All help will be extended to WB govt: Patil

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New Delhi, Nov 21: Home Minister Shivraj Patil today assured all possible assistance to the West Bengal government in tackling the situation in Nandigram and violence in Kolkata this morning and said security needed to be provided to all those who wanted to return to their homes.

Replying to the daylong debate in the Lok Sabha on the Nandigram issue under Rule 193, Mr Patil said the situation in the capital city of West Bengal was tense but under control.

Responding to the apprehension of some members that some Maoist elements might have been behind the Nandigram violence, Mr Patil said the Centre did have some information on the subject but was constrained not to make it public.

He, however, said it was in the knowledge of the government that some elements were present in Nandigram who acted behind the scenes. They did instigate villagers to resort to violence. Some arms too had been recovered by the police.

Mr Patil described as "unfortunate" the violent events that had taken place and said it was improper that any one has to leave his residence compelled by any circumstances. He said all those who wish to return back to their homes should be enabled to do so and all protection should be provided by the State government to them.

He said buses and cars were stoned this morning in Kolkata and boulders erected, which led to clashes with the police. He admitted that some people and police personnel had been injured.

Mr Patil said the Army had conducted flag marches to bring the situation under control in Kolkata.

The Minister said the West Bengal government was doing its utmost to bring the situation under control and assured all Central assistance, including provision of Central forces to the State government if it so demanded.

''We will redeploy forces from some peaceful areas and give them to the State if they need them,'' he said.

He said often vital information could not be made public which was required for policy-making.

The Minister refused to discuss any issue relating to the Governor, saying it was not proper for the House to debate this.

Replying to Leader of the Opposition L K Advani's suggestion that an all party delegation be sent to the State, Mr Patil said he would have to consult other parties in this regard.

UNI

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