After maintaining silence throughout the phase of violence, the Maoists, for the first time, have admitted their involvement in the resistance struggle against the Bengal government's land acquisition for the proposed Special Economic Zone in Nandigram.
In an interview published in Resistance India – a Maoist blog – CPI (Maoist) general secretary Ganapathy said his party was involved in Nandigram but denied charges that Maoists were "outsiders" fomenting trouble, as alleged by the CPI(M).
Asked if his people were involved in inciting violence in Nandigram, Ganapathy said, "One should only be surprised if we are not involved in such life-and-death issues of the masses. We intend to mobilise the masses against the conspiracies of the rulers to snatch the land of the people."
Insisting that Maoists would always attempt to be in the forefront of the struggle against SEZs – which he termed as neo-colonial enclaves within the country – Ganapathy said, "Kalinga Nagar, Singur and Nandigram, in particular, have become important symbols in this struggle. As for our role in such movements we shall definitely make all efforts to be in the forefront and lead the movement in the correct direction."
Ever since violence broke out in Nandigram about three months ago, Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee publicly said that Maoists were involved in all acts of clashes. The CPI (Maoist), however, had chosen to keep a studied silence on the issue.
The Naxal leader, however, challenged charges that his activists were outsiders in Nandigram and said that statements such as these were attempts to divert the real issue.
"The CPI(M) leaders are trying to divert the issue by repeating that Maoists from outside incited the local people and the police had no other alternative but to open fire in self-defence. Brinda Karat said Maoists used the sea-route to enter Nandigram. In their eyes, Salims or Tatas are not outsiders while Maoists, who live and die for the people, become outsiders," Ganapathy said in the interview.