Haldia, Mar 14 : On the first anniversary of the Nandigram police firing in which at least 14 villagers were killed, Trinamool Congress chief Mamta Banerjee on Friday vowed to bring down the Left Front.
Villagers were killed at Nandigram village on March 14 last year after police fired on opponents of a planned industrial park. It was the worst violence yet over government plans to acquire farmland for a low-tax industrial development area, or Special Economic Zone (SEZ), at Nandigram.
"I cannot return the dead sons to their mothers. I cannot return the honour of the raped. But I vow with the soil of Nandigram to bring down the Communists who perpetrated the atrocities, killed democracy and innocent villagers," said Mamata.
"We are observing this day as martyrs' day and farmers' day. I am taking the soil of Nandigram today to Kolkata and seek justice across the state," Mamata said. "Why not the culprits still arrested? We want the triumph of good and defeat of the evil," she added.
She paid floral tribute to the victims at a memorial put up in the village in memory of those killed. Social activist Medha Patkar was also present on the occasion to mark the anniversary.
"Friends I still remember the 14 March incident and it is a matter of concern for the entire world that a government had behaved in such a cruel manner by sending police and (water) cannons," said Mamata told a gathering.
Last month, the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) had lampooned the West Bengal Government for failing to stop Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and Bhoomi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) activists from indulging in acts of violence against farmers and landowners in Nandigram between November 2006 and March 2007.
It also condemned the action of the police in opening fire on unarmed farmers, saying the move was blatantly unconstitutional, as it cost the lives of 14 people and injury to around 300 people, including 52 police personnel. Therefore, it required investigation by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
It may be recalled that the State Government had to abort the project, as villagers refused to give up their farmland for the project.
The row saw violent clashes between residents opposed to the project and the communist supporters as well as police.