Kolkata, Nov 10: A section of intellectuals and activists Thursday publicly criticised West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for not ensuring justice for the families of those killed in police firing in Nandigram in 2007.
The activists had assembled to mark the fifth anniversary of the ‘attack’ on the people in Nandigram in East Midnapore district, allegedly by Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) backed goons.
The attack followed the death in police firing of 14 people, who were protesting against the proposed land acquisition by the erstwhile Left Front government.
‘Nothing has changed for the people of Nandigram. Whatever they got from (former chief minister) Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee is now again coming back to them albeit in a different form. If they (CPI-M) had the harmads (goons), the Trinamool has the Bhairav Vahini (an armed gang, allegedly promoted by Trinamool),’ said eminent educationist Sunanda Sanyal.
Sanyal, who is considered close to Banerjee and is also the chairman of the syllabus committee formed by her, wondered ‘when the people of Nandigram will get justice’.
‘She has promised a lot, but we have not seen anything. How long the people have to wait,’ Sanyal said.
Like Sanyal, several other activists and intellectuals, who hitherto were close to Banerjee, poured out their anguish over the plight of the people in Nandigram.
Noted poet Tarun Sanyal accused the leader of using the peasant movement against the erstwhile Left Front regime to fulfill her ‘ambition of getting the CM’s chair’.
‘She took the cue from the civil society members and joined the protests only to get the chair. Now that her ambition is fulfilled she has turned her face away from the same people who made her the chief minister,’ he said.
Banerjee, who spearheaded the save farmland movement, was criticised by fellow protestor and activist Anuradha Talwar.
‘It is really ironical that a person who herself was a part of the protest, has now after assuming power, turned her attention away from the people along whom she fought,’ said Talwar.
The activists will be submitting a memorandum to Banerjee, demanding compensation and rehabilitation for the affected people as well as a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) investigation in the matter.