Mamata Banerjee survived an attack on her convoy on Sunday evening when she was on her way to Nandigram, which is again on the boil. Three CPI(M) activists were killed in a bomb blast early on Sunday, hours after the death of an activist belonging to the anti-land acquisition group.
Bullets were fired at the Trinamool leader’s procession as it was crossing Tekhali Bridge. Locals claimed that three bullets hit the ground close to her convoy. A shocked Mamata slammed the Left Front for promoting gundaraj in Nandigram. “If they think that by killing me they will stop our movement, they are mistaken. We will fight for the cause of people till the last breath.”
The police, however, denied any assault on Mamata. “Nothing of such kind has happened,” Inspector General of Police (law and order) Raj Kanojia said.
Party MLA Subhendu Adhikary claimed the attack was from a CPM party office near Tekhali bridge. “A bullet was fired from a gun at the convoy of Mamata Banerjee but it fell short of the car she was in,” said Adhikary. “We have recovered the empty cartridge.”
The three CPM workers died in a blast near the party’s relief camp at Sherkhan Chowk in Khejuri area of Nandigram block, said Kanojia. Five people have been injured.
Ashok Guria — a member of the Krishak Sabha, the CPM’s peasants’ wing — claimed that members of the Trinamool-backed Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) hurled bombs at the party’s relief camp killing the three men. However, BUPC core committee member Sabuj Pradhan said the blast occurred when they were making bombs at Khejuri, a stronghold of the CPM.
The BUPC observed a 12-hour bandh in Nandigram on Sunday in protest against the activists’ killing, allegedly by CPM workers. Two party offices of the CPM were torched
— reportedly by BUPC members — and CPM flags were burnt in front of Nandigram police
A car carrying Congress leaders was also attacked, allegedly by CPM workers. For the last two days, clashes have broken out between the BUPC and the CPM with the local villagers paying the price.
In past 24 hours, thousands have fled their homes and taken shelter in camps near Sonachura and Tekhali Bazaar. Houses were burnt at Takapara, Kamalpur, Ranichak, Dharapalli and Chhatengabari.
G. Srinivas, the Superintendent of Police, East Midnapur, said: “We are keeping a close watch on the situation and adequate arrangements have been made to tackle any situation.”