Bengal sends Nandigram report to centre, announces relief


Kolkata : The West Bengal government Wednesday sent a report to New Delhi on the latest round of violence in Nandigram and announced a relief of Rs.10 million for those affected in the strife-torn area.

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Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters that the state government had sent a report to New Delhi on the present situation in the district in East Midnapore and the measures taken to restore peace in the area.

“We have announced a relief of Rs.10 million for those affected in Nandigram. Four people have died in the district and 13 injured in violence in the area,” Roy said.

Giving details, he said about 900 houses had been damaged in the area. “Those whose houses have been fully damaged will get a compensation of Rs.12,000 and those whose houses have been partially damaged will get Rs.10,000,” he said.

According to him, 800 people were living in relief camps in the district and the administration would make every effort to enable them to return to their homes.

Roy, who had Tuesday said that no Maoist guerrilla had been found in the trouble-torn region, changed tack Wednesday. He conceded the presence of Maoists in Nandigram, saying three had been arrested from Sonachura recently and landmines and revolvers recovered from them.

The alleged presence of Maoists was one of the reasons given by the ruling Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) to recapture Nandigram in a weeklong operation by its armed cadres.

CPI-M general secretary Prakash Karat Monday said in New Delhi that Maoist groups were present in Nandigram. West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya agreed with him.

Violence in the region has claimed at least 34 lives since January. Trouble first flared in Nandigram in January over a government proposal to acquire farmland to set up a special economic zone (SEZ). The government later scrapped the plan in the face of stiff resistance, but the turf war continues between the CPI-M and the Trinamool Congress-led BUPC in the run up to the panchayat elections next year.