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Nandigram flares up again

india Updated: Apr 29, 2007 19:11 IST
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Mamata Banerjee-led Krishi Jami Bachao Committee will send a delegation of “rape victims” of Nandigram to Prime Minister Manmohon Singh’s residence in Delhi. Mamata herself announced this on Sunday as violence rocked Nandigram again in which at least one person was killed and several injured.

The clash began in the wee hours on Sunday – the third consecutive day of violence – when a large number of people from adjoining Khejuri attempted to enter Nandigram. About 2500 CPI(M) activists, allegedly evicted from Nandigram, are at present camping at Khejuri. Gunshots were reported also in Bhangabera, Satingabari, Adhikaripara and Shimulkundu areas.

IGP (law and order) Raj Kanojia said bombs were hurled and gunshots were exchanged between activists of CPI(M) and Bhumi Uchhed Protirodh Committee (BUPC).The clashes occurred at Safrang Bazar, which was till now unaffected by violence.

Kanojia confirmed death of one person and said three people were admitted to hospital with bullet injuries. Trinamool Congress leader Sisir Adhikari, however, put the death toll at two and said at least 40 people received bullet injuries. The IGP said the police could enter the troubled spot only after noon and brought the situation under control.

Denying charges that his men had attempted to cross over to Nandigram from Khejuri and had started the clashes, CPI(M) leader of East Midnapore Ashok Guria alleged that BUPC activists attacked his party supporters at Gokulnagar, Maheshpur, Shimulpur and Baikunthapur. He also claimed that the dead – Lalit Mandal of Gokulnagar – was a CPI(M) supporter. Another CPI(M) activist – Mahitosh Karan – was missing, he said.

Addressing a press conference, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee alleged that the administration and the police were actively helping the CPI(M) to push in its cadres inside Nandigram. She announced an hour-long blockade of roads and railways from 11 am on Monday.

Mamata also said that the President and the Prime Minister’s offices were informed of the fresh incidents of violence and said Krishi Jami Bachao Committee members would lead a delegation of women to the PM’s residence “who had been raped on March 14” – the day the police had opened fire on agitating villagers of Nandigram in which 14 people had been killed. She, however, refused to announce the date when she planned to parade the women saying, “It will be done at the right time to let the people of the country know how the Bengal government is destroying democracy.” Another delegation would meet the president, she said.

Inviting all parties except the CPI(M) to participate in the road and railways blockade, Mamata also said that her activists would organize protest demonstrations in front of all police stations in the state on may 1 and set up blockades around them the next day.

Demanding immediate intervention of the Prime Minister in restoring normalcy in Nandigram, the Trinamool chief, however, ruled out her party’s participation in a peace meeting as proposed by chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee. “When the administration is helping the CPI(M) goons, when they are not taking any action to restore peace, what is the point in holding peace meetings. The talk of peace meeting is just an eyewash by the chief minister,” she said.

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