LF Chairman urges Trinamool to snap links with extremists

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Kolkata, Nov 7 (UNI) Alleging that Maoists were entrenched in Nandigram to set off a series of landmine blasts, Left Front Chairman Biman Basu today urged the Trinamool Congress to snap links with the extremists to help restore peace in the strife-torn area.

''Five mines were planted in Nandigram of which three went off.

Perhaps it has been done by the Maoists, and not by any party that believes in democratic politics. The Trinamool Congress has to snap links with them,'' he told reporters.

Calling upon Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to ''act properly'' against the escalated violence in Nandigram, the LF Chairman said those driven out of home, must be allowed to come back.

''I will appeal to the Chief Minister and the state administration to act properly in Nandigram and its surroundings,'' he said.

Yesterday at least four people were killed in a series of landmine blasts and a day-long fierce fight between the supporters of Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee (BUPC) and CPI(M), both trying to capture new areas.

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee, however, claimed that the toll in the group violence over the past three days was 22.

The clashes took place as the people, who remained homeless for more than ten months because of violence, made a desperate attempt to come back in the face of resistance by the opposition.

Alleging that the CPI(M) supporters were carrying out a killing spree with active support from the state administration, the Trinamool Congress put up road blocks throughout the state today with a demand for invocation of Article 355 of the Constitution in West Bengal and resignation of the Chief Minister.

Refuting that CPI(M) cadres had attacked Nandigram from Khejuri side to capture some areas, the Front Chairman said the statement made by Home Secretary P R Ray was not correct.

''I do not think that the Home Secretary had collected all the information. It was rather a misinformation. There was cross-firing, which can not be one-sided,'' he claimed.

''One who is attacked can not wait for ever. What would you do if you are pushed to the wall?'' he said.

Mr Ray informed that many CPI(M) supporters, who had been driven out of home, had returned peacefully without any resistance while there was fresh incidence of eviction during the recent spurt in violence.

However, stressing that talks among all political parties were needed to restore normalcy in the area, Mr Basu said the Front was hopeful of a negotiated and peaceful solution.

''Discussions among all political parties are needed for restoration of peace. But such efforts should be made first at the local level,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi called the Home Secretary and Director General of Police Anup Bhushan Vohra to the Raj Bhawan to assess the situation in Nandigram.

The Home Secretary later told reporters in the state Secretariat that at least four people died in the fresh violence over the past three days and about 2,000 people were still homeless.

''We are maintaining the death figure at four. But there is a report about the death of one more person,'' he said.

UNI

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