A forum of social activists under the banner of “Friends of Democracy” demanded here on Wednesday the release of 4,500 people allegedly arrested under trumped-up charges in connection with the Nandigram movement during 2006-7 in Purba Medinipur district in West Bengal.
“About 4,500 innocent people are languishing in several jails across the State facing trial though they committed no crime. The only mistake they made was that they had protested against the previous government’s decision to forcefully acquire their land,” said Bivas Chakraborty, theatre personality and social activist, at a press conference.
“The police firing at Nandigram on March 14 had resulted in the death of 14 people while several others sustained bullet injuries. The Mamata Banerjee’s government is yet to provide aid to the injured and punish the officers responsible for the firing,” he said.
The “Friends of Democracy” is organising a rally here on Thursday to mark the sixth anniversary of the violence and in the memory of those killed. It will raise its demand for action against the police officers responsible for the firing.
It demanded compensation for the women raped and sexually molested during the violence.
“About 25 women who were victims of sexual violence should be given compensation by the government,” said Choton Das, general secretary of Bondi Mukti Committee, a human rights organisation. There are a large number of people who are still missing and their families should be compensated by the government, he added.