Peace Returning To Nandigram:Jyoti Basu

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Kolkata, Nov 9(UNI) Peace was returning in embattled Nandigram as the rival CPI(M) and Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee (BUPC) supporters came to a truce at an all-party meeting today, veteran Marxist leader Jyoti Basu said.

''I am happy that representatives of the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) and our men have met in the presence of the District Magistrate and the Superintendent of Police. It was an all-party meeting,'' he told reporters after attending the CPI(M) state Secretariat meeting.

The nonagenarian leader said many supporters of both the CPI(M) and the Trinamool Congress-led BUPC still remained ousted from the area and efforts must be made to bring all of them back home.

''Police were not being able to enter the area for long. If they had to force entry, they would probably have to open fire. One can always follow his political ideology, whichever party he may belong to, but there must not be any violence. I hope the situation will remain like this,'' he said.

In reply to a question, Mr Basu said right now there was no need for a state-level all-party meeting on Nandigram and any such move should be taken only after assessing reports on the Nandigram situation after some days.

Stating that the Panchayats remained non functional for long and funds for development could not be utilised because of the prolonged unrest, Mr Basu said it was time that the local bodies resume work immediately and start the process of development.

As many of the ousted CPI(M) supporters started returning to their homes amid a fierce gun battle between two sides, the West Bengal Government yesterday announced a compensation of Rs 200,000 each for the kins of all the 14 people killed in Nandigram on March 14 when a large mob of villagers clashed with police.

Home Secretary Amit Kiran Deb had announced that police, who were denied entry for long, would take control of the area in a day or two.


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