Monday, May 5, 2008

Clashes continue in Nandigram : The Statesman (5.05.08)

Statesman News Service
NANDIGRAM, May 4: Amidst the visit of a team of intellectuals to Nandigram, clashes continued today at several villages leaving several persons injured, including two Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) members who were shot at.
A few houses of BUPC supporters at Gokulnagar, Simulkundu, Sonachura, Kalicharanpur Kanungochawk and Adhikaripara were also vandalised by armed goons alleged to be CPI-M cadres at 12.30 p.m. today.
The injured people could not be brought to hospital immediately as the attackers kept the villages encircled for a few hours.
Threats from CPI-M cadres have compelled many rival supporters to flee their houses and they have taken shelter in make-shift camps set up at Nandigram and other areas.
BUPC leaders alleged that the Nandigram police had taken a partisan role during today's incidents. Even, the CRPF jawans were prevented from taking action by the Nandigram OC, the leaders charged.
According to the locals who have taken shelter at Nandigram, a group of CPI-M cadres along with some outsiders sneaked into Sonachura village from Khejuri side, then started firing indiscriminately and hurling bombs.
When they attacked Maitypara, two villagers in a field were shot and injured. But none of the villagers dared to come to their aid and so they were left unattended there for hours.
Another group of CPI-M workers unleashed a reign of terror in the nearby villages of Gokulnagar, Simulkundu, Adhikaripara and Kanungochawk, BUPC leaders alleged.
The CPI-M’s district secretariat member Mr Ashok Guria countered with the allegation that Trinamul Congress workers attacked local party leader Mr Phani Jana at Balarampur last night. "They fired two rounds at him and later beat him up. Many of our supporters in Rainagar and Balarampur areas have fled from their houses and taken shelter at Boya," he said.
The district superintendent of police Mr SS Panda meanwhile disparaged media reports of violence in the area, saying the situation is as serious as is being described.
"I have no reports that two people were shot at. The police are frequently patrolling the areas and the situation is under control," he said.
Meanwhile, members of the Forum of Artistes, Cultural Activists and Intellectuals and Swajan headed by artist Subhaprasanna, poet Tarun Sanyal and playwright Saoli Mitra met the Nandigram BDO Mr Santiram Ghorai and submitted a memorandum expressing concern over the deteriorating law and order situation in Nandigram ahead of the panchayat polls. They also submitted a memorandum to the CRPF authorities in Nandigram. They demanded a peaceful poll and security for the common people in Nandigram.