Cop injured in fresh Nandigram violence


Kolkata/Nandigram : Violence in West Bengal's Nandigram area flared up again Friday with a policeman being seriously injured as the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) clashed with villagers protesting the acquisition of their land for a proposed special economic zone (SEZ).

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While the Calcutta High Court started hearing the Nandigram cases, there was fresh trouble in ground zero, about 150 km from Kolkata in East Midnapore district that has turned into a combat zone since January over the SEZ.

"Pravat Sarkar, a police inspector, sustained a bullet injury at Bhangabera area," West Bengal Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS.

"He is being shifted to a hospital in Kolkata," Kanojia said, confirming the clashes that are being blamed on the anti-acquisition Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC).

Sarkar, who was hit on the collarbone, was described as being in a serious condition.

According to CPI-M leaders in Nandigram, the violence was triggered by BUPC that also fired at police camps.

But Trinamool Congress leader and legislator Subhendu Adhikari said allegations against BUPC were false.

An all party meeting to restore peace in Nandigram had collapsed on the first day on May 24 with Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee staging a walkout, demanding that the term "genocide" for the March 14 police firing that killed 14 be used in the draft proposal of the talks.

But the CPI-M leaders shot down the suggestion. And Left Front chairperson Biman Bose said: "The Nandigram incident cannot be called a genocide going by the meaning of the word in any dictionary and if the usage of the word is taken into account no one would demand it to be part of the draft."

At least 21 people have been killed, hundreds injured and several raped in Nandigram, about 150 km from here, in protests since January against the SEZ being set up in collaboration with Indonesia's Salim Group.

Thousands of people belonging to both the CPI-M and its opposition BUPC have been living in camps since the flare-up.

The all-party talks are essential to start a peace process in Nandigram and facilitate the return of terror-stricken villagers to their homes.