Nandigram, Nov 6 (UNI) Wide spread violence marked by a free for all gun battle and a possible landmine explosion between CPI(M) and BUPC supporters at Nandigram and Khejuri today claimed at least three lives and injured 13 others, East Minapur district's Superintendent of police S S Panda said.
The massive explosion, which took place under the Bhangabera bridge claimed two CPI(M) activists, identified as Tusar Sau and Nirapada Ghata and a free for all firing at Jalpai village claimed the life of Rabin Mandal, a Bhumi Uchhed Pratiroh Committee, backed by Triamool Congress, activist.
Thirteen others including Pradip Tamang, an Eastern Frontie Rifles Havildar, were injured and were adnitted to Kamarda, Nandigram and Tamluk hospitas.
"Wheather the mighty explosion under Bhangabera bridge was due to a land mine blast or a powerful bomb is yet to be established" Mr Panda said.
He said bomb experts were called to determine the nature of detonator, he said.
Naranjan Sihi, East Midnapur District Zilla Parishad Sabhadhipati alleged the Trinamool Congress with the help of Maoists were behind the explosion, which claimed the lives of two CPI(M) activists and injuring 10 others.
Meanwhile, BUPC convenor Sisir Adhikary, MLA, alleged that "Warriors" from Keshpur in West Midnapur District were instrumental in today's attacks on the BUPC supporters at Nandigram for taking control over Brindabanchak, Omarpur and Takapura villages so far under BUPC control.
At least 1000 BUPC activists took shelter at Nandigram college deserting their houses. Earlier, they demonstrated in front of Nandigram police station protesting against alleged police inaction.
No police force was scene any where in those villages except on Tekhali bridge where they took position on both sides of the bridge in a bid to stop firing from Khejuri and Nandigram side.
Commenting on the alleged police inaction, Mr Panda asked " Are we going to risk the lives of our force by putting them in front of cross firing?" He said an EFR Havildar has received a gunshot injury in the process.
Political observers here said that both the warring groups were trying to spread their area of domination even before the arrival of the Central Forces here.
"It all started last night with firing and bombing from CPI(M) dominated Khejuri side. The BUPC activists on the Nandigram side fearing reprisal assembled in thousands blowing conch shells and beating drums to alarm all to keep watch but they failed to resist the CPI(M) onslaught and Omarpur, Brindabanchak and Takapura were lost by them to the raiders," said a local observer.
Meanwhile, both the CPI(M) and BUPC activists have put up road blockades in various places at Khejuri and Nandigram.
Firing and bombing were still continuing, added the superntendent of police.