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Restore confidence of people in Nandigram: PM tells WB govt
V Mohan Narayan on board PM's special aircraft | November 20, 2007 16:27 IST
In a stern message, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh [Images] on Tuesday asked the West Bengal government to take note of the spontaneous outpouring of grief and anguish over the Nandigram violence and undertake necessary steps to restore confidence of the people through effective deployment of security forces.
In his first public comment on the issue, Singh described the developments in Nandigram as unfortunate.
It was unusual for the Prime Minister, in the midst of a free-wheeling press conference on board his special aircraft, to read out a brief prepared statement when asked about his assessment of the trouble-torn area.
"The events in Nandigram are unfortunate. I condole the loss of lives and regret the destruction of property," he said.
"I sincerely hope the state government will be able to take necessary steps to restore confidence in the people through effective deployment of security forces," Singh said.
"It is the duty of the state government to ensure that all sections of the population, regardless of their political views and affiliations, are entitled to and do receive protection of law enforcement authorities," he said.
"I understand this spontaneous outpouring of grief and anguish over the issue as expressed by artists and intellectuals in Kolkata. I hope the state government will take note of this," Singh said.
The Prime Minister said that he has asked Home Minister Shivraj Patil to be in touch with West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattarcharya on the issue.
Asked whether the Nandigram issue would be taken up for discussion in the Parliament, he said the presiding officers of both Houses are engaged in the exercise of whether there should be a debate or not. "I would not like to comment while I am out of the country," he said.