M A I N   N E W S

Violence mars Bengal bandh, 1500 held
Tribune News Service

A polcewoman detains an activist from the Trinamul Congress in Siliguri during state-wide bandh in Bengal on Monday.
A polcewoman detains an activist from the Trinamul Congress in Siliguri during state-wide bandh in Bengal on Monday. — Reuters photo

Kolkata, January 8
The CPM had shown maximum restraints today after yesterday's carnage in Nandigram village during today's Bangal bandh, on a call given by opposition parties in protest against the killings at Nandigram and farmers' evictions for providing lands to industries.

Veteran politburo leader Sitaram Yechuri, now in the city, declared the land acquiring problems at Nandigram and elsewhere would be handled politically in future but he endorsed Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee's policy of industrialisation in the state.

The bandh, which was observed on a call given by the Congress, the Trinamool Congress and SUCI, also witnessed a few incidents of violence here and other places in which over 1500 persons were arrested.

CPM secretary Biman Bose and Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee claimed that the people had rejected the bandh call. Protesters went on the rampage and attacked the police, burnt buses and trams and ransacked the CPM’s party offices. But the CPM workers, despite provocations from the Opposition, remained silent.

The CPM party office near Lockgate was attacked and urnt by angry farmers of the Nandigram Krishi Bachao Committee.

A meeting was held at the village at the instance of the district magistrate and the police where all party leaders resolved to cooperate with the local administration in restoring peace and normalcy in the area.

In Kolkata, the house of Mr Sudhangshu Sil, CPM MP in north Kolkata, was ransacked by protesters. A group of SUCI workers, mostly women, demonstrated in front of Writers Buildings and burnt effigies of the Chief Minister. Over 100 SUCI workers and supporters were arrested on the spot.

In southern part of the city, near the Gariahat-Rashbehari area, a procession was taken out by Subrata Mukherjee, former Kolkata mayor, protesting against the land grabbing at Singur and Nandigram. The police arrested 250 protesters after a clash.

The protesters pelted stones on the running vehicles and two buses were also burnt. The police resorted to mild lathicharge and arrested 70 persons.

There were road blockades and obstructions on the rail movement at several places in the state. The bandh was partly observed in some places in districts like Howrah, Hooghly, 24-parganas, Burdwan, Birbhum, Malda, Dinajpur, Coochbehar and Darjeelings.

Meanwhile, the state Transport Minister Subhas Chakraborty claimed before medipersons that 11 persons died in yesterday’s carnage and nine belonged to the CPM.



Violence again in Nandigram

Nandigram (WB), January 8
Continued violence due to protests against land acquisition for a Special Economic Zone in West Bengal's East Midnapur district left at least 10 policemen injured, four of them seriously, as security personnel fired in the air to ward off a stone-pelting crowd which also burnt down a CPM office today.

Burnt furniture of the CPM office which was set on fire by angry villagers at Nandigram on Monday.
Burnt furniture of the CPM office which was set on fire by angry villagers at Nandigram on Monday. — PTI photo

Trouble began early in the morning when a large contingent of policemen tried to march into the Nandigram area, nearly 150 km south west of Kolkata, after their vehicles could not enter due to trenches dug on the roads.

IGP, Western Range, Mr A Gupta told PTI that at least 10 policemen were injured in the brickbatting and seven were rushed to hospital.

He said police fired six rounds in the air when they were attacked by the members of the ‘Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee’, (Committee Against Eviction) spearheading the agitation against the proposed land acquisition for the SEZ planned to be set up by Indonesia’s Salim Group.

Police subsequently retreated to the Nandigram police station after being confronted by a stone-pelting mob.

The mob then set fire a CPM office at Dinabhandupur in the jurisdiction of Nandigram police station, Gupta said.

The entire area, which has witnessed repeated violence since January 3, when the problem first started, continued to be tense as the opposition-sponsored state-wide 24-hour bandh crippled life in the trouble-torn East Midnapore district.

A number of villages under Nandigram block remained almost inaccesible as the agitationists dug trenches at some points on the roads leading to Dinabhandupur and Sonachura.

Road blocks were also set up at various points by stick-wielding agitators who were not allowing outsiders to enter.

Even mediapersons were asked to show their credentials before being allowed to enter the troubled areas.

The day’s violence followed night-long clashes between the activists of the ruling CPI(M) and supporters of main opposition Trinamool Congress, Congress, SUCI and others on Saturday which had left at least six dead.

A local panchayet member S P Maicap charged the police with instigating the violence at Dinabhandupur. — PTI



HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |