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Medha Patkar assaulted on way to Nandigram
November 08, 2007 14:58 IST
Last Updated: November 08, 2007 16:59 IST
Social activist Medha Patkar was on Thursday assaulted allegedly by Communist Party of India-Marxist activists at Kapaseberia in East Midnapore district of West Bengal while on her way to strife-torn Nandigram.
"There were CPI-M men carrying red flags who blocked my car and some other vehicles which were going along with mine to Nandigram. I was hit on the face and they tried to pull my hair and were about to drag me out of the car," Patkar told PTI over phone from the spot.
Inspector General of Police (Law and Order), West Bengal, Raj Kanojia said in Kolkata that one of the vehicles in Patkar's convoy was damaged.
She said social activist Anuradaha Talwar and intellectual Tarun Sanyal were also accompanying her to Nandigram in separate vehicles.
Describing the incident as 'horrifying,' she said, "It is unimaginable that a riot-like situation is prevailing and people in Nandigram are crying as the CPI-M has started its operation for retrieving lost ground at Nandigram."
"How is it that as citizens of the country we will not be allowed to go to Nandigram? It is unimaginable. Is this the kind of example of the state machinery functioning? Peace-loving people of Nandigram are crying for help. What is going on in the name of development," Patkar asked.
Kapasberia, a CPI-M-strong-hold, is under Mahishadal police station and 15 km from Nandigram.
Asked how she identified her attackers to be CPI-M men, Patkar said: "They were carrying red flags and shouting slogans. If they are not from CPI-M, the party should come forward and tell. The police should arrest them (the attackers)."
"Using the physical and brutal force is not the democratic way," she said.
"I told the policemen escorting my convoy when you cannot give security to us, then what is the use? One can imagine the condition of the peace-loving people of Nandigram."
"Let good sense prevail on the West Bengal government. It should see that doors to Nandigram are left open. Otherwise the situation would become similar to the one that was in Gujarat," she said.
Patkar said hundreds of houses have been burnt at Satengabari in Nandigram.
"Peace should be restored at all costs and those who fled their homes following the recent violence should be allowed to return," she said, demanding a CBI enquiry into the incident.