Bengal government on Nandigram peace mission


Kolkata : The West Bengal government Monday held a high level meeting to restore normalcy in Nandigram, where at least 21 people have been killed since January over a proposed industrial complex.

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"In keeping with the Calcutta High Court order, we are emphasising on restoring the healthcare system, public distribution system (PDS) or rationing of food items and opening schools, colleges and markets so that people can move freely," West Bengal Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters at state secretariat Writers' Buildings.

The high-level meeting, chaired by State Chief Secretary Amit Kiran, was attended by Roy, state Director General of Police Anup Bhushan Vora and other senior district police and administrative officials.

Roy said all concerned have been asked to ensure peace.

"We are trying to hold a meeting with both the sides – Communist Party of India-Marxists (CPI-M) and Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC). If it fails we will talk to each side individually to apprise them of the content of the high court order and to ensure return of peace," he said.

Roy said police camps would be set up in some areas to provide security to the people.

On March 14, at least 14 people were killed and over a hundred injured in Nandigram in East Midnapore district when police opened fire to quell a mob protesting takeover of agricultural land for a SEZ and a chemical hub in collaboration with the Salim group of Indonesia.

The proposed SEZ was scrapped after the March 14 mayhem but Nandigram has continued to remain tense.

Shootouts, bombings and arson between rival groups continued even last week over taking control of villages, claiming one life on April 29.