Nandigram continued to burn for the third consecutive day as incidents of firing, bombing and arson were reported from several places in Tekhali on Sunday.
More than 100 people tried to flee from their houses in Khejuri following threat perception from the BUPC. Trouble began when Bhoomi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) activists started firing indiscriminately at CPI (M) supporters, who were being escorted by the police to their houses in Khejuri.
Unfortunately, even a large police force failed to give a safe passage the CPI (M) supporters. In retaliation, the CPI-M cadres started firing at the BUPC activists.
The police also fired in the air to disperse the warring factions. The exchange of gunfire lasted till 4 pm.
Two photo journalists, who were present at the incident, escaped unhurt. Later a team of policemen rushed to the spot and rescued the journalists.
Following the incident, Additional Superintendent of police Tanmoy Roy Chowdhury requested the media people not to venture out in the area for security reasons.
Some of the CPI (M) supporters were mercilessly beaten up by the BUPC activists and kept in confinement for more than one hour.
Later, sensing danger, the CPI (M) supporters fled away. One Bhojo Hari, a resident of Tekhali, was heard saying, "I don't have any trust on police. The BUPC activists will kill us."
Champak Rai Chowdhury, officer-in-charge of the Nandigram police station said, "There is a strict order from the superintendent of police that everybody will be given full protection and there is nothing to worry about."
However, the CPI (M) supporters turned down the request and decided to stay in the relief camp. "The situation is not good and we are requesting our supporters to have patience and soon they will return home," a senior CPI (M) leader Sadhin Pramanik said.
Ground reality suggests that BUPC managed to gain a strong foothold in Khejuri. "We are targeting the Janani Brick Klin. Soon we will be managed to grab it and after that it will easier for us to carry out our movement," Suem Kaji, one of the BUPC activists said.
He alleged that the firing was first started by the CPI (M) activists. He further added, "We were targeted from a very close range but the local police were seen standing as mere spectators.”