Nandigram tense after CPI-M activists fire at rivals

August 8th, 2008 - 8:05 pm ICT by IANS  


Kolkata, Aug 8 (IANS) Tension prevailed in West Bengal’s Nandigram Friday after Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) activists allegedly opened fire on the rival Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) members in some areas of the trouble-prone region. Villagers said the gun battle started from early Friday morning in areas like Jadubariachak, Baroni and Garchakraberia.

“The police force, led by senior officers, is already at the spot. We are looking into the matter,” West Bengal Inspector General (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS.

Fresh tension erupted in East Midnapore’s Nandigram, a day after one CPI-M supporter - Dulal Garu Das - was allegedly gunned down by the rival BUPC activists at Chadalpur area during a 24-hour shutdown called by the ruling CPI-M.

A CPI-M leader, Niranjan Mondal, was also shot dead Aug 6 at Rajaramchak area of Nandigram, about 150 km from here. The party blamed the Trinamool Congress backed anti-land acquisition group BUPC for the killing.

“We have bought the situation under control and are keeping a close watch on it,” Kanojia said.

“Armed CPI-M cadres are again trying to create violence in Nandigram. We have informed the local police about the firing but the state police are playing a role of mute spectators. They are not taking any step to stop the firing,” said Bhabani Prasad Das, a BUPC member in Nandigram.

He said many outsiders, from Keshpur and Garbeta in West Midnapore and South 24 Parganas district, had entered Nandigram and triggering violence in the area.

At least 40 people were killed in Nandigram 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 and the BUPC members had broken out repeatedly in the violence-hit region.

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