That Night in Nandigram
Soumitra Basu, Editor, Anyaswar
Published in : www.guruchandali.com
It is a story of that horrific night. The night
of 14th of March, 2007. After the completion of "Operation
Nandigram" in broad day light, CPM called a local 12 hour strike
(bandh) in Nandigram. A bandh was called in
the evening hours in such a remote place where people mostly keep
themselves indoor after sunset. Why was that called then?
After the first bout of police action in the
daylight when the news came that around 60 were killed, the second
phase and the most horrendous phase was waiting to happen.
Meanwhile, the number of casualties as stated
by media gave rise to enough confusion. Dainik Statesman
(the Bengali Statesman) put the number to 31. The TV channels
[private] displayed 18. TARATV
correspondent Gourango, who was apprehended by the police and
was handed over to CPM goons and then (on live TV) was thrashed
and foul-mouthed by CPM, puts it off the record as 100+ and on
the record as "could not count". TARATV correspondent Subrata
put the number as "uncounted" as he explained no one could say
and knew the exact figure. The state government spokesperson (Mr
Vora) went back to the number 6 and then said that is what he
was informed and he would inform the press some time later!
Subrata and Gourango of TARATV were in the field.
This is the horrendous facts that they had to say. They put self-imposed
censorship on themselves as - "I have stopped telling the media
what I saw and ought to have told them; there is no chance people
and our viewers would believe. Their is a limit to human belief.
They will take me as a mad babbler! I myself am not convinced
of what I saw, heard and went through. It was like a nightmare
and I wish all that I saw and heard was simply a delirium."
As a matter of fact, they vomited several times
in the hotel they stayed, not because of the threats by the CPM
goons but because what they saw and heard and the language of
threats by the CPM goons who besieged them in CPM party office
"Bands of CPM goons aided by platoons of Eastern
Frontier Rifles and Commando forces were entering every village
and paras [mahallas]. They brought the men out
of home, they took no prisoners, no witnesses, they shot them,
bayoneted them, ripped apart their stomachs and then laid them
down the canal to the sea and confluence. They then brought out
the young girls, gathered them in open space, raped them multiple
times till the girls collapsed, they then tore their limbs, in
some cases cut them to pieces and let them down the Haldi river
and/or Talpati canal. They made sure that there were no witnesses.
And even if there were some, they know that the young girls in
traditional Medinipur would never come out to say what really
happened and who will believe. Nobody will corroborate and those
who will speak out will be killed and tortured again. CPM and
police then wrapped the entire village with their red banners
showing that the area was secured and their writ will run. Those
who fled the villages were mostly apprehended on the outskirts
or on the boundaries and no one knows what happened to those poor
souls. We could hear these facts only from those who could crawl
the whole way out through fields and forests. Even that is difficult
now as the fields are all dried up and the crops have already
been reaped. Anyone running is easily visible.
Even though innumerable, official count of rape
could be obtained as six, because these are the ones who survived
to tell their tales and they are around middle aged women who
somehow were spared from being butchered and minced to pieces.
The process followed in villages after villages and to our utter
astonishment the process continued till next morning. All the
correspondents were removed. Sukumar Mitra, a journalist from
Dainik Statesman ran his way out amidst flurries of bullets. He
was specifically hunted and somehow could manage to sneak out.
The ferocity of this attack was so grizzly that the residents
of that area was simply not believing anyone to open their gab.
Fear is made a weapon for a social-censorship.
Haripur is a nearby subdivision. This area is
earmarked for nuclear power plant. People of that region has also
come up in protest. Most of them are fishermen. They have stopped
going to the confluence and the sea. They feel that human bodies
are everywhere in the confluence and the worst is that the crocodiles,gharials
and sharks are now rushing towards that spot from far away Sunderbans.
These animals rush for fresh blood. The fishes will be eaten away
by these reptiles and there is a high possibility of these getting
netted instead of fishes. The Haripur will be out of livelihood
for at least a week or so, and this was premeditated by the CPM
administration to teach Haripur a lesson. Haripur is the place
which shooed out even Central teams and even bigger police forces.
This was a lesson to teach both Nandigram and Haripur together.
No sign of any dead bodies would ever be found, no proof of rape
will be there. The real number of casualties can only be revealed
at least three months after, and that too if peace comes into
stay, and if the residents could come back and then count the
missing. But after CPM has "secured" and "liberated" those areas,
the evicted will not be allowed to come back and these properties
will be given to the CPM goons from Keshpur and Garbeta and neighbouring
places. The permanency of mopping up strategy is how CPM will
ensure that Nandigram and Haripur will be secured for electoral
battles in the future."
This is more horrendous than partition story.
The journalists all are aware of this but they cannot come out
with these stories. CPM will ensure that these journalists are
hunted down and wiped out of existence. They have already started
to threaten all journalists and intellectuals who have gone against
Let us not draw parallels from the history! I
do not know who will believe how much, but I have mentioned the
sources and you all are welcome to verify them through the references
I have provided.