Press Release

I. No Land Acquisition in Nandigram

There was continuing false propaganda that land is going to be acquired in Nandigram for the chemical hub SEZ. After the January 3 incident and protests by the local people, the Chief Minister of West Bengal had made it clear that there will be no land acquisition if the people do not want it. Following are the facts.

1. There was no notification for land acquisition in Nandigram. There was only a notice issued by the Haldia Development Authority announcing the intention to acquire land in certain areas.

2. On February 9, the Chief Minister announced that no land will be acquired without the consent of the people of Nandigram.

3. Repeatedly in the last few weeks, the Chief Minister has categorically stated that the proposed chemical hub would be shifted if the people do not want it.

4. The Polit Bureau of the CPI(M) after its meeting held on February 17-18 in a press statement announced the following: “The CPI(M) leadership of West Bengal has informed the Polit Bureau that the SEZ proposals for Bengal will be finalized after the changes in the SEZ Act and Rules are brought about at the Central level. The Left parties are already engaged in seeking changes in the SEZ Act. There is no question of any land being acquired for the SEZ projects, as in Nandigram, against the wishes of the people. “

5. Because all the CPI(M) members and supporters were driven out and the local police and administration have been absent since January 3, 2007 the mischievous propaganda that land will be taken away continued without being countered among the people.

II. What has been happening in Nandigram Since January 3, 2007

CPI(M) members and supporters and their families numbering around 2500 were driven out of Nandigram Block I. A thousand of them are staying in relief camps in adjoining areas.

1. On January 6, armed men of the Jami Rakkha Committee attacked the relief camp on the southern side of the Bhangabera bridge in Khejuri area. There was resistance from the camp and in the ensuing conflict three of the attackers died.

2. On January 7, Sankar Samanta, a CPI(M) panchayat member was burnt alive in a hay stack.

3. On February 7, policeman Sadhucharan Chatterjee was attacked and killed near Khejuri. His body was thrown into the river.

4. On February 10, Sunita Mandal, a class X student was brutally murdered after torture.

5. On March 3, a woman (name withheld) who is from a CPI(M) sympathiser’s family was gang raped by miscreants led by a local TMC leader.