CPI-M workers torch rivals’ houses in Nandigram


Kolkata : Members of the ruling Communist Party of India – Marxist (CPI-M) have allegedly torched houses of members of anti-land acquisition group Bhumi Uchched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) Thursday at trouble-torn Nandigram in West Bengal’s East Midnapore district.

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After yearlong hostility in Nandigram, about 150 km from here, guns had fallen silent since mid-November 2007 after the CPI-M cadres regained control of the area which witnessed unprecedented violence over a proposed special economic zone (SEZ), including a chemical hub.

Thursday’s incident took place at Amratala in Nandigram Block II when a group of CPI-M supporters allegedly set ablaze houses of people who took part in the anti-land acquisition movement in the region last year, BUPC members said.

“I have received no such report so far as I am out of station,” East Midnapore Police Superintendent S.S. Panda told IANS.

“CPI-M activists beat up some people and torched their houses Thursday night. All of them were CPI-M supporters but they joined hands with BUPC and took active part in the anti-land acquisition movement when they came to know that their land would be acquired for the proposed chemical hub,” BUPC leader Abdus Samad told IANS.

He said the ruling party cadres, victors of the Nadigram conflict, are torturing the locals because they had raised their voice against the government.

“We had informed Nandigram police station Thursday night but no action was taken against anybody. We are going to lodge a written complaint with the local police station Friday,” Samad said.

The official toll in Nandigram violence rose to 35 since January last year when the region flared up over the proposed SEZ, a plan which was scrapped by the state government later in the face of stiff resistance.

On March 14, 2007, 14 people were killed and hundreds injured in police firing. In November, the CPI-M allegedly unleashed a reign of terror to recapture the area, leaving a trail of destruction, with BUPC members beaten up and women in their households raped.