Monday, March 3, 2008

Violence in Nandigram again

The Telegraph

Bullets break Nandi lull

Tamluk, March 2: Violence reared its head again in Nandigram today, leaving a 32-year-old man seriously injured.

Debashis Mondal, a Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee supporter, was shot in the abdomen and left thigh by CPM workers, police said.

This is the first time bullets have been fired in Nandigram since last November’s CPM recapture.

The incident comes two days before chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s visit to distribute patta to landless farmers.

Around 1 this afternoon, armed CPM activists went around Brindabanchowk village warning residents against supporting the Pratirodh Committee, the police said.

“When they spotted Paritosh Das, a 22-year-old Pratirodh Committee supporter, they caught him and beat him up. As the news spread, about 500 Pratirodh Committee supporters from neighbouring Keyakhali rushed in with sticks. Seeing the mob, the CPM men turned back towards Satengabari,” an officer of Nandigram police station said.

To reach Satengabari, the CPM activists had to cross Keyakhali, where a Pratirodh Committee crowd was waiting.

“Some of the CPM activists whipped out revolvers and pipe guns and began shooting as they made a dash towards Satengabari. Two bullets hit Debashis Mondal,” the officer said.

He was taken to the Nandigram block hospital from where he was referred to Calcutta’s SSKM Hospital.

The Pratirodh Committee has called a 24-hour bandh in Nandigram tomorrow.

Trouble had been brewing in the land war zone since February 19, when two CRPF camps at Khodambari High School had to be wound up after the jawans were shifted to Orissa to fight Maoists.

“Patrolling, too, has become infrequent following a cut in the CRPF’s allotment of vehicles and fuel,” East Midnapore superintendent of police S.S. Panda said.

The Congress is milking the Nandigram row as it vies for Opposition space in the run-up to the panchayat polls.

State Congress chief Priya Ranjan Das Munshi today said he would visit Nandigram on March 14, the anniversary of the police firing.

The Statesman

Fresh violence in Nandigram

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, March 2: In a bout of fresh violence ahead of chief minister’s visit, 12 persons were injured in two separate clashes that broke out between supporters of the Bhumi Ucched Protirodh Committee and the CPI-M in Nandidram since last night.
No one has been arrested yet. Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, is scheduled to visit Nandigram on Tuesday to distribute pattas among the landless farmers. Security in the tension-hit villages in Nandigram has been beefed up following today's violence. The BUPC activists have called a 12-hour Nandigram bandh tomorrow in protest against the “CPI-M sponsored attack”.
According to police, armed CPI-M cadres fired bullets at BUPC supporters in Satengabari village around 2 p.m today following rumours that a CPI-M cadre was beaten up by his political rivals. The attack was unprovoked, police said. Four BUPC supporters ~ Mr Debashis Mondal, Mr Paritosh Das, Mr Dolan Das and Mr Jalad Baran Das ~ were rushed to Nandigram Block Hospital with bullet injuries. Mr Mondal's condition, who was shifted to SSKM Hospital later, is stated to be critical.
As the news of ‘CPI-M sponsored attack’ spread, BUPC cadres from neighbouring villages gathered at Satengabari village and beat up a CPI-M cadre, Bapi Mondal and his mother Mrs Sabitri Mondal. Policemen led by officer-in-charge of Nandigram police station, Mr Debashis Chakraborty, rushed to the spot before BUPC supporters could launch a counter attack.
A police picket has been posted at Satengabari to thwart further violence. Jawans from Central Reserve Police Force also came to the spot following the violence.
In another incident, four BUPC supporters and two CPI-M cadres were injured following a clash that broke out at Garchakraberia village last night over a property related dispute between two families belonging to two rival political parties. No one has been arrested in this connection, police said.
Sheikh Sufiyan, BUPC leader, alleged that CPI-M cadres fired at their supporters at Satengabari after BUPC supporters had refused to attend a CPI-M rally. “CPI-M cadres led by a criminal, who was released from jail recently, attacked our supporters and ransacked their homes. The attackers fled from the village after our men put up a strong resistance,” said Mr Sufiyan. The BUPC took out a massive rally in Nandigram this evening in protest against the “CPI-M sponsored” attack.
Mr Sufiyan alleged that the CPI-M is terrorising villagers to keep Nandigram under their control ahead of Panchayet election.
Mr Ashoke Guriya, secretariat member of the CPI-M Midnapore (East) district committee, however, blamed the Trinamul Congress for today's violence. “One of our party supporters and his mother were assaulted by some armed TMC supporters at Satengabari. Our men resisted the goons,” Mr Guria said.