Monday, January 4, 2010
Maoists Move to Stop Nuclear Power Plant in West Bengal
Maoist bid to nuke project
PRONAB MONDAL AND ANSHUMAN PHADIKAR
Dec. 28: Maoists have entered Haripur in East Midnapore to fan a movement on the lines of Nandigram against a proposed nuclear power plant, intelligence reports say.
In Nandigram, the Maoists had allegedly worked with Trinamul Congress leaders after a spontaneous local protest against an acquisition notice.
Mamata Banerjee has disowned Maoist claims of assistance, but it is widely believed that the guerrillas had helped cut off the administration from Nandigram in 2007, much the same way as they did in Lalgarh last year.
The intelligence bureau report, which has been forwarded to the Union home ministry, warns the state that it has to be prepared to confront Maoist-fired protests if the proposed central project is to be implemented in Haripur.
Intelligence sources said three CPI (Maoist) teams had moved into Haripur, 50km from Nandigram.
“They are camping in Haripur, holding meetings with villagers and saying they will fight more sincerely than Trinamul (which is part of the central government now),” an IB officer said. “They are taking advantage of the villagers’ fear of losing land and citing their success in Nandigram.”
A Farmer and Fishermen’s Association has been formed with alleged Maoist help.
A senior CPI (Maoist) leader confirmed their presence in the area. “We have learnt a lesson from Nandigram. Trinamul took our help there but, after their electoral success, they are trying to drive us away. We are not falling into the trap this time,” he said.
However, local Trinamul MP and Union minister Sisir Adhikari said the “so-called IB report” is a “CPM ploy” to spread “rumours” about Maoist presence. “There were no Maoists in Nandigram and there are no Maoists in Haripur. We have launched a movement with the farmers and fishermen there because we are opposed to the nuclear project. The area is thickly populated and the land is multi-crop.”
Trinamul has also set up a resistance group in Haripur.