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CRPF enters Nandigram
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, November 12
The CPM’s “recapturing drive being over”, the CRPF that has been camping at Garbeta for the past three days today entered Nandigram when the Congress, the SUCI, the Trinamool Congress and the BJP were separately observing a bandh in protest against the CPM’s vandalism and killings in Nandigram.

Social activist Medha Patkar and other intellectuals, who were carrying with them relief materials and medicines, however, were again not allowed to enter Nandigram today. Medha had met the home secretary, Prasas Ranjan Roy, in the morning and sought his permission and protection before leaving for Nandigram.

Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi, who did not approve of the state government’s handling of the Nandigram problem, today met Jyoti Basu at his Salt Lake residence and requested him to persuade the party leadership and CM Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, to act rightly and establish the rule of law in Nandigram by protecting the lives and properties of the people.

Raj Bhavan sources said Gandhi sent a report to the home ministry asking for the Centre’s intervention by applying Article 355 of the Constitution and by declaring Nandigram as a “disturbed Area”. Incidentally, the Governor was vehemently criticised by the CPM party secretary, Biman Bose, on Saturday for his supporting the cause of the Nandigram victims, which Prakash Karat, however, defended today.

The Trinamool Congress, the Congress party and even the Left Front partners like the CPI, the RSP and the Forward Bloc today officially denied there was any large scale infiltration of the Maoists in Nandigram.

The people irrespective of their ideological and political differences were also in streets today protesting against the “political barbarism” in Nandigram. In News Delhi, intellectuals, who included the prominent historian and leftist Sumit Sarkar, journalist Sumit Chakraborty and Yogendra Yadav and others, protested and demonstrated on the roads and condemned the attacks on the innocent people at Nandigram. Several film and drama personalities, who had boycotted the Calcutta film festival, today decided to boycott the drama festival beginning from November 23.

Today’s bandh was total and more or less peaceful, as people from all walks of lives responded to the bandh call spontaneously. Some incidents of blocking of train and vehicular movements and a few clashes between the supporters and the opponents of the bandh were reported in the city.

The SUCI and the BJP, however, would observe a bandh tomorrow which the Trinamool Congress would also support. Though there

was no fresh trouble in Nandigram today, reports reaching at the Writers Buildings said a large number of local people “newly evicted” had started fleeing the area following attacks by CPM cadres.

At some places, however, the Bhoomi Raksha Committee activists were still reorganising themselves for attacking CPM activists.

Mamata Banerjee today demanded President’s Rule in the state and appealed to the Centre to act constitutionally and protect the

lives and properties of the Nandigram people. She said she would visit Nandigram shortly but her schedule was not finalised. Mamata is camping at Garbeta.

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