Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Fresh attempt to cut off Nandigram : Hindu (7.05.08)

Special Correspondent

BUPC supporters allegedly dug up road

CID to probe stripping of BUPC women

Civil society observers for polls: Aparna Sen

KOLKATA: Trouble continued at Nandigram in West Bengal on Tuesday when a fresh attempt was made to cut off the area, allegedly by supporters of the Trinamool Congress-led Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh (Resistance against Land Eviction) Committee by digging up a road at different places.

The incidents were reminiscent of what happened last year when large areas turned inaccessible for several months after culverts were damaged and road links severed in the wake of clashes between BUPC and CPI(M) activists.

Postpone poll: Dasmunsi

Union Information and Broadcasting Minister Priyaranjan Dasmunsi demanded that next month’s panchayat polls in the areas falling within the jurisdiction of the Nandigram thana be deferred. For, elections might not be “peaceful and democratic” in view of the “extreme violence” there in the past two weeks. Nandigram goes to the polls on May 11.

He sent separate letters to the Governor, the Chief Minister and the State Election Commission Chairman. He said he had also apprised Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil of the developments at Nandigram.

“An all-party meeting should be called by the State government to decide on ways to improve law and order there,” said Mr. Dasmunsi, who is also the Pradesh Congress Committee president.

Fear of verdict: Biman Bose

However, Left Front Committee chairman Biman Bose ruled out postponement. Those who were afraid of facing the verdict of the people were making such demands, he said.

Meanwhile, the government, based on reports in a section of the media, ordered an inquiry by the Criminal Investigation Department into the alleged stripping of three BUPC women supporters during the recent trouble, Inspector-General (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said.

A section of the city’s intellectuals called on State Election Commission authorities and demanded the transfer of the officer-in-charge of the Nandigram thana for his allegedly partisan conduct. “We are very concerned with the violation of human rights there and fear that the elections will not be democratic,” said Aparna Sen, film director and actor. Members of civil society planned to set up a team of independent observers to oversee the polls, she said.


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