CPM supporters manhandle Medha near Nandigram

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Tamluk (Midnapur), Nov 8: Social worker Medha Patkar and her associates were today manhandled allegedly by CPI(M) supporters while they were on their way to embattled Nandigram.

Eyewitnesses said armed CPI(M) men blocked the way of Ms Patkar and some human rights activists, including Sunanda Sanyal, Sujato Bhadra and Anuradha Talwar on National Highway 41 near Kapasgeria.

''Ms Patkar was dragged out of her car, caught by the neck and manhandled by CPI(M) supporters. No policeman was present in the area,'' an eyewitness said.

Hundreds of party men reportedly started pounding her car. The press and the media were also not spared and many of them were beaten up and their cameras taken away and broken.

''A police van with 4 constables was seen about 100 meters away.

But as soon as the thrashing started it took a U-turn and sped away,'' the eyewitness said.

Ms Patkar later told reporters, ''The present government has no moral right to stay in power.'' Trinamool Congress leader Mukul Ray as well as Congress leader Manas Bhunia's cars were also damaged near Chandipur preventing them from entering Nandigram.

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports said the BUPC was fighting a 'last ditch battle' in Adhikarypara and Madhupur. Fighting BUPC activists had to yield today in their strongholds in Satengabari, Takapura, Tekhali, Gokulnagar, they added.

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