M A I N   N E W S

Narrow escape for Buddha
Landmine blast on convoy route

Tribune News Service and PTI

Kolkata, November 2
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, union steel minister Ramvilas Paswan, his deputy Jiten Prasad, industrialist Sajjan Jindal and state industry minister Nirupam Sen had a narrow escape when Maoists exploded a landmine minutes after the Chief Minister’s convoy passed through Baroa, near Midnapore town, today.

However, an escort vehicle was blown up and two policemen were reportedly killed. The condition of four other policemen who were admitted to Midnapore Government Hospital was stated to be critical. State home secretary A.M. Chakraborty, however, denied reports of any deaths, though he admitted that the condition of most of the injured policemen was critical. He said the chief minister, Paswan and others were safe and a high-level inquiry had been ordered.

The blast in the Maoist-infested West Midnapore district took place when Bhattacharjee and others were returning to Midnapore after the foundation laying ceremony of the Rs 35,000 crore steel plant of the Jindal Group at Salboni. Soon after the Chief Minister’s car crossed the Kalaichandi bridge, the landmine planted there exploded, forcing the convoy of Paswan and others which was following it to stop. The escort vehicle was, however, blown up and an overhead high-tension wire was also destroyed.

The police conducted searches and detained several persons for questioning. It also destroyed two Maoist hideouts in the nearby jungle and recovered several posters and pamphlets.

The blast took place at a time when the CPM and the Trinamool Congress (TC) were having “pitched battles” at several places near Singur over the Nano car controversy. TC leader Mamata Banerjee, leader of the opposition Partha Chatterjee, party chief Mukul Roy and several other leaders were assaulted by members of the CPM-led Nano Bachao Committee who stopped Mamata and others from attending the Krishi Bachao Committee’s rally at Singur today. The TC leader, however, managed to attend the rally and announced that a massive agitation would be launched to demand the chief minister’s resignation and the application of Article 356 to West Bengal.



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