Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Violence again in Nandigram


CPM gang goes on tit-for-tat rampage

Nandigram, June 18: Their supporters back home safe, a gang of over 40 CPM men went on a looting spree in the houses of Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee members in Ranichowk village today.

Barely a day after 89 families returned home to Ranichowk from where they had to flee after Friday’s attack by a Pratirodh Committee mob, their party members went into revenge mode.

Around 1.30 this afternoon, over 40 CPM workers from Khejuri stormed into the village, ransacked four houses and picked up two members of the committee.

Swapan Shaw and Babu Das were beaten up and then “taken to Bahargunj on the Khejuri side. In the evening, Khejuri police traced them and Nandigram police brought them back”, said Champak Chowdhury, the officer in charge of Nandigram police station.

Trinamul members later demonstrated before the Giridhbazar police camp, a stone’s throw from Ranichowk.

“If our supporters are being kidnapped and their houses looted, what are the police camping here for? From the moment their men returned home, we were expecting trouble. This is their way of getting back at us and showing their strength,” Trinamul block president Sheikh Abu Tahir said .

Today’s incident is a tit-for-tat attack for Friday’s violence.

Over 200 CPM supporters from Ranichowk had crossed the Talpatti canal — that separates the rival camps — and fled to Khejuri that evening after supporters of the anti-acquisition movement raided their homes.

The police said the CPM has been gathering arms and ammunition since Friday. They have struck back with bombs and bullets.

Once a CPM stronghold, Ranichowk village in Nandigram block II went into the hands of the Trinamul after the March 14 police firing.

Over 300 CPM supporters fled the village and had been staying at relief camps in Khejuri. Most of them were escorted back to the village by Khejuri police last night.