Shantipur (Nadia), Dec. 2: The government is “sad and shocked” over the March 14 police firing in Nandigram, industries minister Nirupam Sen said today.
“Onekey bhabchhey aamra police firing ke support korchhi. Kintu keno korbo' Aamra pagol naaki' Aamra dukkhito o marmahato (People think we are supporting the police firing. But why should we' Are we mad' We are sad and shocked),” Sen said at the open session of a CPM convention in Shantipur town, about 70km from Calcutta.
“No civil society can support the killing of innocent people in police firing. We are shocked and feel such deaths should never have happened.”
Industrialists, including the Tatas who are making the car plant in Singur, are facing “unpleasant questions” over Nandigram abroad, said Sen. “Tata and others are being asked unpleasant questions in London and other western countries. They wanted clarifications from our investors about the deaths in Nandigram and they (the investors) kept silent. We are sad and shaken hearing all this.”
The minister asked the audience if they thought Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s industrialisation policy was “to meet his own political goals”.
Although Sen tried to dispel the notion that the government condoned the police firing, he slammed the villagers’ resistance after the government scrapped the chemical hub project in Nandigram. “Why did they unleash violence against CPM supporters and the police even after we withdrew' Why did they dig up roads and torch our offices' Why did they kill our men'”
He suggested the Opposition had committed a political blunder by not pressing for peace when it had the upper hand in Nandigram. “The Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee could have gone to the people claiming victory and won elections.”
There is “much to learn from Orissa”, he said, where deaths of land acquisition protesters could not stall the drive for industry.
Fourteen people were killed in Nandigram on March 14.
A CPM supporter shot in Nandigram died in Calcutta today.
Dipak Das, 26, was admit- ted to SSKM Hospital on Nov-ember 12, a day after he took a bullet in his abdomen in Gokulnagar.