Buddhadeb heads for Nandigram amid fresh tension

March 4th, 2008 - 12:49 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, March 4 (IANS) Hoping to dissipate tensions and win over the people, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee will Tuesday visit troubled Nandigram to distribute land rights to about 2,200 farmers. While his Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporters have been clashing with the rival Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC, or anti-land acquisition committee) since Sunday, Bhattacharjee is trying to woo people in the region by distributing pattas (land rights) of about 228 acres to 2,200 farmers.

Trouble broke out in Nandigram, about 150 km from here in East Midnapore, in January 2007 over proposed land acquisition for a special economic zone (SEZ), including a chemical hub, claiming at least 35 lives in clashes between the two groups and police firing.

The BUPC, which called a shutdown Monday in Nandigram to protest fresh attacks by the CPI-M, is observing a black day Tuesday.

Extensive security arrangements have been made in view of Bhattacharjee’s visit.

The fragile three-month peace was shattered Sunday by indiscriminate firing on members of the anti-land acquisition group BUPC, allegedly by supporters of the CPI-M. One person, identified as Debasish Mondal, was seriously injured.

The firing took place at Kiykhali near Satengabari in Nandigram.

The BUPC, which is spearheaded by parties like the Trinamool Congress and Jamait Ulema-i-Hind, claimed that several of its supporters were injured in the firing by the CPI-M men led by a villager who has been released from jail.

Troopers of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been deployed in Nandigram and will remain till panchayat elections in the next few months.

On March 14, 2007, 14 people were killed and hundreds injured in police firing, while some women were reportedly raped.

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