New Delhi, November 20 Continuing its firefight on Nandigram, despite criticisms from different quarters, the CPI and CPI (M) MPs on Tuesday (November 20, 2007) registered a “strong protest” against the reported remarks made by National Human Rights Commission Chairman Rajendra Babu on the matter. Babu reportedly said that “Nandigram and Godhra were severe assaults on the face of democracy” and “they were the worst scars on the face of the nation. It is shameful to see that human rights were violated in such a way”.
The MPs, in a memorandum, have asked Babu to “reconsider” his statement. The memorandum says the statement “was made even before speaking to the West Bengal Chief Secretary, without waiting for the report of the State HRC or the report of the NHRC team which is at present in Nandigram”. It adds that “any citizen of the country has the right to express his or her opinion on any issue, but as the head of an institution like the NHRC it is expected that all facts should be verified” before a state government is indicted.
The MPs said unlike Gujarat, where there was a state “sponsored pogrom against Muslims, scores of women were raped, the whole state was witness to loot, plunder, burning of houses”, Nandigram developments are “a result of a clear political conspiracy to capture territory by an alliance of parties who have been rejected in the elections by the people”.
“In the case of Nandigram, we expect the NHRC to go into the entire series of events, which started from January 2007, and fix responsibility for all instances of human rights violations. We hope that you would reconsider the statements made on Nandigram and take a more balanced and impartial view of the matter,” says the memorandum.
Meanwhile, Medha Patkar on Tuesday (November 20, 2007) said the events in Nandigram were “a show of political intolerance and political vengeance” by the ruling party in West Bengal. She said the situation is that of “state waging war against its own citizens”. Patkar also said that if the non-CPI(M) Left front partners had intervened in the matter instead of just “issuing statement”, the situation would have been different. (Courtesy: Indian Express, November 21, 2007)