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Buddhadeb misleading Nandigram people: Mamata


Kolkata : Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Thursday launched a tirade against West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee for “misleading” the people of Nandigram.

“The chief minister is misleading the people of Nandigram by admitting his mistake in sending the police to the area Mar 14 that resulted in the death of 14 people. But will he be able to return the lives lost in the violence and the dignity of women who were tortured and brutalised by CPI-M cadres?” Banerjee asked, addressing a rally at Bhutarmore in East Midnapore’s Nandigram area.

Bhattacharjee visited the area for the first time in eleven months Dec 26 and said he would not have sent police to Nandigram if he knew there would be firing, and promised a major development package for the area.

“No one in Nandigram will accept food grains or clothes given as doles by the government. People who can brave bullets will also be able to fend for themselves. We don’t want any help from the government which has killed people, destroyed houses and raped women,” she said.

The Trinamul Congress chief also demanded adequate punishment for perpetrators of violence in the area.

“We will not rest till those who have killed, raped and destroyed homes are handed out adequate punishment,” she said.

Vowing to intensify her agitation to bring justice to the people of the area, Banerjee also announced a series of programmes in Delhi and in East Midnapore district.

“We will hold a meeting in Delhi Jan 21 to protest the violence in Nandigram. Another meeting will be held in Khejuri in East Midnapore district Feb 2,” she said.

Trying to clear the misgivings that her party was against industrialisation, Banerjee said, “We want industries but not at the cost of livelihood of innocent farmers whose lands are being taken away for setting up industries.”

Nadigram, located about 150 km from Kolkata, flared up in January last year over proposed land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ), including a chemical hub in collaboration with Indonesia’s Salim group – a plan that was later scrapped by the state government in the face of stiff resistance.

Thirty-five people have died officially in Nandigram violence since January 2007 with a fresh bout of violence unleashed in November after the Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) cadres allegedly recaptured their lost bases in the area by launching a massive onslaught on the rival anti-land acquisition Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC).