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21 April, 2008

NAPM reports fresh incidents from Nandigram: Is gang-rape now part of CPI (M) line?

It is a disturbing thought, but the time has come to ask if the Communist Party of India (Marxist) is using the feudal lords’ practice of employing gang-rape as a means of suppressing foes.

Several instances of rape were reported from Nandigram during the past year. In a News Update/Action Alert, the National Alliance of People’s Movement yesterday provided information on some fresh incidents, including gang-rape.

The following is the text of the NAPM communication:

The shocking news from Nandigram, where the battle is still on, is of the gang-rape of Radharani Ari from the village of Gokulnagar and the attack of three other women, all of whom are hospitalized at the Nandigram Public Hospital. The men are said to be missing.

In a fresh attack around midnight and beyond April 18th, known CPI (M) members and Harmad Vahini, the Party's armed force, from Khejuri, who are like goons, attacked the house of Radha Rani and Pratap Ari, threw Pratap Ari in the tank nearby and gang-raped Radha Rani Ari for the second time, in her own house.

Radharani Ari is one of the women at the forefront of the struggle. Coming from a Dalit landless family, supported by Pratap Ari, her husband, Radharani was always protesting against the SEZ chemical hub project and giving away the land, houses, nature, and culture of Nandigram. Her heart and soul are in it and she is one of the most articulate and courageous women and had even toured the places of struggle in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Maharashtra, with us in Nandigram-Narmada- Gorai Jatha.

Narmada Sheet has also been a very committed and outspoken agitator from Sonachura. Other women attacked include Mona Pramanik, and a few men were also
missing when the news reached us early yesterday morning. Till this time, Radha Rani, Pratap, Ari and Narmada Sheet and some others are in the Nandigram Hospital and a few in Tamluk. At least 20 houses have been attacked since yesterday and 100 members of the families, along with houses, much destroyed and belongings looted, have become homeless, left to be supported by the BUPC Committee. These atrocious incidents occurred in Gokul Nagar, Sonachura and Gadhchakrabedia, under the leadership of Nabakumar Samanta and other CPM active cadres and leaders from Garu Pada, Gokul Nagar, some of whom came from Kejuri.

Reportedly, there were also blasts in some houses, including in the house of one Kokhon Sheet, who was just released, after months-long judicial custody.

Nandigram continues to be one of the worst blots on the face of Indian democracy. These atrocities continue to happen and recur in Nandigram with the active involvement of the local CPI(M) cadres and leaders and tacit approval and blessings of the party leadership at various levels. With most of the victims for earlier incidents of violence, not even having received just compensation for atrocities perpetrated against them, and in fact false cases foisted against the victims of violence, as against the perpetrators, these fresh blows in their already scarred lives is nothing short of a death blow to the constitutionally guaranteed rights of the valiant residents of Nandigram.

Condemning the continuing violence in Nandigram in the strongest possible terms, we immediately demand the following:

1. All the accused must be immediately identified, charged and arrested for gang-rape, grievous hurt, intimidation, assault, illegal confinement and wrongful detention and other relevant penal provisions.

2. The National Human Rights Commission must take immediate cognizance of the violations in Nandigram and recommend stringent penal action against all those involved, including instituting an inquiry into the involvement of the CPI(M) leadership and cadres in the planning/abetment/execution of the crimes committed.

3. The National Commission for Women must immediately constitute a fact-finding delegation that must visit Nandigram and submit its Report to the NHRC and also direct immediate payment of compensation to all the women raped and all others injured.

4. Free legal, medical, psycho-social and other aid and support must be provided to the women and all victims of state and party violence in Nandigram.

5. Compensation to all the affected and attacked, with houses destroyed and rapes/molestation faced, must be paid immediately as per the High Court orders.

Debjeet Shrikant, Medha Patkar
West Bengal.


Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee – Nandigram
Nandigram :: Purba Midnapur :: West Bengal

Ref No ............
Date: 19-04-2008

List of the persons injured by CPI(M) goons

Sl. No. Name Village Age
6.Radharani Ari (raped) Gokulnagar 50
7.Mani Pramanik Gokulnagar 35
8.Chabirani Pamanik Gokulnagar 50
9.Pratap Ari Gokulnagar 55
10.Nandu Mandal Gokulnagar 30
11.Phanindranath Mandal Gokulnagar 73
12.Sudarshan Pramanik Gokulnagar 37
13.Gopal Ari Gokulnagar 22
14.Subhendu Ari Gokulnagar 20
15.Sheik Golam Ahmed Nagekirachar 46
16.Sheik Nazrul Islam 7th Part,Jalpai 45
17.Sheik Mafijul Islam 7th Part,Jalpai 58
18.Hafeja Bibi 7th Part, Jalpai 28
19. Najma Bibi 7th Part, Jalpai 30
20.Sheik Rejaul 7th Part,Jalpai 28
21.Sheik Abdul Rashid 7th Part,Jalpai 45.

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