Nandigram, located about 150 km from Kolkata in East Midnapore district, flared
up in January, 2007. Thirty-five people have died officially in Nandigram since
January with a fresh bout of violence in November after the CPI-M cadres
allegedly recaptured their lost bases in the area by launching a massive onslaught against BUPC workers.
KOLKATA, November 17, 2007: In A verdict that could have widespread legal
implications, Calcutta High Court Chief Justice Surendra Singh Nijjar and Justice Pinaki Chandra Ghose on Friday held the Nandigram firings on March 14 as
útotally unconstitutional. The court has also directed the state government to pay a compensation of Rs 5 lakh for each loss of life, Rs 2 lakh for
each rape victim and Rs 1 lakh for each of the injured. The state
government on November eight had announced compensation of Rs two lakh for the next of kin of the 14 killed and ruled out compensation for the injured.
Brushing aside all contentions of the West Bengal government, the division bench has
directed the CBI to continue with its investigation while the state government has been asked to submit a compliance report before the court within a month. Taking suo motu
cognisance of the March 14 firings in Nandigram, the court by an order passed on March 15 had asked
CBI director to constitute a special team to collect all reports,including the ones on post-mortem, all evidence and
other particulars, and to keep the same in safe custody. The West Bengal government, in turn, was told to file an
affidavit explaining the sequence of events that had led to the firings which claimed many lives. Soon after the incident,
there was a deluge of public interest petitions which were heard simultaneously.
The main contention of the Buddhadeb government has been that the High Court cannot
direct the CBI to investigate without the approval of the state government.
In its affidavit, the state contended that the notice issued by Haldia Development Authority (HDA) on
December 28, 2006, had sparked public resentment among those who feared loss of land. Barring some stray incidents of violence,
the situation had remained peaceful until January 6, on the night of which Trinamool-backed Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC)
workers and Left caders clashed, leaving four dead. Since then Nandigram had been on the boil.
On November 17, 2007 the meeting organized by CPI(M) became a launch-pad
for missiles fired at the party's assorted opponents that included the media, the High Court, the Governor, artists, intellectuals, the
Front allies and Mamta Banerjee.
On November 14, Kolkata saw one
of its biggest rallies ever, where the man on the street joined in spontaneously. This rally included filmmakers Aparna Sen, Rituparno
Gosh and other artists headed by veteran filmmaker Mirnal Sen.
The next day Kolkata people saw another gathering, where those
with politically correct, loyalists marched for 'peace'. This rally also included several artists headed by film star Mithun Chakraborty.
On November 19, 2007, both Parliament Houses had to be adjourned soon after they meet on
Monday with NDA MPs raising the Nandigram issue. The impasse over NDA's demand to discuss the violent 'recapture' of Nandigram
by CPM caders and the Left party's steadfast opposition to a debate on the issue derailed Parliament on Monday.
On November 19, 2007 the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has equated the Nandigram violence to the post-Godhar
riots in Gujarat. "Both the incidents were a severe assault on the face of the democracy". and inflicted the "worst scars
on the face of the nation". Left leaders lashes out at NHRC chief on Nandigram. "We would like to register
our strong protest against these statements" in a memorandum to the commission signed by left MPs.
On November 20, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, in his first public remarks asked the West Bengal government
to ensure effective development of security forces and protection for the all section of the population, irrespective of political
affiliations. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh read out a prepared text on situation in Nandigram. Mr. Bhattacharjee, chief minister of West
Bengal said, " I am in touch with prime minister Manmohan Singh
and taking all steps to ensure peace in Nandigram in keeping with his advice."
Intellectuals in Kolkata are lined up in opposite camps over the manner of protests
Army men keeps a close
watch in curfew affected
The city of Joy has turned into a city of shame.
Controversial Bangladeshi writer, Taslima Nasreen
November 21, Wednesday afternoon in Kolkata was
perhaps closer to some surrealistic nightmare. Peaceful Kolkata suddenly turned into a veritable battle battlefield. A large-scale violence
erupted today when the All India Minority Forum and the Phurphura Sariff were jointly observing a roadblock and chakka jam
agitation over the Nandigram issue. They were also demanding the cancellation of visa of the controversial Bangladeshi writer, Taslima
Nasreen, and her immediate extradition and punishment to people involved in Rizwanurís mysterious death.
Initially, when the agitation began around 10 am, it was peaceful. But
afterwards, the situation suddenly turned violent and public vehicles,
buses and taxis were attacked, police jeeps were burnt and policemen and RAF personnel on duty were attacked.
When the police failed to control the violent mob it was decided to deploy the Army.
At 4 pm, one platoon was rushed to the most vulnerable area at Park Circus, where violence first broke out. Subsequently, the trouble spread
to the adjoining places in the central parts. Around 6 pm, the situation was gradually turned peaceful.
It was a tense night on Wednesday with several parts of the city under curfew. However, no further clashes were reported during the night.
November 22, Thursday: Kolkata is slowly getting back
to normal a day after violent clashes. Public transport is back on the roads and all schools, colleges and offices have re-opened.
Exiled Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen has left her home
in West Bengal after her presence helped spark riots in its capital,Kolkata on Wednesday. Nasreen left late on Thursday for Jaipur,
Rajasthan. From Jaipur she went to Delhi.
November 27, Tuesday: Kolkata High Court
issued suo motu contempt notices against CPM state secretary and Left Front chairman Biman Basu, All India Krishak Sabha
vice=president Benoy Konar and Citu state president Shyamal Chakraborty for their derogatory comments against the court on Nandigram issue.
CBI team visited Nandigram and set up their camps there.
December 3, 2007: Left Front chairman Biman Bose
said on Monday that the controversial writer should stay out of the state.
December 4, 2007: Today in a frank admission that 'Operation Nandigram' had sullied his government image, Buddhadeb
Bhattacharjee the CM of West Bengal said the incident was as 'administrative and political failure' of the Left Front Regime. The
Chief minister also regratted his remark that those opposing CPM in Nandigram had been paid back in the same coin. "I should not
have said that. Now, I want peace for all," he said. "We have to ensure Nandigram does not repeat itself. The lesson we have
learnt from Nandigram is that we have to people into confidence...
We have failed in Nandigram. It was an administrative and political failure," he said.
December 5, 2007: The surprise recovery of five charred and mutilated bodies at Khejuri near Nandigram on Wednesday
caused a flutter in the region. A team of 18 Left Front MLAs rushed
to Nandigram to make a spot survey on how the refugees were returning home.
December 7, 2007: Charred human bones and ashes were found on Thursday from the five graves that the CRPF team had
detected in Nandigrams Khejuri's Banmanchak. The remains were sealed
in plastic packets and taken to Khejuri police station, from where they will be sent for forensic and DNA tests.
December 13, 2007: The Supreme Court on Thursday rejected the state's plea to keep CBI out of the probe into the
March 14 police firing in Nandigram that left 14 dead and more than 100 injured. The Supreme Court also refused the state's repeated
requests for stay on the Calcutta High Court order directing the state to pay compensation to those killed, raped and injured during
the police operation in the area.
December 20, 2007: The CBI had submitted the status report on the
investigations into the Nandigram police firing and violence in a sealed cover to the Calcutta High Court and had sought four months
time for submitting the final report. The court had granted the CBI two months time to submit the final report on the
March 14 Nandigram police firing. Till now the CBI has registered seven cases related to the
Nandigram firing and ensuing violence. The accused in these cases include police officials,
CPM activists and unknown persons. The CBI has told the Calcutta High Court in its status
report that CPM workers dressed as policemen had fired at protesters, that witnesses were being threatened by CPM
activists and that the authenticity of the medical reports handed over to the investigating agency was questionable.
The CBI has filed cases against CPM men for the alleged rape of a mother and her two
daughters. The case concerns atrocities against women in Gokul Nagar village of Nandigram.
December 26, 2007: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee on Wednesday talked peace,
people's rule and offered a package of development for Nandigram. Addressing a rally amid heavy security, he
said, "I appeal to all to help us in maintaining peace and setting in motion the
development work that was stalled for nearly a year. I want a peace committee in
Nandigram instead of a BUPC because I again say that no land would be taken
here." "I clearly say that the Left Front government cannot grab land of the farmers,
never ever. We are pioneers in land reforms and have ensured that in this state land belongs to the poor," he said.
He said he had sanctioned Rs10 million already and Rs 80 million was waiting to
be spent. "We have decided to distribute free mini kits for all cultivators here now, whether it is paddy cultivation or vegetables."
December 28, 2007: The Nandigram and Singur incidents over the issue of
industrialisation, have not sent "a wrong message" to investors, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said
today in the annual general meeting of Bengal Chamber of Commerce & Industry.
January 3, 2008: It is exactly a year since the Nandigram SEZ crisis began and winds of change are cautiously blowing over the fields in
Nandigram. A year later the figure of people killed is still not known but at least
50 people have died and several are still missing. Hundreds have been injured and thousands made homeless for months with a feeling of fear and helplessness.
Both the CPM and the Trinamool who have lined up meetings to mark the first anniversary of the violence claim many of their supporters are still missing.
January 11, 2008: Taking up a PIL seeking CBI probe into the violence and death during
CPI(M) recapture of Nandigram in November, the Calcutta High Court today directed the West Bengal Government to file an affidavit giving its views on the issue within eight weeks.
The Court had earlier asked CBI to investigate the police firing in Nandigram in which 14 persons were killed on March 14, 2006. The investigation is currently on.
March 2, 2008:
There has been fresh firing near West Bengal's troubled Nandigram region on Sunday. Six members of the
anti-SEZ group, the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee, were injured when six CPM supporters allegedly fired at them in
Kiyakhali. Kiyakhali village is located 15 km from Nandigram in West Bengal's East Midnapore district. Two of the six injured are believed to be critical. Members of the
anti-SEZ group claim that the CPM supporters were released on bail on Saturday and showed up at the village on Sunday and began firing without any provocation.
KOLKATA, December 30, 2008: All eyes are on trouble-torn Nandigram of West Bengal as it
holds a by-election to the state assembly Jan 5, with prolonged
violence in 2007 and 2008 over land acquisition fresh on everyone's minds. Nerves are so taut in the state
administration that this by-poll and another have been deferred from the original date last Saturday because not enough central
paramilitary forces to ensure peaceful polls arrived on time.