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Massacre in Nandigram

More than 14 peasants died. Hundreds were wounded.

This was the gruesome scenario in Nandigram, West Bengal in India on March 14, 2007. This massacre was reportedly committed by the 4,000-member police force under the "Operation Nandigram" which was formed to suppress the growing protest of the Nandigram farming communities who are fighting against the land acquisition for the proposed establishment of the US$ 4.2 billion mega-Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

Moreover, several women have come forward and filed a formal complaint alleging that some police personnel brutally raped them during the violence on March 14. Over 100 people, including peasant women and children are still missing, and are feared to be dead.

This is the second instance of violence in Nandigram, the first being in January when six (6) people were killed by the police and goons by the ruling party. Aside from Nandigram, social unrests among peasants are also taking place in Singur in Hooghly (http://www.foodsov.org/html/takeaction.htm), another district in West Bengal where Tata Corporation, a giant Indian motor company, plans to build its plant with the support of the West Bengal government.

In December 2006, similar cases of human rights violence happened in Singur, West Bengal, another area wherein the farmers were forcibly evicted. Their agricultural lands are to be given to Tata Motors, as part of the government's scheme to set-up SEZs in the different regions in India. Dozens of women and children were beaten, arrested, incarcerated and hospitalized. They are part of an estimated 16,000 poor peasants struggling to remain on land they have farmed for generations. (http://www.foodsov.org/html/takeaction05.htm.)

All over West Bengal, the state government has been aggressively promoting the area as the prime area for foreign investment. The West Bengal Left government, which ironically was put into power based on its "pro-people" platform, has been hell-bent to hand over fertile agricultural land different foreign companies. These proposed SEZs will displace thousands of farming and rural poor communities.

Let us condemn the move by the government to suppress the people's struggle to control their land and agricultural resources. Let us join the farming communities in their struggle for genuine food sovereignty!

Please sign on to the online petition letter at http://www.foodsov.org/html/petition03.php.

The petition letter will be automatically sent to:

  The Secretary General
Supreme Court of India
  The Chairman
National Human Rights Commission
  Shri Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee
Chief Minister - Government of West Bengal
 
  Justice Shyamal Kumar Sen
Chairperson - West Bengal Human Rights Commission

You can also send the petition letter to Dr. Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India. Go to: http://pmindia.nic.in/write.htm. You can cut and paste the text of the petition, then click the "submit" button.

Click here for photos on Massacre in Nandigram.

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People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)
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E-mail: secretariat@foodsov.org
Copyright 2005-2007 People's Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS)