M A I N   N E W S

Blast rocks Tata Motors’ Singur plant
Huge stock of explosives seized
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, March 18
Tata Motors’ Singur plant was rocked today with heavy explosion when an AICC delegation, led by former Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh, was making an on-the-spot enquiry.

Large areas around the boundary walls had been blown up due to the explosion. The police recovered a huge stock of explosive materials from the site. Experts from the Army, who reached Singur, seized the explosives for examination. But so far neither the mystery of the explosion could be resolved nor was anyone arrested in this connection. However, it was suspected that some landmines might have planted near the plant site and a few of which suddenly exploded.

Union information minister Priya Dasmunsi was also in Nandigram today along with his supporters for making an enquiry into the Wednesday’s carnage.

After meeting the victims and their families at Nandigram and Tamluk hospitals, both AICC delegation leader and Dasmunsi described the killings as barbarous and brutal and held Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee responsible for it.

They demanded Bhattacharjee’s resignation but did not demand the dissolution of the state government and the imposition of the President’s rule while Mamata Banerjee demanded Bhattacharjee’s arrest.

CPM general secretary Prakash Karat, who arrived in the city today and met Jyoti Basu, said the party was supporting Bhattacharjee and there was no question of dropping him from the office.

The AICC team, which included Sushila Tiria and the party chief whip Madhusudan Mishri, was accompanied by WBPCC (l) working president Pradip Bhattacharyya, Manash Bhiya, the party leader in the Assembly, among others.

Union external affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee and former WBPCC (l) chief Somen Mitra preferred staying back in the city. Mitra, however, had already visited Singur and Nandigram and sent his report to Sonia Gandhi and the Prime Minister.

Meanwhile, CBI joint director B.P. Mishra, who spent two days in Nandigram, returned to the city after collecting samples and information about the police firing. Mishra did not talk to the press but he was hopeful of submitting his report to Chief Justice of the Calcutta High Court Surinder Singh Nirjhar within the stipulated period.

Meanwhile, the 10 persons, who were arrested by the CBI from the Sonachura, Bangabera and Khejuri areas, were today produced before the SDJM court at Contai that remanded them into police custody for seven days. These persons have been identified as “outsiders” of Nandigram and reportedly belonging to the CPM. At the time of hearing, a large number of locals staged demonstration.

The huge stock of firearms seized by the CBI officials during raids in the Nandigram area was brought to the city. The firearms included five sophisticated rifles and two revolvers that bore the marks of a firearms factory of Japan.

The local police admitted that it had fired 50 rounds of bullets in the face of violent attacks from the agitating people, but the CBI had seized over 100 rounds of bullets and cartridges from the area. Many of the victims lying in the hospitals were also carrying the bullet marks of the weapons that the police was not using. This testified that the CPM cadres had been capturing the area by dislodging the local people with the help of the police.



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