WB govt asks Centre to deploy CRPF jawans in Nandigram

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Kolkata, Oct 29 (UNI) The West Bengal Government has urged the Centre to despatch Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) jawans for Nandigram, while Chief Minister Buddadeb Bhattacharjee renewed his appeal to the opposition to help restore peace in the embattled area.

Mr Bhattacharjee today told reporters that he had talked to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil for demployment of CRPF jawans in the trouble-torn Nandigram, the scene of recent violence that left six persons dead.

While ruling out any possibility of calling the army in Nandigram, the Chief Minister said, ''Neither the police nor military can bring back normalcy unless there is a political will. I appeal to the opposition once again to work out a political solution and help restore peace in the area.'' Barely an hour after his appeal, Trinamool Congress Supremo Mamata Banerjee, however, ruled out any possibility of holding peace talks with the Government.

''I have tried all the options. But I will not talk to the killer of democracy... I am the last person to participate in peace talks with Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee,'' Ms Banerjee told reporters holding the chief minister responsible for the unrest.

Repeating her allegation that 'CPI (M) hoodlums' had fired at her vehicle yesterday near Tekhali bridge in Nandigram, the Trinamool Congress leader demanded a CBI inquiry into the incident.

Tension simmered also in Kolkata as Trinamool Congress supporters damaged a bus in South Kolkata's Hazra area and put up a road block in protest against the 'attack' on their leader.

The CPI (M), however, stoutly denied the allegation, saying it was a cooked up story with the objective of fomenting trouble.

Expressing concern over the situation, the chief minister said in Kolkata that the continued trouble totally halted all developmental work through the local panchayat and the block development office.

Criticising the Trinamool Congress-led Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee, Mr Bhattacharjee said the violence was continuing even after the Government announced its decision in February last not to acquire any land for the proposed chemical hub.

''When there is no question of land acquisition what is the need for the BUPC and why is the unrest still going on for more than ten months,'' he asked.

In reply to a question, the Chief Minister said the Government would provide compensation to all the 14 people killed in Nandigram in a clash between the local people and police on March 14.

Meanwhile, the CPI(M) observed a 12-hour Nandigram bandh today in protest against the alleged bomb throwing by Trinamool Congress men in which four party supporters were killed in the Sher Khan Chak area of Nandigram.

Ms Banerjee, who has been camping in Nandigram since yesterday after fresh violence broke out on Saturday last, however, alleged that the explosion took place when CPI (M) men were making bombs in their hideout. She demanded an inquiry into the incident.


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