Calcutta/Nandigram, Oct. 26: Jyoti Basu today said compensation should be paid to all those killed in Nandigram on March 14, even if they were not felled by police bullets.
“Those killed in bombs thrown during the trouble should also get compensation…. Let a list be prepared where it will be decided who will be given compensation on humanitarian grounds,” the CPM patriarch said after a party state secretariat meeting today.
At the meeting, leaders like Benoy Konar demanded compensation also for CPM supporters killed in the Nandigram land war since January 3.
“The chief minister will speak on the issue. I will not make any comments till then,” Konar said later.
Home secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray, however, said the families of all 14 people killed on March 14 would be awarded compensation by the government.
Asked if damages would be paid for all those killed since January 3, he said: “Most of the other incidents were inter-party clashes. There was police involvement in the March 14 incident, which is why those killed that day would be compensated.”
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee told party colleagues at the meeting he would take legal opinion before deciding the compensation amount and the list of recipients.
Several leaders wanted a “package” for the rehabilitation of families of CPM supporters who died in the land war or lost their property.
“It will be difficult to face our supporters in the troubled zone otherwise,” an East Midnapore district secretariat member said.
Mamata Banerjee today said Basu had no authority to speak about the compensation for Nandigram victims. “Jyotibabu is a senior politician and a veteran CPM leader. He can discuss things at the party level but cannot speak on behalf of the government.”
In Nandigram, the victims’ relatives said a compensation would not be enough. “The guilty police officers should be punished. My mother’s killers should be punished,” said Soumyakanti Jana, a Class XI student.
Soumya, mother Supriya and father Sukumar had gone to Bhangabera from Sonachura that day to attend Gouranga puja, organised at different points in Nandigram to obstruct a possible police action. A bullet hit Supriya on the head.