APDR Letter to Mamata Banerjee on threats to Environmental Activists in Chandpara

January 17, 2013

Association for Protection of Democratic Rights
18, MADAN BARAL LANE, KOLKATA- 700 012, Phone: (2237 6459) / 9432276415

Dated: Kolkata, 15.01.2013
The Hon’ble Chief Minister,
Government of West Bengal
Writers Buildings, Kolkata -700 001
Fax: (033) 2214-5480
Fax: (033) 4540880

Subject: Urgent intervention solicited.

Respected Madame,
APDR solicits your urgent intervention in activating 24-Parganas police administration in setting aside potential life-threats to certain environment activists in Chandpara region engaged in saving a fragile tributary of ‘Jamuna-nadi’ (stretching about 25-30 kilometers) and now turned into ‘Chalundia Khal’. The threats comes from a section of land grabbers and local promoters alleged to be involved in the network with strong political connections which murdered Barun Biswas of near-by ‘Sutia’ village in broad daylight in Gobordanga Railway station few months ago.

On 28th December, 2012, the threatened activists were severely beaten with rods, bamboos, bricks etc by a group of goons and promoters who wanted to reclaim large parts of ‘Chalunlia Khal’ for personal gains and wanted to eliminate those who dare to stand in their way to gain free lands out of a river-tributary which belong to state. Earlier the same activists saved a large plot of land known in the area as “Saheb-Bagan’ from the strong hands of the same group of land grabbers. River expert Kalyan Rudra and others provided active moral support to them in that effort. So, vengeance is at work at this stage to eliminate those activists and associated people to steer clear of any active resistance against river-grabbing. Local police is operating hand-gloves with the land grabbers. Local BDO and BL&LRO are nervous and prefer not to act against any vested interest for fear which they can only explain.

APDR activists are connected with the local people’s constitutional efforts to save the ‘chalundia Khal’ and the secretary of ‘Chalundia Bacho Committee’ happens to be an APDR activist (Nandadulal Das) whose two ribs the goon broke in the 28th December, 2012 attack mentioned above along with some others.

APDR is seriously concerned in the above-said incident leading to continuous life- threats given to those activists and disturbing inaction against the threat-mongers and assaulters. It is further said that the same local APDR activists were awarded by the local administration medals and cash prize worth Rs. 1700.00 each for heroically chasing and finally arresting a snatcher. Now, they’re being threatened and these threats, APDR feels, may at any time be practically executed if current administrative inaction runs on.

So, APDR solicits your kind, appropriate and immediate intervention for saving life.

Dhiraj Sengupta
General Secretary