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Police were provoked to fire in Nandigram: WB govt
March 15, 2007 16:05 IST
The West Bengal government admitted on Thursday that it had been caught off-guard by the large-scale 'organised resistance' by villagers at Nandigram.
It claimed that police opened fire after being attacked with stones, bombs and pipeguns.
"We had intelligence reports that police will face resistance, but we had no idea that the resistance would be so organised," Home Secretary Prasad Ranjan Roy told reporters about Wednesday's incident that claimed 14 lives.
Roy said police were attacked with stones, bombs and pipeguns by the villagers - "Police were provoked by the villagers to open fire."
Of the 14 killed in the violence, 10 were victims of police firing.
"The four others were killed in bomb explosions and stoning," Roy said. "But by saying this, I have no intention to play down the severity of Wednesday's incident."
Roy said 115 people -- 73 villagers and 42 policemen -- were injured in the incident.
On Thursday morning, villagers attacked and ransacked the BDO's office in Nandigram. A total of 950 policemen were deployed in the area, he said.
Violence erupted in Nandigram when police attempted to move into villages in the area from which they had been barred by people opposing the acquisition of land for industries.