| A family after returning to their damaged home in Satengabari. Picture by Sanat Kumar Sinha
Satengabari (Nandigram), Nov. 24: A charred bamboo structure — it was once a home — standing on a lush green field and children playing amid a heap of broken tiles.
The scars of the land war are still fresh in Satengabari, a small pocket in Nandigram.
And in the ruins, a flame is burning — CPM workers who have returned home after months in relief camps are plotting revenge.
The seething farmers stand as the biggest hurdle to the government’s peace drive.
“Oder amra chharbona (We will not spare them). There is no room for mercy. A few days ago, we held a meeting and decided that those who had once forced us to leave our homes would not be spared. We will give them a fitting reply,” said Mir Mabud Ali.
Satengabari was a CPM bastion till April when the Trinamul Congress-backed Bhoomi Uchched Pratirodh Committee took control, leaving hundreds homeless. As the villagers fled to relief camps in Khejuri, Pratirodh Committee supporters went on the rampage, burning down houses and looting them.
On November 5, the CPM recaptured the village.
“After BUPC activists took over our village, they forced us to pay fines to return home. It was awful. They also beat up our comrades. Bimanda (Bose) was right when he said we will not throw rosogollas in reply to their bombs. Now we will wait for the villagers who have fled their homes to return and then settle scores,” Mabud said.
“We are now working to get some of the top-rung BUPC leaders picked up by the CRPF,” he added, without revealing any details of the plan.
Following a directive from the district magistrate, the state police have decided to let the CRPF set up two pickets at Giri Bazaar near Satengabari and at Sonachura Bazaar.
But the CPM denied that there was any threat from its supporters. “If anyone returning home faces any problem, we will take stern action against those responsible. This is a clear word of assurance from us,” said Himanshu Das, the secretary of the Khejuri zonal committee.