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Left resents NHRC Chairman's remarks

by udaya — last modified 2007-11-22 15:39



http://www.hindu.com/2007/11/21/stories/2007112162421400.htm
 
Special Correspondent
Comparisons with Nandigram tend to trivialise Muslims' trauma in Gujarat
NEW DELHI: The Left parties on Tuesday objected to the comparison sought to be made by National Human Rights Commission Chairman Justice S. Rajendra Babu between Nandigram and Gujarat.
"Superficial comparisons with Nandigram tend to undermine and trivialise the trauma and the suffering of the Muslim minorities in Gujarat," MPs of the Communist of Party of India (Marxist) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) said.
"Waiting for justice"


In a memorandum to the NHRC Chairman, they said that in the 2002 communal violence in Gujarat more than 2000 innocent people were killed in a State-sponsored pogrom against Muslims. "Even today, thousands of victims of the communal violence in Gujarat remain displaced, waiting for justice, which has eluded them for over five years."
The memorandum was signed by Sitaram Yechury, Basudev Acharya, Brinda Karat and Mohammad Salim, all CPI(M) MPs, and D. Raja and Gurudas Dasgupta of the CPI. Their objection was to certain observations reportedly made by the NHRC chief wherein he expressed concern over rights violations in Nandigram.
"Unwarranted"


All-India Forward Bloc general secretary and MP Debabrata Biswas also termed the observations of the NHRC chief "unfortunate and unwarranted."
In a statement, Mr. Biswas said the NHRC was committed to protecting the rights of the people impartially. "Therefore, the onus goes to the NHRC to consult all institutions and individuals concerned before issuing any public statement."
The MPs pointed out that it was expected of the NHRC chief to have verified all facts before indicting West Bengal government on Nandigram.
The CPI(M) and the CPI MPs said the 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 [and] who have used the poor as hostage in their plan."
"Forcibly evicted"
They pointed out that over 3,500 poor people, comprising Dalits, Muslims, agricultural workers and artisans, were forcibly evicted from their homes. "Under the patronage of the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC), armed Maoists infiltrated the area and together they carried out systematic attacks against Left supporters. As many as 27 Left activists and supporters have been killed in Nandigram since January 2007. Huge caches of arms and ammunition, including IEDs, guns and detonators, have been recovered by the CRPF (Central Reserve Police Force) since it started patrolling the area on November 12," they said.


The Left MPs said the State government declared in February 2007 that the proposed chemical hub would not be located in Nandigram and therefore there was no question of land acquisition.
"The State government and the district administration have made every effort to resolve the issues through dialogue and discussion with the Opposition parties and the BUPC. Repeated appeals were made to restore normality, allow the administration to function in the area and to allow the 3,500-odd displaced people to return to their homes, but they were ignored," the MPs said.
They claimed that in desperation the refugees took the decision to go back to their homes and in the ensuing clashes four people were killed and four were killed in mine blasts.


They claimed that a large number of BUPC supporters who fled from their villages had returned.
"Fix responsibility"
The MPs urged the NHRC to impartially inquire into cases of rights violations and fix responsibility for such instances.
"We hope that you would kindly reconsider the statements made on Nandigram and take a more balanced and impartial view on the matter," they said.

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