Nandigram, Nov 6 (UNI) Wide spread violence and a landmine explosion 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 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 admitted to Kamarda, Nandigram and Tamluk hospitals.
''Whether the 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 the detonator, he said.
Naranjan Sihi, East Midnapur District Zilla Parishad Sabhadhipati alleged the Trinamool Congress with the help of Maoists were behind the explosion.
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 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.
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 had received a gunshot injury in the process.
Political observers here said 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 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 at various places at Khejuri and Nandigram.
Firing and bombing were still continuing, added the Superintendent of Police.