Mamata Banerjee flays CBI's Nandigram charge sheet
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday hit out at the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for giving a clean chit to the erstwhile Left Front government in the Nandigram police firing case which had claimed 14 lives in 2007.
"Only six low-ranking police officers have been named while those who had ordered the firing have not been named. I have said I will take action against all those who at the behest of (then chief minister) Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had carried out the orders," said Banerjee at a party rally here.
Asserting that those at the top responsible for giving the orders will be punished, Banerjee accused the CBI of being influenced by the Congress and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M).
"Those at the top, those responsible for the orders, they will be punished... The matter is not so easy, the game is not that easy. The Congress Bureau of Investigation and the CPI-M Bureau of Investigation will not decide matters," she added.
The Left Front regime's plans to acquire 10,000 acres of land in East Midnapore's Nandigram, about 125 km from here, for a special economic zone (SEZ) triggered violent agitation spearheaded by Banerjee's Trinamool Congress which eventually resulted in the death of 14 farmers in police firing March 14, 2007.
Following the firing, a bench of Calcutta High Court had said the "police firing was wholly unconstitutional", and asked CBI to investigate it.
But the central agency in its charge sheet, submitted to additional chief judicial magistrate (Haldia) in December 2013, said: "It has been established that the assembly was an unlawful assembly as declared by the executive magistrate and they obstructed public servants in performing legal duty."
CPI-M politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra had Wednesday charged the Trinamool of "double standards" and asserted that the findings of the CBI vindicated its stand that the developments leading to the Nandigram firing, seven years back, were a "conspiracy" against the then Left Front regime.
"The charge sheet is a proof that the accusation that Bhattacharjee had ordered the police firing is baseless," said Mishra, leader of opposition in the state assembly.
(Posted on 30-01-2014)