/2007 INDIA
    More than 14,000 farmers expelled from their land to give way to a car plant
    The Communist-led government of West Bengal is using an 1894 colonial-era law to seize farmland. Many farmers have protested and demonstrations have turned into clashes with police. Tata Motors wants to manufacture the world's cheapest car.

    07/03/2008 INDIA
    Farmers expelled from their land to give way to plant to build world’s cheapest car
    In West Bengal 400 hectares of farmland is expropriated for factory that will build the Nano car. Many farmers refuse to give up their land and homes but the government is going ahead anyway. Legal action and public protest are planned.

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