March 29, 2009


KOLKATA(INN): Mamta Banerjee has declared the intention long back. The fact of her intent is now being fructified by the reckless desperadoes of the Trinamulis and their Maoist minders at Nayachar, as a recent visit proved. This was out second visit to this ‘char’ land in the mouth of the Hooghly River. The Nayachar enclave straddles the river and in equidistant from Haldia and Falta industrial zones. One has to touch the shores of the vast empty land (bar for a few fishingfolk’s huts, around two dozen in number) by sailing on one of those ubiquitous motorised dinghies called in the sonorous and common Bengali noun of bhoot-bhooti.

The first time we had visited the place back in February of this year, the place looked desolate. 54 square km of the ‘char’ had been acquired by the state LF government without any resistance or opposition from the fishing folk or even the self-proclaimed ‘environmentalist lobby,’ for the union government-approved petro-chemical products investment region (PCPIR). The rest of the area was filled with shrubs and wild grass.

The change was startling when we recently paid another visit to Nayachar. All on a sudden, we noted the quick increase in the number of hutments. We also found deep dug out. A full-fledged Krishi Ucchhed Pratirodh Committee’ (KUPC) has been formed mostly with Maoist participation. The number hutments had gone up at an incredible rate, from a dozen-odd to several dozens.

The east Midnapore unit of the CPI (M) informed us that they had authentic news that 50 hardened Trinamuli-Maoist killers of Nandigram had been despatched and ‘settled in’ at the ‘char’ land. These goons carried a large cache of arms. They come mostly from the localities of Kendemari, Shrigauri, and Bachhurmari of Nandigram 1 and 2. Others have come from Sagardwip and the abutting coastal zones of south 24 Parganas and east Midnapore. The Maoist chief ‘Kishan’ has already circulated a VCD where the Nayachar issue has been noted and later transcribed into a CP (Maoist) party letter that has been propagated in Midnapore east and at Nayachar.

According to Party sources, the work of making mines and other explosives has already started at the locale of the ‘char’ land, which is thickly shrubbed and has no habitation. This is yet to be confirmed but we have no reason to disbelieve the local fishingfolk, once friendly to us, trembling in fear this time around when asked about the plethora of ‘new people,’ coming into Nayachar and going away from the island.

The desolate areas are Baolatala, Bishalaxmi, and Khejurtala. We learn that the Maoists would start the ‘action programme’ right after the Lok Sabha elections are over under ‘earnest request’ from the Trinamuli chieftains. Maoist leader Sheikh Gaushal of south 24 Parganas is apparently the ‘coordinator’ with the Trinamuli hoods of the ‘char’ land.

No comments: