Medha Patkar demands CEC intervention for smooth W. Bengal polls

May 7th, 2008 - 4:59 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, May 7 (ANI): Social activist Medha Patkar has called on Chief Election Commissioner N. Gopalaswami to ensure a free and fair Panchayat poll in West Bengal in the wake recent incidents of violence and harassment in Nandigram.
Describing the attack on at least 45 residents of Nandigram, including farmers, fish workers and small traders, as shocking, Patkar said their hospitalisation in Nandigram, Tamluk and at the PG Hospital in Kolkatta during the last one week should serve as a wake-up call for the Central and State Governments.
She also claimed that a few activists of the Association for the Protection of Democratic Rights (APDR) and the Bandhi Mukti Morcha were not just beaten, but also booked under fake charges.
It is not any armed struggle or a spate of violence which is meted out with unjustifiable and repressive measures, but a simple non-violent agitation within the Constitutional framework. The situation is indeed worrisome and is worsening day by day, as the Panchayat elections are nearing, she said.
While the intellectuals, artists and academicians of West Bengal with various people’s organizations are raising a unanimous voice, we, the concerned citizens across the country, appeal to all who care for democracy, freedom and life of the people in Nandigram and elsewhere, to protest against the violence on unarmed people, men and women, whose only fault is that they have become politically aware, she added.
She said that the people in the villages of West Bengal were looking forward to the elections and to their right to exercise their vote without fear and coercion. (ANI)

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