On 14th March 2007, Nandigram witnessed a massacre. A very large police force completely cordoned off the area and blocked all entry and exit points from the villages, and proceeded to violently evict the people. The result was indiscriminate killings, and grievous injury to a large number of local people.
We strongly condemn the use of repressive powers of the state against people. The right to democratic dissent is fundamental and cannot be suppressed under any pretext. The fact that this event of violent repression of peoples’ rights has happened in a state under rule of the left parties is a matter of particular concern.
The situation at Nandigram originated from a proposal for land acquisition for the setting up of an SEZ. There was widespread opposition to the proposal from the region. While we recognise the importance of industrialisation for economic development of a region, this cannot be without consent of the people. The SEZ Act, 2005, is clearly unsuited for a framework of democratic industrialisation. A well-defined and transparent legal structure should be institutionalised through a democratic process before large-scale industrialisation projects are undertaken within an SEZ framework. Otherwise the country faces the risk of many Singurs and Nandigrams being enacted across its region in the name of economic growth and development.
The conduct of the Left Front Government of West Bengal in pushing its agenda of “economic development” at any cost is against all principles of democracy and working class politics. If the Government of West Bengal is allowed to continue on this path, the Left Front is likely to lose all credibility among people as a progressive and principled opposition to right wing fascism. Predictably there is strong condemnation of the police brutality in Nandigram from within the non-CPM constituents of the Left Front. However, this is a collective responsibility of all constituents of the West Bengal Government.
- End to all violations of human rights in Nandigram and provide access to land and livelihood resources to all the local people until the issue is resolved to the satisfaction of the people;
- A judicial enquiry into the massacre of 14 March 2007 at Nandigram;
- The repeal of the SEZ Act, 2005;
- A stop to further acquisition of land until a democratic and justiciable industrial and land-use policy and legislation on rehabilitation is put in place;
- Buddhadev Bhattacharjee must take moral responsibility for the massacre and resign as the Chief Minister of West Bengal, following which a new government should be reconstituted by the Left Front.
We call on all democratic and progressive people, movements and organisations to join us in protesting strongly against the police atrocities, providing solidarity to the people of Nandigram.
|1||New Trade Union Initiative||Ashim Roy||011-26486931
|2||Focus on the Global South, India||Meena Menon||09821038474
|3||Hazards Centre||Dunu Roy||011-26187806
|4||Liberation Publication||Kavita Krishnan||Kavita73@rediffmail.com|
|5||JNU Students Union||Sandeep Singh,
Tyler Walker Williams
|JNU Students’ Union, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi-110067|
|6||All India Students’ Association||Indresh Maikhuri||All India Students’ Association, c/o U-90 Shakarpur, Delhi-92|
|7||World Forum of Fisher Peoples||Thomas Kocherryfirstname.lastname@example.org
|8||Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF)||Wilfred d’Costa||011-26517814
|9||South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers & People, Delhi||Himanshu Thakkaremail@example.com|
|10||Intercultural Resources and Lokayan||Smitu Kotharifirstname.lastname@example.org|
|11||Visual Search||K.P. Sasi||09945282056
|12||The Concerned Group for Tribal Rights in Orissa||Manohar Chauhan||09437629375
|13||National Forum for Forest People and Forest Wotrkers||Ashok Chaudharyemail@example.com
|14||Council for Social Development||Amit Bhadurifirstname.lastname@example.org|
|15||Forum Against Oppression of Women||Sandhya Gokhaleemail@example.com
|16||Campaign for Peace and Democracy, Manipur||Malem Ningthoujafirstname.lastname@example.org
|17||Revolutionary Democracy||Vijay Singhemail@example.com|
|18||People Initiative for Human Rights||Karan Tyagifirstname.lastname@example.org
|19||Gandhi Peace Foundation||Babulal Sharma||011-23237491/9; 09312608810
|20||EKTA (Committee for Communal Amity)||Sukla Senemail@example.com|
|22||Forum for Democratic Struggle, Delhi University||Tripta Wahi, Rita Sinha, D. Manjitfirstname.lastname@example.org
|23||Dharmanirapeksha Nagarik Manch, Nagpur||Arvind Ghosh||0712-2283018
|1||Mrituinjoy Mohanty||Assistant Professor, IIM, Calcuttaemail@example.com|
|2||Nirmal Kumar Chandra||Retired Professor, IIM, Calcutta||033-24678300
|5||Shohini Ghosh||Jamia Millia Islamiafirstname.lastname@example.org|
|6||Peter Waterman||Institute of Social Studies (Retired), The Hagueemail@example.com|
|7||Nandini Deo||Yale Universityfirstname.lastname@example.org
|9||Admiral Ramdas||Rteired Admiral, Indian Navyemail@example.com|
|10||Teena Gill||Film Makerfirstname.lastname@example.org|
26 March 2007