Manmohan Singh asks West Bengal Government to restore people’s confidence in Nandigram

November 20th, 2007 - 6:49 pm ICT by admin  

By Naveen Kapoor
On board Air India One, Nov. 20 (ANI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today asked the West Bengal Government to take necessary steps to restore confidence in the people of trouble-torn Nandigram through the effective deployment of security forces.
“I sincerely hope that the State Government is able to take necessary steps to restore confidence in the people through the effective deployment of security forces,” Singh said in a brief prepared statement while en route to Singapore to attend the ASEAN summit.
“Events in Nandigram are most unfortunate, I condole the loss of lives and destruction of property,” he said.
“It is the duty of the State Government that all sections regardless of their political affiliations get protection of the law enforcement agencies. I understand the spontaneous outpouring of grief and anguish over the issue as expressed by the artists and intellectuals in Kolkata,” Singh said, adding “I hope the State Government heard of this”.
He said that Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has also been asked to remain in touch with the West Bengal Chief Minister Buddadeb Bhattarcharya.
The Prime Minister refused to comment on whether the Nandigram issue would be taken up for discussion in the Winter Session Parliament, saying “I would not like to comment while I am out of the country”
He said presiding officers of both Houses are engaged in the exercise of whether there should be a debate or not.
The Winter Session of Parliament has failed to take off so far with the Nandigram issue creating a stalemate in both Houses for a second consecutive day on Tuesday.
The BJP has been insisting on a debate in Parliament and said that the Nandigram issue is not exclusively a State issue since it relates to the acquisition of land for Special Economic Zone (SEZ), which is a central subject.
Nandigram has been the scene of recurring clashes over land acquisition for setting up of SEZ since January resulting in deaths, including 14 in police firing and violence on March 14 when villagers prevented the police from entering.
The State Government had planned to set up a SEZ for chemical industries in Nandigram, but had to abort the project as villagers refused to give up their farmland for the project.
The row saw violent clashes between residents opposed to the project and the communist supporters as well as police.
At least six villagers were killed and dozens injured in Nandigram, earlier this month, in clashes between rival groups led by Communists and a frontal organisation backed by Trinamool Congress party. (ANI)

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