Mamata Banerjee on 'dharna', demands peace in Nandigram

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Maniktala, East Midnapore, Nov 11 (UNI) Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today sat on an indefinite dharna before East Midnapore SP S S Panda's office here, demanding an end to firing and complete restoration of peace in Nandigram.

She condemned the police lathicharge on intellectuals at Nandan, the cultural capital of the state, who were agitating against ''lawlessness and violence'' in Nandigram and said this was in total disregard of right to freedom of speech and expression and democracy the nation so proudly proclaims.

After meeting the injured Bhumi Uchhed Protirodh Committee members at the Tamluk hospital, Ms Banerjee said until the SP ensured an absolute end to violence in Nandigram and return of peace and safety to its people, she would continue her dharna.

The East Midnapore SP was not in office and Ms Banerjee said she would wait for him indefinitely.

''Most of the intellectuals are Left-oriented and sensible persons. That is why they are protesting against killing in Nandigram. But the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government has not even spared them,'' Ms Banerjee said.

Meanwhile, CRPF personnel have started coming into Nandigram with more than 500 of them already being stationed in the area.

Ms Banerjee said she would stay back in Tamluk tonight to monitor the bandh-like situation in the state tomorrow.

Asked whether she would continue the bandh beyond Monday, she said she would announce her decision after a late evening meeting tomorrow.

Meanwhile, traffic movement has come to a complete halt in East and West Midnapore districts on a road blockade call by AITC supporters.

In Nandigram, CPI(M) activists allegedly started firing on the last batches of BUPC supporters in Garchakraberia and Adhikaripara.

MLA and BUPC convenor Sisir Adhikari claimed that 100 BUPC activists from Sonachura were presently in CPI(M) custody.

UNI

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