Thursday, March 15, 2007

CPM unleashes terror on Journalists - CPM machinery suprressing media reports

Total media blackout - Unofficial reports put more than 100 dead ....

CPM unleashes Terror on Journalists who rushed to cover Nandigram
Total blackout no pictures or video of dead people being allowed to be taken...
and the bodies are being disposed of quickly..

Journalists being kidnapped in Nandigram by CPM leaders and cadre

TAMLUK: In a brazen display of muscle power, thousands of CPM men sealed off all access points along a 30-km radius around Nandigram and prevented journalists from entering the area, while the police carried out a bloodbath on Wednesday morning.

In a carefully-orchestrated plan, the administration stayed away from Digha Road — the highway from which several roads meander into Nandigram.

Instead, CPM supporters took position, setting up checkposts at strategic points to flush out mediapersons from vehicles headed towards Nandigram.

Mediapersons were yanked out of vehicles, abused and manhandled with impunity. When the TOI team tried to enter Nandigram through Chandipur, it was stopped by about 100 CPM men.

"If you value your lives, turn back immediately. For two-and-a-half-month, we have allowed you (media) to operate without interference. Now, let us operate in peace," said a local leader.

Thumping on the car bonnet, the CPM cadres bayed for blood. "Move back or we'll tear you to shreds. You have been a mute spectator to the humiliation we have faced. Now, it's time to strike back. We can do it without your help," said another.

When called, SP Anil Srinivas wriggled out of the situation. "We're carrying out operations in Nandigram now. Other matters will be dealt with later," he said.

IG (western range) Arun Gupta was more forthright: "I don't have time for journalists now." With the administration turning a blind eye, the TOI team tried an alternative road.

A bus ride appeared a better bet. But progress was short. As the bus turned into the road leading to Nandigram at Heria, it hit another CPM checkpost.

Passengers were hounded out of the bus and lined up to identify those who did not match the area's rustic profile. Bags were then yanked out and searched.

A TOI reporter and cameraman were sitting ducks. Both were bundled into the zonal CPM office.

"Why are you acting stupid? We have express orders not to allow any journalists into Nandigram today," said a party worker.

When TOI appraised the CM's personal assistant of the situation, the reply was to the point: "Why have you gone there today?" An attempt to call the governor was aborted midway as a cadre snatched the cellphone.

"Do you believe the governor will come and make way for you to go to Nandigram? Even Buddhababu cannot do anything today. Only Lakshman Seth decides who enters the zone today. Who needs scribes?" another partyman shot back.

Ashok Guria, CPM district secretariat member in-charge of Nandigram, said as much.

"Nothing can be done about the situation. There are express orders to keep the media out. Please comply," he said.

As journalists made desperate attempts to enter the warzone, police used the opportunity to carry out operation bloodbath. In less than 30 minutes, the force killed 11 people.

Several were left injured. By late afternoon, police claimed it had penetrated all the villages that had remained inaccessible.


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