'Police, intelligence resp for Kolkata violence'

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New Delhi, Nov 22: The Left parties today blamed "fundamentalist forces including the foreign elements," for pre-planned violence in Kolkata and held the state police and intelligence wings responsible for their failure in gathering information about the happening.

They asked the state administration to take immediately "corrective measures" to restore peace and normalcy in an open and crowded city and called for the need to undertake an awareness campaign not only in Kolkata but in the entire state to "enlighten" people on important issues- Nandigram, visa extension of controversial writer Taslima Nasreen and Rizwanur case.

Army was deployed on the streets of Kolkata after more than a decade and curfew clamped over parts of the city to control the violence.

The top Left leaders praised the state government for deployment of army to quell violence after the pockets of east and central Kolkata virtually resembled a battlefield for five hours when the members of the All India Minority Forum and others fought a pitched battle with police for Nandigram events and also demanded the cancellation of the visa of Bangladeshi writer Taslima Nasreen.

Talking to the sources, CPI leaders A B Bardhan and Shamim Faizi said "it is yet not clear whether it was the only fallout of the Nandigram happenings or sentimental issues like the cancellation of visa of Ms Nasreen or even the Rizwanur case caused eruption of violence." CPI(M) veteran Polit Bureau member M K Pandhe said the Left had the ability to take "corrective measures". The Left Front did the right thing to call for the army, otherwise it would have been said the police used repressive methods to control the situation.

Forward Bloc National Secretary G Devrajan demanded the immediate task for the Buddhadeb government to convene an all party meeting, disbursement of compensation and rehabilitation of those affected and take action against the police and intelligence wing officials, responsible for their failure to gather information on the activities of those involved in violence.

CPI General Secretary Mr Bardhan, said now the same forces are trying to entrench in the thickly populated bylanes of Kolkata.

"It is the responsibility of all the political parties to refrain from inciting communal passions. The failure of police and intelligence to anticipate the situation is deplorable." CPI National Secretary Mr Faizi, said the government information gathering should have been more alert and should have taken preventive measures as there appeared to be confusion on all three issues- Nandigram, Taslima Nasreen and Rizwanur case.

Mr Pandhe said the Left should undertake a massive awareness campaign not only in Kolkata but in entire state on the three issues.

While denying a "Left divide", Mr Devrajan, admitted the difference of opinion did exist on handling of the Nandigram events.

For example he said the CPI(M) never bothered to convene the all party meetings after such a meeting was held on March 16 in which the Congress and Trinamool Congress also participated .

"This was the responsibility of the CPI(M) to regularly hold such meetings and ensure early disbursement of compensation and relief to the affected." Only now it has decided to distribute compensation.

Its unilateral action on November 6 , when "liberated zone" was recaptured, further deteriorated the situation, he added.

UNI

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