Statesman News Service
MIDNAPORE/KOLKATA, Nov. 5: Hundreds of CPI-M gunmen rained bombs and fired shots at Nandigram areas from Khejuri side this evening. Bhumi Uchched Protirodh Committee leader Mr Swadesh Adhikari alleged that CPI-M cadres had called their colleagues to join them in their attack on the BUPC and reinforce their presence in the area. The CPI-M’s intention, it seems, is to capture Nandigram before the arrival of Central forces this week. This has created panic among the BUPC leaders who have alerted their supporters to remain on guard throughout the night on the Khejuri-Nandigram border to counter Red rampage, Mr Adhikary said. The BUPC leader, Mr Nanda Patra, lodged a complaint with the Nandigram police in this regard around 11 p.m. SP Mr SS Panda said he had not yet received any message about the incident from Nandigram police station nor from the BUPC. “But what can the police do in the midst of gunfire between rival groups at night,” the SP argued. Earlier this morning, violence flared up in Nandigram when CPI-M activists, holed up in Khejuri, attacked BUPC supporters at the Tekhali bridge. Around 4.30 a.m. nearly 500 armed men tried to cross the Talpati canal and enter Nandigram. They fired in the air and threw bombs. Alarmed by the attack, BUPC members, guarding the bridge, blew conch shells. Within minutes over 3,000 villagers from all over the area rushed towards the bridge and formed a human wall to block the advancement of CPI-M invaders. Following this the attackers retreated. Another attack was launched around 10.30 a.m. Police remained silent spectators. Five rounds were fired and bombs thrown. However, this attack was foiled after people rushed in from Nandigram and two rounds were fired in retaliation. The Trinamul Congress organised a rally in Reyapara, a CPI-M stronghold, following which Left supporters evacuated the area. Five shots were fired and two bombs exploded at Khejuri. The state government today said Central forces requisitioned by it would be under its command. The IG Western Range Mr Arun Gupta, who was present at Nandigram on the day of the carnage, was transferred today. Home secretary Mr PR Roy said: “Any Central agency coming in functions under state command. Do you think they (Central forces) would be willing to commit anything illegal while following our orders? If bullets are fired from both directions, is the CRPF going to retaliate only in one direction?’’ Meanwhile, Mr Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee today said at a CPI-M meeting in Howrah that the government had wanted to make Nandigram another Haldia but failed to convince the people. Apprehending a genocide in Nandigram at the behest of the state police, Trinamul leader Miss Mamata Banerjee warned the government of serious consequences.