Amnesty International blames West Bengal Govt for violence in Nandigram

January 16th, 2008 - 3:30 pm ICT by admin  

New Delhi, Jan 16 (ANI): International rights group, the Amnesty International, has accused the West Bengal government for clashes in Nandigram over farmland acquisition for an industrial hub.
“The people who abused, the people who attacked, the people who have taken recourse of violence to score some point, to establish their political domination were neither arrested nor taken to book by district agencies. The report also highlights the sense of deep insecurity and the frustration that was very much prevalent throughout Nandigram,” said Mukul Sharma, Director of the Amnesty International.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said authorities in West Bengal were aware that party workers were collecting arms in the Nandigram area ahead of the November clashes but failed to do anything to stop it.
“In Nandigram, it was quite surprising that senior officials, the rank of district magistrate and Superintendent of Police, who in a district are the main agents of government. They were quite casual and open about saying that we don’t have control over these areas and we couldn’t access any of these areas,” said Vrinda Grover, an advocate with the Supreme Court.
Amnesty International called for an independent and impartial inquiry of the trouble at Nandigram and said that the findings should be acted upon within two or three months.
“Failure to do so could trigger fresh trouble in the state as the chemicals project was being shifted to a new location. Victims of violence in Nandigram would be seen as not having got justice, Sharma said.
Nandigram has been the flashpoint of a conflict between farmers and the State Government since early 2007 over the refusal of the villagers to sell their land for a chemicals industry complex.
Nearly three-dozen people are known to have been killed and police have found several unmarked graves in the area. According to villagers, the toll could be much higher as people remain missing or deaths could have been concealed. (ANI)

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