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Nandigram shut down

CPI-M calls the shutdown to protest the deaths of four party supporters in the blast at Nandigram yesterday.

india Updated: Oct 29, 2007 18:32 IST

Tension continued on Monday in West Bengal's Nandigram area with a shutdown called by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to protest the deaths of four people in a blast evoking near total response.

Amid reports of sporadic gunbattle during the night, the 12-hour shutdown began in five blocks of Nandigram and adjoining Khejuri and Chandipur areas in East Midnapore, about 150 kms from here.

The CPI-M has called the shutdown to protest the deaths of four party supporters in explosions in a house in Nandigram adjoining Khejuri early on Sunday.

The CPI-M blamed the rival Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC). However, the BUPC, which is backed by the Trinamool Congress, said the explosion occurred when the CPI-M men were making bombs.

"There is no report of any fresh clash since Sunday evening but tension prevailed in the area," an official from Nandigram police station said even as BUPC claimed gunshots were heard during the night.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who claimed her convoy was fired at Sunday afternoon, might again try to enter Nandigram on Monday.

The CPI-M has trashed claims that their party members fired at Banerjee's convoy in the area -- where violence continues, despite the government scrapping a proposed industrial complex following stiff opposition to the takeover of their land. Various groups are keeping the issue alive in the run-up to panchayat polls next year.

"She is telling lies in the fashion of Goebbels' propaganda," CPI-M leader Shymal Chakraborty said after the news of firing on Banerjee's convoy spread.

"Mamata Banerjee is enacting a drama there. How can she show the cartridge case at the place where the bullet landed? The shell cannot be found at the spot, it should be found somewhere from where the aim was taken," Chakraborty said.