Violence-hit Kolkata limps back to normal

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Kolkata, Nov 22: Curfew, which was imposed in Kolkata following violent protests on Wednesday, was relaxed this morning in five police station areas as the situation returned to normal.

"The city is fast returning to normalcy. Schools and colleges are opening. People have also resumed their normal life," Police Commissioner, Gautam Mohan Chakrabarty said.

Curfew was imposed in various parts of Kolkata from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. on Wednesday following violent protests by the All India Minority Forum over the violence in Nandigram and a demand for the cancellation of Bangladeshi author Taslima Nasreen"s visa.

No further clashes were reported during the night.

Flag marches, however, will continue this morning in places that saw violence on Wednesday.

"The Army and the police are jointly patrolling the affected areas of the city," Chakrabarty added.

The Army will also review the situation after which, the government might take a decision on army deployment.

The West Bengal Government was on Wednesday forced to deploy army soldiers in various parts of Kolkata after demonstrators under the banner of All India Minority Forum (AIMF) blocked roads and clashed with police.

It was for the first time since the 1992 riots that the Army was called in to restore order in the city.

The issue rocked the Winter Session of Parliament, which began a debate on it on Wednesday.

Leader of Opposition, LK Advani, compared the violence in West Bengal"s Nandigram area to the violence that was seen in Tiananmen Square in Beijing in 1989.

The Communist Government in West Bengal had planned to set up a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) for chemical industries in Nandigram, 150 km southwest of Kolkata, but had to abort the project after villagers refused to give up their lands.

Violent clashes between Communist supporters, police and locals opposed to the project have been taking place since January.

At least six villagers were killed and dozens injured in Nandigram last week in clashes between rival groups led by Communists and a frontal organisation backed by Trinamool Congress party.


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