NANDIGRAM/KOLKATA: A fresh bout of violence rocked Nandigram in West Bengal again on Friday as a police party got caught in a crossfire between CPM members and activists opposing acquisition of land for a proposed SEZ.
But the cops didn't fire back. In Nandigram, this was a show of restraint few would have expected from the police. Caught in a hail of bombs and bullets, the policemen didn't retaliate even when five of their own, including an officer, were injured.
The incident, which shattered the belief that peace was returning to Nandigram, prompted an emergency meeting at the Writers' Buildings.
This was the first major incident of violence in Nandigram since 14 people were killed in police firing and clashes on March 14.
Police fired two rounds in the air to ward off attackers from Sonachura, close to Nandigram, but this proved futile and firing allegedly by members of the Bhumi Uchhed Pratirodh Committee continued in two phases during the day, IGP (law and order) Raj Kanojia said here.
District Enforcement Branch Inspector Prabhat Kumar was critically injured when he was hit in the head by a bullet. He was brought to SSKM Hospital here for surgery.
Three other policemen sustained bullet injuries. "The firing was carried out from along a canal bordering Nandigram and Khejuri. The police outpost at Bhangabera was attacked twice, at 8 am and at 1.30 pm," Kanojia said.
Tension also gripped Gokulnagar area in Nandigram early on Friday when some 1,500 students ransacked a police camp within a school to protest against the presence of police in the area for the past two months. The students were chased away by police.
Home Secretary P R Roy said Nandigram was in the grip of violence since this morning and the situation there was reviewed by Chief Minister Buddhadev Bhattacharjee and state police chief A B Vohra at the state secretariat.
It was being ascertained whether people in a relief camp near Bhangabera or police at a nearby camp were the target of the firing, officials said.Times of India