People’s tribunal to protest Nandigram violence

Kolkata, May 16 (IANS) An independent citizen’s forum in West Bengal has decided to organise a people’s convention to protest the killings in Nandigram even as Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya is desperately trying to woo back disgruntled intellectuals to the communist fold.

The tribunal, to be held May 26-28 in Nandigram and Kolkata, will focus particularly on the March 14 massacre that claimed 14 lives and left over hundreds injured in the trouble-torn Nandigram in East Midnapore district.

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Magsaysay Award winning writer and social activist Mahasweta Devi, who will represent the forum, told a press conference here Wednesday that for a long time Bengalis had forgotten to take up cudgels to fight for social issues.

“I am very happy that now a large section of people have reacted against the March 14 genocide in Nandigram. They are neither doing it out of any election interest nor are they affiliated to any political party,” she said.

Mahasweta Devi was addressing the media on behalf of Nandigram Ganahatya Birodhi Prachar Udyog (NGBPU) – a coordination of 42 mass organisations.

The people’s tribunal comprises many eminent people like former chief justice of Sikkim High Court Justice Bhargav, peace activist Lalita Ramdas, former chairperson of women’s commission of the Tripura government Meenakshi Sen Bandhopadhyay among others.

Meanwhile, NGBPU along with another organisation Sanhati Udyog has also organised a mass convention on May 18 at the University Institute Hall in Kolkata to condemn the Nandigram incident.

Many intellectuals like Mahasweta Devi and poet Joy Goswami, who protested against the state government’s brutal stand in getting back administrative control in Nandigram, would also attend the convention.