M A I N   N E W S

CPM cadres raid Nandigram
8 dead; TMC, Cong call for bandh today
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, January 7
A group of CPM cadres, armed with automatic rifles and other weapons and wearing police uniforms, raided Nandigram village last night and gunned down at least six farmers in accordance to the party’s suddenly adopted policy of applying force against the Krishi Bachaoo Committee, opposing the land transfer to Indonesia’s Salim group.

In the clashes that followed between the two groups, two CPM workers were also killed. Over 12 were severely injured either by gunshots or blasts and they had been admitted to different hospitals in Midnapore town and Kharagpur, where the condition of seven was stated to be critical.

The villagers killed included Biswajit Maiti, Bhudeb Mondal, Sk. Salim, Bharat Mondal, Sankar Samanta and Bishnu Maiti.

According to official reports, the CPM workers encircled Nandigram village around midnight and attacked the farmers assembled in the Garchakraberia, Sonachura and Tekhali bazaar areas. The attacks were retaliated and soon followed an armed clash between the two groups.

Oddly enough, there was no police force posted around the place at the time of the incident as it had been withdrawn earlier following the decision of the all-party meeting in the morning.

The Trinamool Congress (TMC), Congress, SUCI and several other parties have givev a call for Bangla bandh tomorrow demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and the imposition of President’s rule in the state.

Meanwhile, Mr Bhattacharjee, who was busy today negotiating with a Dubai-based industrialist, Sheikh Suleman, for an investment proposal at Kulpi in the Sunderbans where some 640 acres would be needed for the project, regretted the incident at Nandigram but reiterated that the industrial expansion programme would continue.

The incident was an outcome of a provocation call to the party cadres by Mr Benoy Konar, senior central committee member, who is also a prominent leader of the party’s Kishan Front, for confronting the unwilling farmers and their supporters with force for ensuring an easy transferring of 10,000 acres there to Salim industries.

He said their policy would now be “gun for gun and lathis for lathis”, alleging that some Naxalites and the branded criminals had been behind the farmers’ agitations who needed to be firmly tackled. Mr Konar had asked the Left front partners like the CPI, RSP and the Forward Bloc either to support the government or quit.

Leaders of the three major front partners, namely the CPI, RSP and the FB demanded that the government should immediately stop “land grabbing policy” and hold all-party talks and adopt a decision on the future land acquiring for industries.

Ms Mamata Banerjee, who has been recuperating at a nursing home, and Mr Pradip Bhattacharyya, working WBPCC president, squarely blamed the chief minister for acting as an agent of the capitalists and held him responsible for the innocent killing in the Nandigram village.



Nandigram: CPM to oppose bandh

Kolkata, January 7
Accusing opposition parties, including the Trinamool Congress, of fomenting violence at Nandigram, the CPM distanced itself from the events there and vowed to oppose tomorrow’s bandh.

“We are not at all involved. Let there be a total stop to clashes at Nandigram,” state secretary of CPI(M) Biman Bose told newsmen.

Bose, who is also Left Front chairman, said that the violence had claimed the lives of three CPI(M) and two Trinamool Congress activists at Nandigram. “One of the dead is a 14-year-old boy.”

Bose said that 10 CPM workers were still missing after the violence.

He said that the violence had led poor villagers to be affected. He accused the Trinamool Congress, Congress, SUCI and a Naxalite faction with resorting to “false campaign” on land acquisition notification at Nandigram and then resorting to “violence”.

He also accused them of instigating people, torching a CPM office and ransacking a panchayat office at Kalicharanpur. He said opposition partymen dug up roads, torched a police jeep and attacked policemen at Nandigram “to create tension in the area.”

Ridiculing tomorrow’s bandh call by the Congress and the Trinamool Congress, Bose said “after resorting to violence, these parties have now called bandhs of varying durations.”

CPM would oppose the bandh call and ensure that life remained normal in the state tomorrow, he said. — PTI



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