Andhra firing echoes in Bengal Assembly
Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, July 30: Members of the Treasury Benches condemned the death of farmers in a police firing at Khammam in Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, but justified the police action at Nandigram on 14 March. The “Left duplicity” was met with protests from the Opposition members, while the ruling MLAs held that the two incidents were not comparable as the Khammam farmers were unarmed unlike the Nandigram protestors.
Bapan Patra, a CPI-M supporter, was killed in the firing by a gang of criminals owing allegiance to the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) at Nandigram yesterday, Mr Srutinath Praharaj of CPI-M alleged. The Congress, which allied with communal forces in the Haldia municipal elections, cannot deny its share of blame for the recent outbreak of violence in Nandigram, he alleged.
He added that since the chief minister had assured that no land would be acquired the trouble in Nandigram was unwanted. Eight persons died in the “barbarous police firing” in Khammam, he said. This incident is not at all comparable with the Nandigram firing where the police had to face armed protestors, he alleged.
While the Andhra Pradesh chief minister has suspended and transferred two senior police officers involved in the Khammam firing, no such steps were taken by Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacherjee in the state, Dr Manas Bhuniya, leader of the Congress Legislative Party said. The actions of the state government smack of “political double standards” as unlike the Andhra Pradesh government, no compensation has been announced for the Nandigram victims, he added. Forces opposing land reforms are trying to obstruct industrialisation of the state, Mr Sourendranath Bera of CPI-M said. The police were inactive at Nandigram when there was possibility violence after “ruling party” activists had brought out a procession yesterday, Mr Ajay De, Mr Asit Mal and Mr Nepal Mahato of Congress said moving an adjournment motion.