Fresh violence rocks Nandigram; 1 dead

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Nandigram, Aug 7: A second CPI-M member was killed as violence rocked Nandigram for the second day on Thursday, Aug 7. The ruling CPM has called for a 24-hour bandh in Nandigram on Thursday, Aug 7 to protest against the killing of Niranjan Mandal, their local committee secretary.

In the fresh bout of violence in Nandigram, a CPI (M) local committee secretary was shot dead during an exchange of fire between Trinamool Congress and CPI(M) activists at Rajaramchak village, near Nandigram on Wednesday, Aug 6. Niranjan Mondal, CPI(M)'s Rajaramchak local committee Secretary, was caught in the crossfire when he was returning home from Kolkata. After receiving gunshots in his head he died on the spot.

Two Trinamool Congress workers were injured when jawans of Eastern Frontier Rifles and police used batons to disperse the warring groups, after the killings, police said. EFR and armed police were patrolling the area in view of the prevailing high tension. EFR jawans also launched a combing operations in nearby Kalicharanpur and Sonachura in search of the killers.

Terming the killing as a 'planned murder', CPI(M) district secretary, Ashok Guria said the party has called a 24-hour bandh Thursday, Aug 7 at Khejuri I and II, Nandigram I and II and Chandipur blocks.

Trinamool Congress, too, called a similar bandh in Nandigram I and II blocks Thursday, Aug 7 demanding arrest of the killers, the party's East Midnapore district president Sisir Adhikari said.

Another local leader of the CPI(M), Jaideb Barik, was shot at in Sonachura area last night. Ashok Guria said Barik, who had received two bullets, was shifted to a hospital in Kolkata from Tamluk Hospital.

The CPI-M state secretary Biman Bose alleged in Kolkata that the Trinamool Congress and Maoists colluded to unleash terror in a new form in Nandigram.

Accusing Trinamool Congress and Maoists of launching attacks against CPI(M) leaders at Nandigram where anti-SEZ protesters have locked horns with Left activists, Bose in a statement called upon the people of the state to resist attempts to create chaos.

IGP (western range) Kuldip Singh and range DIG would visit the spot tomorrow to assess the situation, Kanojia said adding, "they will also look at the possible motive of the murder and ascertain the affiliation of the killers."

To a question, he said the investigators would also look for any possible Maoist involvement in the incident.

Meanwhile, Trinamool Congress supporters on Wednesday, Aug 6 gheraoed the Nandigram police station in protest against alleged assault on villagers by 'drunk' EFR jawans last night. Stray incidents of bomb attack were reported from two localities of Nandigram.

The official toll in the yearlong Nandigram violence over proposed land acquisition by the state Government for a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in 2007 is 35.

On March 14, 2007, 14 people were killed and hundreds injured in a police firing, while some women were reportedly raped.


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