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Bengal: Villages around Nandigram remain inaccessible
January 08, 2007 08:56 IST
Last Updated: January 08, 2007 13:23 IST
The villages in Nandigram area in East Midnapore district, where the police opened fire following violence on Monday, remained inaccessible with members of the Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee keeping close vigil on the entry of outsiders.
Even the police were yet to go to the trouble-torn Basulichak and Dinabhandupur villages although combat force personnel staged a route march at Narby Tekhali village.
Outsiders trying to enter the area were being stopped by members of Pratirodh committee spearheading the agitation against land acquisition for the proposed Special Economic Zone.
Mediapersons were allowed only after scrutiny of their credentials by the agitators.
A PTI correspondent visiting the area saw deep trenches dug on roads leading to Basulichak, Barkandapasra and Dinabhandupur villages.
There were also road blocks set up with logs and pipes on the main road from Chandipur to Nandigram.
Tarashankar Das, a villager, said, "We will resist land acquisition at any cost. A number of industries came up in adjoining Haldia, but we have not got any benefit of the industrialisation. We will even give our lives, not our land."
What surprised many was the absence of police in the area.
Inspector General of Police (Western range) Arun Gupta told reporters in Nandigram that the police had no plan to enter the villages right now.
Earlier in the day, 10 policemen were injured when villagers fought a pitched battle with police at Dinabandhupur as the opposition-sponsored 24-hour bandh began in West Bengal.
Members belonging to Bhumi Rakha Pratirodh Committee (Save Land Committee) pelted stones at the policemen who had gone there to rescue two of their counterparts reportedly held captive by the committee members at Dinabandhupur.
Police said 10 policemen were injured in the brickbatting.
Local villagers alleged that police fired four rounds in the air, though the police neither confirmed nor denied it.
Committee members denied that they were holding two policemen hostage. The situation at Nandigram has remained very tense following the incident.
The Communist Party of India-Marxist party office at Dinabandhupur had been set on fire, police said.