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Eminent scholars and civil society members have issued a statement on the Nandigram

Eminent scholars and civil society members have issued a statement on the Nandigram issue in West Bengal. It says:

We are deeply concerned about the escalating levels of violence being reported from Nandigram in West Bengal, as a consequence of the State Government's policy of land acquisition for industrial use. TV reports from Calcutta indicate growing levels of tension and violence in the villages.

This situation is likely to be repeated across the State if the policy continues to be executed as it has, without consideration for human rights, democratic procedures, and livelihoods.

We deplore the recent attack on the CPM office at Nandigram, but deplore even more strongly the policy of retaliation advocated by some constituents of the Left Front Government, and the use of armed elements against the villagers, already at the cost of several lives.

We urge the formation of an all-Party Peace Committee in West Bengal to ensure the cessation of hostilities against the villagers, and an immediate end to the forcible acquisition of land.

While industrial development is necessary in many parts of the country, detailed, democratically accountable and transparent discussions about the categories of land to be allocated for acquisition are equally necessary prior to making a decision.

The International Economic Covenant, which India has ratified, makes prior consultation and resettlement mandatory in all cases of displacement. The violation of human rights in the process of land acquisition that we have recently seen in West Bengal (and a number of other states) is completely unacceptable.

Signatories: Romila Thapar, Justice Rajinder Sachar, Jean Dreze, Arundhati Roy, Sumit Sarkar, Praful Bidwai, Kavita Srivastava (PUCL), Yogendra Yadav, Tanika Sarkar, Anil Chaudhary (PEACE), Achin Vanaik, Pradip Kumar Datta, Dilip Simeon and Colin Gonzalves.


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posted by Bimal 8.2.07,


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