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Maoists, Trinamool lock horns over Haripur nuclear plant

Posted by Admin on January 4, 2010

KOLKATA: They had fought shoulder-to-shoulder in Nandigram, but at the proposed nuclear plant site in Haripur, the Maoists are not ready to be “deceived” by Trinamool Congress anymore. The Trinamool too has threatened the Maoists with “dire consequences” if they dare to venture into Haripur.

“Trinamool is not at all serious about the cause of Haripur. What the party is doing there is nothing but an eyewash. Because it’s their government which has taken the decision to set up the N-plant,” said Maoist leader Koteswar Rao alias Kishanji, whose party is slowly and steadily making foray into this coastal village of East Midnapore around 160 km from Kolkata.

Local Trinamool leaders are not taking kindly to the Maoists’ interest to this newfound stronghold. Party MP from Contai and Union minister Sisir Adhikary said, “If Kishanji or his followers want to set foot in Haripur, we’ll give them a good thrashing (mere haat-pa bhenge debo). They are just murderers with little political base. If they have courage, why don’t they come out from behind the shield of other organisations and face the people?”

As the mainstream political parties are going slow on Haripur because of their respective political compulsions, Maoist activists are out to fill the uncertain void. They are coming in from Khejuri, Nandigram and Kolkata, going from door to door, meeting people with their own awareness programme and mobilising villagers for a bigger battle in future.

“We are not going for an open confrontation with the state forces at the moment. We are giving political support to the villagers of Haripur and trying to make them aware of the evils of a nuclear plant. How many Bhopals and Kaigas would it take to make people see reason? We will never allow that to happen in Haripur,” Kishanji said firmly.

On Tuesday, rights activists and the Parmanu Chulli Birodhi O Bhite Mati Jiban Jibika Bachao Committee (committee against nuclear plant and to save home, land, life and livelihood) organised an anti-nuclear plant rally at Haripur. The rally was organised by among others some political workers from Khejuri and students from Kolkata.

Haripur Paramanu Bidyut Prakalpa Protirodh Andolan (movement to resist nuclear power plant at Haripur), an organisation of fishermen active in the area, is watching the situation. “But we do not have any truck with the Maoists,” said Debashis Shyamal, convener of the outfit.

The state administration apparently is unaware of these developments. “I don’t have any knowledge about any Maoist activity in Haripur. We will look into the matter,” said state home secretary Ardhendu Sen.

East Midnapore SP Bastav Vaidya, too, was surprised. “We don’t have any such intelligence input so far,” he said. TOI


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