Ahead of panchayat polls on Sunday, fear stalks villages in Nandigram with not a soul to be seen mile after mile as one drives through strongholds of opposition Trinamool Congress-backed Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee leading a campaign against farmland acquisition.
Deserted or padlocked houses and empty fields greet a visitor at Sonachura, Gokulnagar, Adhikaripara, Mahespur and other areas.
Nirapada Paran, Ashok Barui and Sushil Jana, three BUPC supporters who spoke to this correspondent, alleged they were terrorised by CPI(M) workers who appeared with their faces covered to snatch away voter ID cards to prevent BUPC supporters from voting.
"We are afraid of moving out after dark," they said.
With the relief camp at a school now deserted with the administration claiming that they had gone home, around 350 BUPC supporters were seen camping at the Nandigram Hospital premises and near the BDO's office.
The media, they were told, was not reporting on CRPF beating up marxist supporters.
When the scribes said that they would speak directly to the CRPF, they were made to walk for two and a half kilometre to a camp of the central force.
At the camp, the CPI(M) supporters claimed they were being attacked and injured by BUPC supporters.
When CRPF DIG Alok Raj asked that the injured be produced the CPI(M) supporters could not do so and left.