Police reinforcement likely for Nandigram

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Kolkata, May 7 (UNI) As peace continued to elude Nandigram, the West Bengal Government today decided to increase police force in the strife-torn area while an intelligence report warned against a renewed flare-up by the underground Maoists.

A high-level meeting, attended among others, by Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb and Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Ray observed that members of both the Trinamool Congress-led Bhoomi Uchched Protirodh Committee and the CPI (M) were involved in the unabated violence and there was an urgent need to take administrative measures besides the ongoing efforts to resolve the impasse through dialogues.

'' The Government is likely to increase the number of police camps around Nandigram. Whether police will enter the area will be decided after holding separate talks with the political parties,'' the Home Secretary told mediapersons.

The Director General of Police, the Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) and top police officials of East Midnapore District were also present at the meeting, which was held a day after veteran CPI(M) leader Jyoti Basu said police must be sent to Nandigram if the opposition parties continued to skirt all-party meetings.

'' Our first job is, however, to ensure that schools reopen, development work resumes and those evicted return home,'' the Home Secretary said.

With violence refusing to die down and political animosity running high, Nandigram continued to be a battle zone stalling trade and agriculture, education, development and administrative work.

About 5,000 people, who fled home, continued to live in several camps.

In a bid to normalise the situation through a general consensus, the state Government called all-party meetings thrice after the March 14 police firing, but the opposition parties boycotted all of them.

Alleging that CPI (M) workers were attacking Nandigram from outside, Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee categorically said her party would not join any all-party meeting unless the Marxists stopped violence.

However, the CPI (M), which at the receiving end at Nandigram, denied the allegation and accused the Trinamool Congress of creating unrest and lawlessness even after the Government issued a notification declaring not to take land for industry.

Meanwhile, the state intelligence submitted a report to the Home department saying that armed Maoist activists were entering West Bengal through waterfront with a particular view to create fresh disturbances in Nandigram.

The report warned that the situation in the area, already battered by violence, could turn for the worse if adequate measures were not taken against the threat.


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