Karat backs decision to deploy central forces in Nandigram


Kolkata : Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) general secretary Prakash Karat Friday supported the West Bengal government’s decision to requisition central security forces to control the spiralling violence in Nandigram.

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“The recurrence of violence shows that there is no peace and administrative control in Nandigram. The situation can’t be allowed to go on like this. I think the state government has rightly sought the centre’s help in this issue,” Karat told a press conference after the party’s state committee meeting here Friday.

Earlier, Left Front patriarch Joyti Basu had endorsed the decision of the Buddhadeb Bhattacharya government on the matter.

“What Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said is our party’s stand over Nandigram. It is always better that central security forces get involved in certain issues where the situation is quite volatile,” Karat said.

Earlier this week, Bhattacharya had said he had asked union Home Minister Shivraj Patil for more reserved police forces.

At least five people, including four members of the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), were killed since Saturday in renewed clashes and an explosion in Nandigram, 150 km from here in East Midnapore district.

Fresh violence took the toll in Nandigram to 28 since January when the region flared up over plans to acquire land for a special economic zone (SEZ), including a chemical hub.

Though the SEZ plan was abandoned by the state government, a turf war in the run-up to next year’s panchayat elections continued between the CPI-M and the Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC), a Trinamool Congress spearheaded body protesting land acquisition.