CRPF personnel about to take control of embattled Nandigram

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Kolkata, Nov 12 (UNI) Ending a prolonged wait, CRPF personnel were about to take control of strife-torn Nandigram today as the state was in a total shutdown on the first day of the 48-hour Opposition-sponsored bandh in protest against the continued violence.

" One company of CRPF is entering Nandigram, while five more companies are coming, " Home Secretary P R Ray told reporters.

The Central forces were being deployed following a request of Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee to Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil after the state police failed to tackle the Nandigram turmoil.

The arrival of CRPF took place a day after the CPI(M) claimed that Nandigram was now 'free from terror' with the party supporters, who had long been driven out of home by the Trinamool Congress-led Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee, completed their home coming.

While Nandigram witnessed a eleven-month war between rival political forces, a turf war became intense over the past one week as the evicted CPI(M) supporters started forcing their way leading to a fierce fight with BUPC members.

However, the escalation of violence left Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi aggrieved as he described it as an 'unlawful and unacceptable recapture' of Nandigram, calling for immediate administrative measure to restore peace and normalcy.

The Governor also met CPI(M) patriarch Jyoti Basu at his Salt Lake residence today, imploring him to see that normalcy was restored in the area.

In all 35 people were killed in the area since January, seven alone in the last week, while hundreds of people were injured and more than 3,000 people rendered homeless.

Even as many of the evicted CPI(M) supporters came back home, fresh reports of displacement of the local people poured in from the area following the renewed violence.


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