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Violence erupts in Nandigram again
Tribune News service

Kolkata, June 15
Violence erupted in Nandigram again today when there was a free exchange of firing, brick-bats and bomb-throwing between two groups belonging to the CPM and the Trinamool Congress-led Krishia Bachaoo Committee.

In the firing, a senior police officer, Pravat Sarker, was injured, who was taken to Kolkata and admitted to the SSKM hospital, where his condition was stated to be critical.

During the clashes, several houses were burnt, two police pickets were attacked, a police jeep was destroyed and firearms snatched from police custody.

At least 20 others, including three women and a school student, were also injured. When reports of the incident reached the CPM Alimuddin Street party office, industries minister Nirupam Sen was briefing veteran leader Jyoti Basu about the Singur package in the presence of chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharee and party secretary Biman Bose.

Hearing the report of fresh violence at Nandigram, Basu expressed surprise that there could be clashes again when the peace procession was progressing. Bhattacharjee soon contacted home secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy and asked him to order the SP to personally rush to the spot and arrange the deployment of a large contingent of para-military forces for maintaining peace and normalcy in Nandigram and adjoining areas. He also advised that the police should maintain extreme restraint and should not resort to firing even in the face of attack on them. Bose also contacted their party leaders in Nandigram and advised them to maintain peace and not to get provoked by any means.

According to reports reaching Writers Buildings, the trouble started around 11 a.m, when a large number of CPM workers and supporters, carrying red flags and festoons, started marching from the adjoining Khejuri towards Nandigram. They allegedly hurled bombs and brickbats when they were resisted by the Krishi Bachaoo Committee with bombs and brickbats. At the Bhangaberia bridge, the marchers were stopped by the police. Soon clashes broke between the CPM and the Krishi Bachaoo Committee, and in the melee, there was exchange of firing between the CPM and the Krishi Bachaoo Committee, which lasted for about half an hour. Local CPM leader Ashok Guria alleged that as per their previous programme, the evicted people of Nandigram were returning to their homes, but they were denied entry. On the contrary, they were attacked with firearms. He claimed that yesterday, the evicted people, belonging to the TMC, had a safe return to Khejuri, which the CPM leaders personally organised, but today their people failed to return to their homes in Nandigram.

On the other hand, Subhen Maiti, the TMC MLA, alleged that the CPM was following the same March 14 tactic for forcibly entering inside Nandigram for taking over the control of the village from their hands. He denied there was any programme prepared jointly by the CPM and TMC for the safe return of the evicted people to their respective homes. He ruled out the possibility of the restoration of peace and normalcy in Nandigram till the violent attacks from the Khejui side were not stopped.

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