4 killed, 16 hurt in fresh Nandigram clashes
Tribune News Service
Kolkata, April 29
Nandigram flared up yet again today after a gun battle broke out between workers of the CPM and the Trinamool Congress-led Krishi Bachaoo Committee. At least four persons were killed and over 16 others injured in the incident.
Of them, the condition of eight injured, admitted to different hospitals, was stated to be critical.
Official reports said the two groups were suddenly involved in a pitched battle, which started around 6 am and lasted over five hours, following attempts by CPM workers to enter Nandigram block 2 and “freeing the area from the control of the Krishi Bachaoo Committee”.
During the clashes, houses were ransacked and burnt down, womenfolk and children tortured and beaten up.
Today clashes were on the pattern of the March-14 incident in which 14 persons were gunned down. There was no visible presence of policemen in the vicinity, who virtually stood as silent spectators from a distance.
According to reports reaching the city from Midnapore district headquarters, the trouble started when a group of CPM cadres, carrying firearms and other weapons from the adjoining Khejuri, in east Midnapore, attacked Nandigram block 2 with intent to capture it. Local people retaliated with firearms.
In the gun battle, two local people, Dilip Mondal and Mahitosh Koran, were killed and several others received gunshot injuries.
Later in the hospitals, two others, including Pintu Burman, succumbed to their injuries.
In a separate clash between CPM and SUCI workers at Kultuli in south 24 parganas today, three persons, including two of the CPM, were killed.
At Kultuli, too, trouble began over the control of the area, where both parties had been staking their respective claims.
Both TMC leader Mamata Banerjee and Congress leader Somen Mitra held the CPM leadership responsible for disturbing the peace and normalcy in Nandigram.
Mitra accused Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee of initiating peace talks on the one hand and engaging his cadres to attack poor farmers, after neutralising the police and the local administration from taking any action, on the other.
The WBPCC will lead a deputation to Delhi to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and AICC president Sonia Gandhi to seek Centre’s intervention for protection of poor people at Nandigram and other places. The delegation will also meet President A.P.J Kalam, Mitra said.
CPM leadership on the other hand alleged that the incident occurred when criminals holding Nandigram block 2 attacked the evicted CPM supporters with firearms, bombs, swords and other lethal weapons as they were returning home.
Krishi Bachaoo Committee workers also attacked their supporters, now encamping in the nearby Khejuri area, alleged CPM district secretary Chittadas Thakur.
Mamata Banerjee said agitations would be held all over the state tomorrow demanding the Centre’s intervention into the CPM misrule in the state.