Anti-acquisition activists demonstrate in Nandigram

August 11th, 2008 - 9:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Aug 11 (IANS) Hundreds of activists of the anti-land acquisition Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) Monday staged a sit-in demonstration in West Bengal’s Nandigram, demanding peace in the violence-hit region. “The police should immediately stop firing by the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) cadre and seize their fire-arms,” BUPC leader Abu Taher said.

“We also demand arrest of all hooligans who entered Nandigram and triggered fresh violence in the region,” he said.

Taher said the BUPC activists were also ready to help the police carry out these operations.

The BUPC activists demonstrated in front of the Nandigram police station for hours Monday and placed a five-point charter of demands to authorities.

“If the villagers help us, it would be a lot easier for us to maintain law and order,” said Nandigram police station officer-in-charge Debashis Chakraborty.

“Earlier it was difficult for us to enter the villages as people in Nandigram didn’t cooperate,” he said.

A woman member of BUPC was injured Sunday in a crude bomb blast at Nandigram, the police said.

At least 40 people have been killed in Nandigram in East Midnapore district, about 150 km from here, since January 2007 when the region erupted in protest over proposed land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ) in collaboration with Indonesia’s Salim group for developing a chemical hub.

Since then, a turf battle between the CPI-M, which leads the state’s ruling Left Front, and the BUPC backed by the main opposition Trinamool Congress has led to repeated violence in the region.

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