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CPM goons snatch away voting ID cards in Nandigram
A fact finding team, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha, led by its president, Kirit Roy, exposed some startling facts that the goons of ruling CPM party snatched the voter identity cards of innocent villagers in Nandigram, ahead of the polling day.
AHEAD OF Gram Panchayat elections, voter identity cards have been snatched from a large number of people in the violence-torn Nandigram area of West Bengal by the goons of ruling Communist Party of India (Marxists) (CPM).


This shocking new-trend of hampering democratic process was exposed during the visit of a fact-finding committee led by Kirit Roy, president, Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha (MASUM).


This shows how the ruling party was determined not to allow the villagers to cast their votes on.


When the team visited the area on May 10, a day before the polling day, they gathered shocking information from the villagers that since previous night the musclemen and goons alleged to be the supporters of the largest ruling party CPM, flaunting red flags, resorted to bloody violence in the area.


Those miscreants snatched away the voter identity cards of the villager-voters and beat the possible opponent voters of the ruling party mercilessly even on mere suspicion of not being supporters of the ruling party. As a result of pre-poll clashes, at least 11 to 15 persons, including women were admitted in Nandigram Block Primary Health Centre in critically injured condition.


The fact finding team also found that about 1000 to 1500 persons of Kalicharanpur village (Booth no.148 to 155) were robbed of their voter identity cards in the hands of the goons of the ruling party. SK Mojaffar, Giyasuddin Ali Shah, SK Malek , SK Rajjak, Sahauddin Shah, Saibul Shah, Samad Shah, SK Basir and Amar Khatua, Mriganka Majhi were among other goons who masterminded and carried the operation in the area at the instance of the ruling political party. Moreover, hundreds of villagers of Sonachura Gram Panchayat (Booth no.168 to 176), Gokulnagar Gram Panchayat, Bhangabera Gram Panchayat were also not free from such incidents.


On May 10, at around 11 am, hundreds of villagers whose voter identity cards were forcibly taken away, gathered at the office of the Block Development Officer (BDO), Nandigram, in order to ventilate their grievance and seeking permission to cast their votes after loosing their voter identity cards in the hands of the cadres and goons of the ruling party.


But without any provocation Debashish Chakraborty, officer in charge of Nandigram police station with Rapid Action Force (RAF) personnel conducted lathi-charge upon innocent people, gathered outside the BDO’s office.


The fact finding team of MASUM also visited Nandigram Block Primary Health Centre at around 12 o’clock. At that time, N Saha, superintendent of police, West Bengal, Human Rights Commission, along with deputy superintendent of police and other police officers was also present in the said hospital.


They had come to meet a sexually abused victim from Satengabari village, who was admitted in the hospital on May 5. But they refused to meet with other victims, including another sexually abused victim, who was accompanying the fact finding team at that time. Roy said that the series of incidents in Nandigram showed that free and fair election process was seriously hampered and the ruling party goons were moving freely to scare the voters. All these repressive acts are done in presence of police and administration. Such maverick incident is defeat to the democratic practice of the society and freedom of expression and thought and belief of the citizens, he added.


The atrocities on victims of recent incidents in Nandigram have not been redressed, nor did the administration or the police take any initiative to deliver justice to the tortured victims.


Just at 2:30 pm, the team found out that in Nandigram Block Primary Health Centre, six injured persons had reached, amongst which two persons had sustained serious bullet injuries. Many bodies were lying on the fields, as reported.


The officer-in-charge of Nandigram and the superintendent of police, S Panda of East Midnapur, had actually joined the party goons and under their direction the bodies were prevented to be carried in the hospital.


Under such situation, Roy severely condemn the conniving acts of the police and the party goons in Nandigram. “The left rule has introduced ugly fascist trend and terror,” he added.


He demanded that the voters whose identity cards have been snatched must be allowed to vote so that they can exercise their right to franchise in the election. The goons involved in attacking people and perpetrating torture on them in a systematic manner in connivance with a section of police and administration must be apprehended and prosecuted on urgent basis under the penal law.


The biased and partisan police officers and administrative officers must be prosecuted and detached from the election process. Number of neutral election observers in Nandigram is required to be deputed to see that free and fair election is conducted there. The voters should be given adequate security and safety.


Roy said that legal proceedings must be initiated against the offenders and conspirators. Now at Nandigram, lack of law is complete by dictum of ruling party and police administration. The right to life and dignity of the villagers are under attack.


Roy said that they had already filed complaint with state election commissioner, home secretary, chief secretary, director general of police (DGP) and inspector general of police (IGP) of West Bengal by fax and lodged complaint with National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC) and West Bengal Human Rights Commission (WBHRC).
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