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Nandigram: Killed cop's body not found
Indrani Roy Mitra in Kolkata | February 09, 2007 13:14 IST
All is not quiet on the Left Front regime in West Bengal. With controversy brewing over Tata Motors' proposed small car project in Singur, Nandigram in Bengal's East Midnapore district is seething under protests, demonstrations and uprisings.
The area is part of about 10,000 acres the Left Front government proposes to acquire for a special economic zone for setting up a chemical hub.
The situation turned for the worse when protesters reportedly murdered a sub-inspector of the district intelligence bureau at noon on Wednesday. Though the officer's body could not be traced, several eyewitnesses told the police that they had seen some people dumping a body in the Haldi river, a tributary of the Hooghly. About six policemen were injured in the violence and 12 people were arrested.
According to primary reports, a group of men had attacked a team of eight policemen at Iswardaha-Jalbai under Bhowanipur police station close to Nandigram. Wednesday's violence was a direct fallout of tension between CPI-M supporters, who want the SEZ, and a newly-formed people's committee that has vowed to resist the acquisition of farmland for industry.
On Wednesday, a police party, including DIB's Sadhu Chatterjee, went to the area for routine enquiry. But soon they were surrounded by a large mob, which assaulted them.
Violence erupted at Nandigram first on January 3 causing four deaths. After that, the area has virtually been inaccessible to administration and police. Locals have dug up roads or blocked them with tree trunks.
Raj Kanojia, Inspector General of Police in charge of law and order, informed rediff.com that senior officers have been sent to the area to probe the incident.
In a convention on Wednesday, Siddiqullah Chowdhury, chief of the Jamiat Ulemah-i-Hind, which is leading the Nandigram protests, warned if there was any police crackdown in Kolkata, his men would gherao the Writer's Building as well as the chief minister's residence in Kolkata.