Two killed in fresh Nandigram violence


Kolkata : An elderly woman was shot dead and one person died of shock in fresh violence that broke the fragile peace in West Bengal’s Nandigram Sunday when the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) supporters and anti-land acquisition activists clashed using firearms.

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An eight-year-old girl was seriously injured in the clash in the trouble-torn area in East Midnapur district, about 150 km from here, which has witnessed spiralling violence since January over a proposed Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and a chemical hub, in collaboration with Indonesia’s Salim group.

The projects were scrapped after the resistance over land acquisition from the Bhumi Uchched Pratorod Committee (BUPC) but the violence continued.

Trinamool Congress MLA Subhendu Adhikari and BUPC leader Abdus Samad confirmed the death of 65-year-old Parbati Mitra in the shootout at Tekhali Bazar area after she was hit by bullets in her chest.

However, Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia told IANS in Kolkata: “The death of the woman was yet to be confirmed but she was seriously injured. Another person died (of heart attack).”

The person who died of cardiac attack was yet to be identified but was a schoolteacher.

Police said BUPC activists and CPI-M supporters fired at each other near Bhangabera and Tekhali Bridge in the trouble-torn region.

Manu Mondal, 8, received serious bullet injuries in the shootout and was admitted to the Tomluk Hospital in a critical condition.

Adhikari said the CPI-M and the state government were fomenting fresh violence in Nandigram to divert the attention from the ongoing food riots in the state and the bad publicity over the death of Muslim youth Rizwanur Rahman.

The Trinamool Congress said it would observe Oct 8 as a ‘black day’ and stage statewide agitation protesting the fresh Nandigram violence and deaths.

At least 25 people died in Nandigram since January this year. On March 14, at least 14 people were killed and over 100 injured in firing by police who tried to regain control of the area that had remained inaccessible to the administration after the villagers dug up roads and cut off the region in protest.