Monday, July 7, 2008

CRPF goes, govt says Nandi normal

CRPF goes, govt says Nandi normal

Tamluk, July 6: The last two companies of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been pulled out of Nandigram.
Inspector-general of police (law and order) Raj Kanojia said “normality” had returned to the war zone and the central paramilitary was not required anymore. “We reviewed the situation and got feedback from the district administration that the situation is normal there,” said Kanojia.
But there were clashes in Nandigram today, less than 24 hours after the central force vacated two high schools at Rajaramchowk and Gokulnagar. At least four Trinamul Congress supporters were injured in clashes with CPM cadres. Two policemen were beaten up by a Trinamul mob.
Kanojia said: “These are all stray incidents. State forces are there to tackle them.”
Nandigram had witnessed violent clashes in February after some CRPF and India Reserve Battalion (IRB) personnel had to be rushed to Darjeeling and Orissa.
The panchayat polls in May were conducted with four companies of the CRPF.
Two companies were withdrawn after the polls, in which Trinamul swept Nandigram.
Six companies had been deployed in Nandigram last November, days after the CPM cadres’ violent recapture of the area that had turned into a Trinamul stronghold.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had sought the force in the wake of escalating violence.
Ten people from both sides — the CPM and the Trinamul-led Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee — were killed.
East Midnapore superintendent of police S.S. Panda said the 400 state police personnel posted in Nandigram were “adequate to maintain law and order”.
The Trinamul supporters assaulted the policemen in Sonachura last evening when the force came to drop a rescued man who had been held hostage by CPM cadres.
“A group of CPM activists had gheraoed Trinamul supporter Aloke Mondal, whom we rescued. But when the police escorted Aloke to his house, nearly 50 Trinamul supporters surrounded the jeep and beat up assistant sub-inspector Susanta Chakraborty and constable Biswanath Dey with rods and sticks. We have lodged an FIR,” said Nandigram officer-in-charge Debashish Chakraborty.
Bombs were hurled and bullets fired at Jadubarichar and Kendamari around noon yesterday and at Tulaghat on the Nandigram-Khejuri border last night. Clashes with rods and sticks were reported from several places.