Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Organisation with ‘Maoist links’ to visit Nandigram

Kolkata, July 14 A few days after Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee accused the Trinamool Congress of having links with Maoists in Nandigram, the Matangini Mahila Samity (MMS) announced on Monday that it would visit the troubled town tomorrow.

The MMS hit the headlines lately after police went to raid a Palbazar flat housing their members on grounds that they had Maoist connections.

Regarding tomorrow’s visit, Debolina Chakraborty, secretary, MMS, said: “Our members are working in Nandigram. We are going there to know the ground reality and condition of the locals.” Jayeeta Das, a member of the organisation, said, “Though the Opposition has come in power there, the locals have not benefited from the change. We are going there to help them.”

On Buddhadeb’s recent statement of lumping the Trinamool and the Maoists together, Chakraborty said, “We do not know about the Trinamool’s motives”.

Das, however, said working in Nandigram and protesting against the establishment of Special Economic Zones does not mean all organisations are the same. Though she denied any links of MMS with the Maoists, the organisations had plans of visiting Belpahari, a Maoist stronghold, last month to understand their ideology. The visit had to be postponed due to bad weather in the area.

Both Das and Chakraborty admitted to having relations with the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee. “Both the BUPC and the MMS were formed in the aftermath of the Nandigram violence. We work together because our ideologies are same, even though our institutions are separate,” said Chakraborty.

The local police have no information about the MMS’s visit. East Midnapore SP SS Panda said: “We are not aware about their coming here. We are not concerned though.”

Ashok Guria, a CPM leader in East Midnapore, took a dig at the visit. “When the MMS was active for 11 months in Nandigram, its chief aim was to oust the CPM. Even today, their main concern is not the welfare of the people but to oppose the CPM.”

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