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Government looking into CRPF excesses: Bengal CM
December 13, 2007 19:10 IST
The West Bengal government is looking into complaints of the Central Reserve Police Force excesses in Nandigram [Images] and have conveyed them to the authorities of the Central force, West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya said on Thursday.
Replying to a calling attention motion in the assembly, Bhattacharya said some allegations have been received about the activities and behaviour of the CRPF. The allegations were being looked into and attention of the CRPF authorities have been drawn to it.
Lakshmipriya Das, wife of veteran freedom fighter Brajalal Das, has alleged that the CRPF had searched her residence without reason.
An FIR has been lodged at the Khejuri police station on the basis of the allegation and the matter was being investigated, the chief minister said.
He said 642 rounds of bullets, 24 kg of explosives, 72 detonators, two mines, six country-made guns, three rifles, six spares of pipe-guns among others were seized during joint raids by the CRPF in Nandigram.
The state government requested the Centre on October 27, 2007, for deployment of CRPF in Nandigram to enable restoration of peace, law and order.
On November 5, the Centre intimated the state its inability to deploy the CRPF, but after subsequent developments, allotted six companies on November 11 for Nandigram.
The forces reached Nandigram the following day and immediately began route march, he said.
As Bhattacharya was interrupted during his statement by noisy demonstrations by opposition Trinamool Congress, Congress and Socialist Unity Centre of India, Speaker Hasim Abdul Halim directed that the statement be taken as read.
In a separate statement in reply to another calling attention motion, the chief minister said no incident of violence has been reported from Nandigram since November 12 and peace has returned to the area.
Pointing out that government work had come to a standstill in the Sonachura, Gokulnagar, Kalicharanpur, Dowdpur and Samsabad gram panchayats of Nandigram-I block and in Amdabad-II of Nandigram-II block, he said, work of the Nandigram-I block and panchayat samities had also been disrupted owing to the disturbances.
Following initiatives by the government, work has begun in all the panchayat and block offices of all the affected villages.
Annual meetings of almost all gram panchayats have been held and the dates for the council meetings fixed.
Panchayat workers have also been able to resume service, he said.
Bhattacharya said Rs 10,000 and Rs 5,000 would be given as compensation respectively for fully and partially damaged houses, while Rs 1,000 would be given to those who have lost their utensils from the Chief Minister's Relief Fund.
As per a survey done by the district magistrate, 560 houses were completely and 399 partially damaged, he said.
Stating that the East Midnapore district magistrate has been allocated Rs 70 lakh for compensation purposes, he said Rs 37.52 lakh had already been distributed and work was on to distribute the remaining amount.
In keeping with the Calcutta high court directive for relief to the homeless, the government has so far allocated 138 tonne of rice and Rs 5.03 lakh in small grants.
Besides, 1,250 dhoties, 5,000 lungies, 4,000 sarees, 6,500 chidlren's wear, 6,500 blankets and 50 sheets have been allocated for distribution, the chief minister said.
The chief minister said in keeping with the high court order, the government also made arrangements to provide medical treatment for the affected people.
Besides relief, development work, rationing, the mid-day meal programme in schools and work under ICDS scheme have also begun, he said.
Stating that steps are being taken to ensure that the affected farmers who did not work during the rabi season could do so during the kharif season, he said 5,400 paddy minikits, 2,065 sunflower minikits, 1,278 pulses minikits, 111 til minikits, 139 groundnut minikits and 33 wheat minikits would be distributed within the current week.
All-party peace committees have been set up in all gram panchayats of Nandigram-I and II and an overall development plan for Nandigram was being prepared after the formation of a task force, the chief minister said.