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Archive for November 16th, 2007

‘I was raped by CPM men, my two girls raped and abducted’

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

First Nandigram Gangrape Confirmed: Case filed after medical report, victim tells Express chilling story of night of Nov 6

Nandigram, November 15: West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee says that what CPM cadres did in Nandigram is “morally and legally justifiable.” His comrades in New Delhi today argued that Nandigram is a “state subject” unlike the Gujarat rapes and murders of 2002 and, therefore, could not be discussed in Parliament.

Perhaps, the comrades should listen to Sabina Begum. For, hers is the first officially confirmed case of gangrape allegedly by armed CPM cadres on November 6, during their “Operation Recapture” in Nandigram.

Her two daughters went missing soon after the gangrape that night. In chilling testimony to The Indian Express, Sabina has said that after she was raped, she saw her daughters, Fatima, 16, and Nasreen, 14, raped as well and then abducted by CPM cadres. All the three names have been changed to protect their identities.

This gruesome incident, according to the police complaint, occurred in Satengabari, one of the villages that bore the brunt of the CPM’s terror. When The Indian Express visited the village yesterday, it found 160 of the 240 houses either burnt or badly damaged. Most of the residents are huddled in the Brojomohan school relief camp.

“We have initiated a case of rape and I cannot say anything more,” said S S Panda, Superintendent of Police, East Midnapore. “Doctors have confirmed that Sabina was raped. I personally took her statement yesterday at the Tamluk sub-divisional hospital. We have registered a case of gangrape against the accused. She has given us names in her statement but I cannot disclose the names right now. We have also attached the case of her two missing daughters with the gangrape case,” Champak Chowdhury, Officer-in-Charge of Nandigram police station, told The Indian Express.

“We have had detailed tests done of the patient named Sabina by a gynaecologist. Later, some specimens were sent to the laboratory. Rape has been confirmed,” said S Patra, Superintendent of the Tamluk Sub-Divisional hospital.

The Indian Express visited Sabina who is admitted in the “female ward” of the hospital and met her traumatised family members at the relief camp.

“At around 8 that evening, a group of youths knocked at my door and my mother-in-law opened it. Mir Bachchu Sheikh and Mir Kalu, two CPM men whom I knew in the village along with several others, barged in. I tried to run away with my two daughters but was caught in the backyard,” Sabina told The Indian Express.

‘They dragged me and my daughters near the field. I was raped by eight people including Bachchu and Kalu. I also saw my two daughters being raped by the youths. It continued throughout the night. Then they took my daughters away, dumping me inside the house,” said Sabina, in tears.

Sabina says she was locked inside the house for two days. The third night, she managed to escape and came to the Nandigram block hospital where she was admitted. She was later referred to Tamluk sub-divisional hospital.

Meanwhile, Sabina’s family is looking for the two missing daughters. “We went to the police and lodged a missing complaint despite threats by CPM cadres. We do not even know if they are alive,” said Sheikh Motleb, Sabina’s elder brother and neighbour.


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Nandigram, Salwa Judum and Post-Godhra

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

Many clothes of the Emperor

When this is being written, six days have passed since the unprecedented brutal attack on the people of Nandigram began. The present phase of massacre, fascistic by all means, has made the brutal assault on 14 th March this year pale to oblivion. The brutal massacre of the people and the manner in which the CPM government, Central government and all other parliamentary parties are playing their politics of deception and lies in connivance with the media is going to have far reaching implications on the way the discourse and practice of politics will unfold in the days to come in the state of West Bengal in particular and the country in general. One shudders to think that the happiest man today would be Narendra Modi of Gujarat who could see how things were being replayed, albeit under a different script, of ‘development’. Another proud brother who would also be ready to pat Budhha and Narendra Modi would be Mahendra Karma who had foreseen the clinical execution of salwa judum on the tribals of Chhattisgarh again under the grand slogan of ‘development’.

On Sunday the attack has intensified to such levels that the Governor of West Bengal Gopalkrishna Gandhi described it as ‘recapture’ of Nandigram by the CPI (M) cadres. In the meantime, the National Security Advisor M K Narayanan has on board the flight to Moscow with Manmohan has expressed his grave fear of violence in Nandigram due to the presence of Maoists! As if had the Maoists been not there everything would have been peaceful!

As the journalists, intellectuals and social activists have not been allowed entry inside Nandigram, the actual picture is not coming out to the full public view. The telephonic conversations with the leaders and activists of Bhumi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) and the people of Nandigram are the sources for real information.

Trinamul Congress member and an activist of Nishikant Mandal, informs from ground zero to Prof. Amit Bhattacharya, head of the Department of Jadavpur University that most of the activists of BUPC will be killed by the day and himself will not be spared. Mahasweta Devi taking cue of this information talked to the Governor by noon in the day. The Governor promised to save the lives of the activists as the relentless hunt goes unabated in the burning villages of Nandigram.

Planned Massacre
From reports of the people through telephonic conversations so far, in the last six days 150 people have been killed and 2000 people are missing. About 550 people are kidnapped by the CPI (M) goons and taken to Khejuri village where they are tortured and used as human shield to prevent any possible counter-attack from the people of Nandigram. It is in Khejuri that CPI (M) gathered more than 1500 goons (who are also their party members) from all over West Bengal and Bihar and trained for the brutal massacre to be carried out on 14 th March and at present.

About 100 people who are badly injured have been admitted in various hospitals whereas thousands of injured people have fled the area without any medical care. Those 550 people who were kidnapped in the process of ‘recapture’ of Nandigram by the marauders of CPM were tied with ropes.

Active involvement of known criminal elements of the CPI (M)
Eye-witness reports pouring in for several prominent people in Kolkata and Delhi corroborate the fact that activists and people of Nandigram in hundreds caught red-handed Tapan Ghosh and Sukur Ali, two CPI (M) leaders from Gorbeta, who were forcefully taking away four injured women. Several reports also point to the fact that dead bodies were being made to disappear under the leadership and supervision of these two known criminals. One may recall that these two CPI (M) leaders of Gorbeta were chargesheeted in a case of lynching of Maoist cadres belonging to erstwhile CPI (ML) People’s War and destruction of all evidence by ensuring that their dead bodies disappear in Chotoangaria of Gorbeta in 2001. Significantly, Sukur Ali and Tapan Ghosh who are wanted by CBI for the last 5 years in the Chotoangaria case were now being used by the CPI (M) to lead the Nandigram massacre. They have been absconding for the past five years after they were chargesheeted and arrest warrants issued with the blessings of the top leaders of their Party. They were intercepted by the activists of BUPC while taking away four injured women and handed over to the local police.

On Thursday, 8th November when members of APDR (Association of People’s Democratic Rights), Bandi Mukti Committee and Medha Patkar, and others were going to Nandigram to express their solidarity with the struggling people of Nandigram as news started pouring in about the renewed attack on the people of Nandigram by the CPM goons. The team was stopped on the way and attacked brutally with many of them being badly beaten. Medha Patkar was slapped. As per the reports of the several Bengali dailies, this particular attack was organized by Ashok Patnaik, a leader of CPI (M) and able henchman of Lakhsaman Seth, the Haldia sitting MP of CPI (M). Lakhsaman Seth is also known as the land mafia leader of the region who first announced the procedure for acquisition of land from Nandigram for the proposed SEZ. Ashok Patnaik led the attack on the civil rights leaders and Medha Patkar and closed all the 6 entry points leading to Nandigram. A black out was created by putting off the street lights in all villages and towns like Nandigram, Tamluk and other places in and around Nandigram so that thousands of hoodlums who were already waiting at several points could enter Nandigram without any suspicion.

Planning from the top
The intention of the CPI (M)’s top leadership could be understood when we see the planned attack by gathering all their party cadres (basically goons notorious in various places) not only from West Bengal, but also from other states like Jharkhand and Bihar and other parts of West Bengal. The preparations for this ‘final attack’, as it is being described by the CPI (M) land mafia, started several months ago after the Nandigram people successfully established their movement within days after 14 th March massacre this year. Mercenaries from Ranigunj-Asansol coal-belt, Gorbeta and Keshpur were also hired. For months training and rehearsals were being conducted in Khejuri. In Khejuri village, permanent bunkers were constructed and huge quantities of arms and ammunition were stocked for months for this ‘final attack’. The kind of preparations that were made clearly show that the entire CPI (M)’s top leadership is involved in the process. At the ground level, as is pointed out by many of the eminent speakers repeatedly and quite openly in the past five days in all public protest meetings in Kolkata, atleast there are three more MPs of CPI (M) who are directly involved in these preparations apart from Lakhsaman Seth, the MP of Haldia. They are Torit Topdar, MP representing Barrackpur constituency, Amitabha Nandi, of Dum Dum constituency, and Sushant Ghosh of Midnapur constituency. It is an open talk in every nook and corner of West Bengal today that these four MPs are directly involved in the armed operations to kill, maim, rape and mutilate and make the dead bodies disappear. These four MPs are assisted by Nirupam Sen, the Minister for Industry of Buddhadeb Basu’s cabinet, who is from Bardwan district.

Sophisticated weapons were given to thousands of mercenary elements of the CPI (M). Rifles like AK 47 and SLRs in hundreds are given apart from elaborate logistical support such as vehicles, trucks, bombs and bottles of liquor. These mercenaries entered the villages and captured some villages in the beginning while they kept on moving further. Reportedly, so far about 550 people including some of the leaders, cadres and supporters of Bhoomi Ucched Pratirodh Committee (BUPC) were taken hostage and used as human-shield both in the battle field and in the Khejuri base zone—the training centre of CPI (M).

It is expected that the central paramilitary forces (1 battalion of CRPF) will arrive in Nandigram latest by Monday evening. Earlier Mamata Benerjee supported the deployment of CRPF in Nandigram. But by Sunday morning she changed her opinion and started opposing the deployment of the CRPF battalion. Now all democratic and civil rights organizations and individual democrats are opposing the deployment of the CRPF battalion.

Women the target of reprisal
Many women were dragged into school buildings and raped. As per the reports from the villages, some of the notorious leaders of CPI(M) who are involved in the massacre are Ashok Guria, Ashok Beda and Himanshu Das all local leaders from East Midnapur. These butchers are at present leading the mobs going around the villages of Nandigram block.

Village after village is burnt down. Before burning the houses the hoodlums looted the property, humiliated the women including raping them. For example, by early morning on Sunday, 300 houses were looted and burnt down in a village called Sathengaberi. By evening, Gokulnagar and Sonachura villages, the epicentre of Nandigram resistance were looted and completely burnt down.

Nandigram has become the representation of India, while CPI (M) the typical fascist brutal ruling elite of Indian social order in the ‘post-colonial’ period.

None other than a fascist force
The fresh attack on the people of Nandigram in the last four days by the ‘Harmed Vahini’—the CPI (M) version of VHP—has all the features of 1984 massacre of Sikhs engineered by the Congress Party and RSS-BJP engineered post-Godhra massacre. This time around, the CPI (M) prepared larger number of its goon-cadres compared to 14 March massacre this year from all over the state to unleash organised violence and ‘recapture’ its ‘lost territory’ for the last 8 months. The brutal massacre is continuing unabated by closing all ways for the outsiders including the press. The fascist forces of CPI (M) armed to the teeth with at least 3 months of training started marching into the areas of Nandigram on Thursday, a day before Diwali. But the top leadership of the CPI (M) in the state were shocked to witness the stiff resistance from the people as this was beyond their expectation.

The farce of the coalition drama
The CPI (M) and the ruling UPA coalition are now jointly operating to step up violence on the resisting people of Nandigram with a battalion of CRPF soon expected in this area, while as the Congress calls for a West Bengal bandh against the attack on Nandigram. When the CRPF battalion reaches Nandigram, it will be standing by the goons aiding and protecting them while they continue their brutalities on the people with much renewed strength. The Centre’s gesture of sending a CRPF battalion is like bribing the CPI (M) not to push their demand of de-operationalising of the Indo-US Nuclear Agreement. The CPI (M) will now stage a ‘mock opposition’ in the impending parliamentary debate on the Nuclear deal, while BJP tries to cash it by creating a much more vigorous mockery of the usual parliamentary stunt. Thus, today Nandigram and Nuclear deal are closely linked on the macabre theatre of the absurd called parliamentary democracy.

Once again Nandigram provides us of another major example to understand the nature of the political process in our country. The fresh attacks on the people of Nandigram shows how CPI(M) is waging organized armed oppression on the people openly while the state armed forces stand mute witnesses on the battlefield supporting the attackers.

CPI (M) is a history sheeter when it comes to murdering people
The armed attacks on the rural populace by the CPI (M) is nothing new. The CPI (M) has been controlling (ruling) the people of West Bengal in the past 30 years using arms and goons through its party network election after election. What is new with the Nandigram is, for the first time people started resisting the arms and muscle power of the CPI (M) and made its goons flee from their area during the 14 March incidents and after. Since then, in the past 7 months, CPI (M) has been trying to ‘recapture’ the Nandigram area. The tensions continued all along day by day and night as CPI (M) armed cadres continuously attacked the villages. They have isolated Nandigram by not allowing food supplies, consumer goods, power, and water supply to the Nandigram cluster of villages under struggle.

The 10th November public statement of West Bengal Governor, Gopalkrishna Gandhi makes it clear that CPI (M) cadres blocked all ways leading to Nandigram from all the four sides. Mr Gandhi asks the administration ‘to remove the new unauthorized man-made blocks at entry points,’ to Nandigram. He pleads his ‘own Government’ to end the ‘isolation of Nandigram from the rest of the state.’ The statement enraged Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s government which launched a frontal attack on the Governor while the Chief Minister continued to allow more and more intruders into Nandigram from outside the district.

The distinction between the state and the ruling political party (the main player in the Government) had disappeared in West Bengal long ago.

Nandigram Resistance: A brief recap
The heroic Nandigram struggle started on 3rd January when for the first time Lakhsaman Seth, as the chairman of Haldia Development Authority announced the setting up of an SEZ in the area. 10 months the people of Nandigram fought continuously and valiantly with and without arms resisting tooth and nail the acquisition of their fertile fields, hearths and homes. They forced the CPI (M) led West Bengal Government and Congress led UPA Government to take back their permissions and orders by closing down the SEZ project. The heroic struggle of Nandigram continued with women at the forefront. Hundreds of thousands of people spent sleepless nights preventing CPI (M) goons enter their villages. They have stood upto the challenge. They are continuing to fight. They don’t certainly have the kind of sophisticated arms as the CPI (M) has and the state power is pressed into action to suppress the resistance movement of Nandigram as it was being done by Modi in Gujarat in 2002 or the Congress in Delhi in 1984.

The writing on the wall in West Bengal today indicates that by the time CRPF will enter tomorrow evening, that is, 12 th November, the ‘operation brutality’ will be completed. The Centre knows the brutalities and atrocities that have been perpetrated on the struggling people of Nandigram particularly in the past five days. UPA Government led by Manmohan Singh is giving complete support and abetting the Buddhadev Basu’s Government to massacre the struggling people as both the Governments share the same vision and they stand in support to each other. One shouldn’t be carried away by the mock opposition to Manmohan’s Nuclear deal by CPI (M) and the so-called Congress protest bandh call of West Bengal on 12th November opposing the massacre at Nandigram.

It may be true that the present resistance may be smashed. But the heroic fight of the people of Nandigram cannot be suppressed for ever. In no time the resistance will re-appear to end the three decades long fascist rule in West Bengal.

12th Nov 2007

Revolutionary Democratic Front of India

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BANGALORE:Naxals recruiting slum youths

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

BANGALORE: From dense forests to the concrete jungle, Naxals have spread their network.

Anti-Terrorist Cell (ATC) sleuths have found that an organized wing of Naxals has been actively working in Bangalore. It’s involved in luring youths to join its new units — forest land committee (FLC) and plain land committee (PLC).

ATC officials say this new strategy has been successful in Bangalore where youths in urban slums have been targeted. Slum-dwellers are being promised the right over the property they live on.

In return, the youths will have to join the movement. This came to light when youths from some slums claimed ownership of the land though it belonged to someone else. It’s said that the youths were also promised land documents.

The police have identified four slums in Bangalore at Raja Gopal Nagar and J D Mara, where owners approached the police complaining against slum-dwellers.

“A person’s land has been encroached upon by hundreds of huts. This led us to the new trend,” said a police officer.

Several huts have come up in Raja Gopal Nagar on private land belonging to a businessman. When he asked the residents to remove the huts, he received threat calls. He was also manhandled by some residents and now, he is scared to go to his own land. Finally, he lodged a police complaint.

Based on the complaint, the police interrogated a few slum-dwellers and unearthed the influence of Naxal groups. “The Naxals have formed FLC and a PLC consisting of three and five members, respectively.

The prime task of PLC members is to provide manpower, logistics, mobilisation of resources and identification of youth to be recruited. The PLC will also provide basic training before they are recruited into FLCs. An FLC member will carry forward the movement deep in the forest,” the officer explained.

“Increased police vigil in the four slums has curbed unlawful activities, but we cannot drop our guard. It’s been learned that Naxal outfits have made several attempts to involve children from these slums. We need to clamp down on such activities before it extends to other parts of the city,” the officer added.

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Nandigram:Help on lips, hunt on ground

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

An improvised explosive device and guns found in Sonachura on Tuesday. (Pradip Sanyal)

Nandigram, Nov. 13: Motorcycle-borne CPM cadres zipped around villages and torched and ransacked houses last night while their leaders promised help to hundreds of Bhoomi Uchchhed Pratirodh Committee members who have been rendered homeless.

A man was found dead with his throat slit on the bank of the Kalinagar canal in Marishda, 10km from Nandigram proper, this afternoon.

“We are trying to find out whether he was a victim of the recent violence,” said East Midnapore superintendent of police S.S. Panda.

The body was partly decomposed and the man could not be identified.

A Nandigram police officer called it the “CPM’s duplicity” as party leaders spoke of restoring peace at a victory rally in the town.

“Armed hunters” set seven houses on fire and ransacked about a dozen. Two Trinamul Congress offices were among those attacked.

Accompanied by two CRPF companies that marched into Garchakraberia and Sonachura, The Telegraph team saw four houses that were gutted last night.

Abdul Hamid had dissociated himself from the anti-acquisition movement after the government announced no land would be taken over in Nandigram. But his house was not spared.

“We were asleep when they broke in. They poured petrol all over and though I begged them to spare us, set the house afire and fled on motorcycles,” said Hamid’s wife Ruksana.

Sitting at the refugee camp in Nandigram High School, Hamid said: “I had supported the movement against land acquisition and held a meeting outside my house. They kept it in mind.”

He had fought to protect an acre and a half he owns, but whether the family “will ever be able to live in peace in Nandigram is uncertain” now.

A woman, Hamid’s neighbour at Garchakraberia, said: “Aamra CPM party te aachhi. Aaar kichhu jigesh korben na (We are in the CPM. Don’t ask us anything else).”

“Look what they have done,” she said, pointing at Hamid’s house before rushing back into her hut with her children.

CPM flags fluttered from every rooftop in the former Pratirodh Committee citadel.

Motorcycle gangs made several rounds of the village with revolvers and swords and burst bombs before the CRPF moved in. Several villagers were threatened with death for their reluctance to shift loyalties.

“The victory is not complete for them. They want to win over people at gunpoint,” a CRPF officer said.

CPM district secretariat member Ashok Guria yesterday said CPM and committee sympathisers would be treated alike — “BUPC leaders can return home and stay in peace”.

Today, he said: “I do not know whether houses were burnt last night. I have told party members to help restore peace.”

CPM cadres broke into a mud house in Adhikarypara last night and beat up the family members. The house was deserted today. The door was open and the belongings had been ransacked. A red flag was tied to a pole near the door.

A villager who left his wife and children at a relative’s house in Haldia and came back home yesterday thinking peace had indeed returned was also thrashed at night.

“They smashed a window and broke into my house. They asked me to leave the house at gunpoint,” he said today.


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Nandigram:Maoists call Jharkhand, Bihar bandh

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

PATNA: The outlawed CPI (Maoist) has called for Bihar and Jharkhand bandh on November 19 and 20 in protest against the Nandigram killings and in support of the “struggling” farmers who are threatened to be uprooted from their land. The 48-hour bandh has been called by Central Committee of the CPI (Maoist) andthe outfit’s Special Area Committees of West Bengal and Bihar-Jharkhand.

The outfit has alerted all its members, sub-committees, squads, militia and People Liberation Guerilla Army (PLGA) to ensure that the bandh is a success.

“The red flag bearing government of West Bengal has come out openly in support of the capitalists. It has started uprooting farmers and their families from the land to make room for industrialists,” said a statement issued by Bihar-Jharkhand special area committee secretary “Rakesh” and West Bengal state committee secretary “Somen”.

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Maoist leader Ranjit Pal on CBI list

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

Ranchi, Nov. 13: Ranjit Pal, the Maoist Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee accused of running arms training camps in Nandigram, figures on the CBI list of most wanted.

The 24-year-old from Bankura in Bengal joined the rebel ranks in the late 1990s. CBI is looking for him in connection with the killing of Jamshedpur MP Sunil Mahto in March. Maoists have denied involvement in Mahto’s murder, but Jharkhand police say Pal had pumped bullets into Mahto. “Pal is a senior member of the Bengal-Orissa-Jharkhand (BOJ) border area committee that oversees Maoist operations in parts of south Bengal (Bankura, Purulia and West Midnapore), Orissa (Mayurbhanj) and Jharkhand (East Singhbhum),” a senior Jharkhand police officer said.

The East Singhbhum police suspect that Maoists from their district frequent East and West Midnapore.

During a recent raid on Patamda and Ghatshila, they stumbled on at least six local train tickets from Ghatshila to Mecheda in East Midnapore.

A police officer admitted the possibility of “these Maoist cadre frequenting Nandigram”. There are buses to Nandigram from Mecheda.


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Nandigram: 3 with suspected Maoist links held

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

Nandigram (WB), Nov 14 (PTI) Three persons with suspected Maoist links were arrested at a place across a river flowing past Nandigram where the situation remained peaceful today with the CRPF patrolling the area West Bengal Home Secretary P R Roy told reporters in Kolkata that today three persons from Nandigram, who confessed to having received training from Maoists, were arrested from Sagar Island across Nandigram. Some Maoist literature was also seized from them.
Roy, who had said yesterday that no Maoist was arrested in Nandigram, today said the government has evidence of presence of Maoists in the area.

The Home Secretary said three arms and two land mines with detonators were seized by the CRPF from Nandigram.

He said the government has sent a report to the Centre on the situation in Nandigram where no fresh incident was reported.

The administration had submitted a report to Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi yesterday.

East Midnapore superintendent of police Satyeshwar Panda said the CRPF were patrolling the Nandigram-Tekhali Bridge and Nandigram-Sonachura areas which were ravaged by violence.

He said roads, which were dug up at 10-12 places, had been repaired on the Nandigram-Sonachura stretch. Dug up roads at Satengabari had also been repaired.

Ten camps by the CRPF and state police have been set up, he said, adding 100 more CRPF personnel were yet to arrive. PTI

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Nandigram:Maoist-style mines in resistance hub

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 16, 2007

A CRPF team on patrol in Sonachura. Picture by Pradip Sanyal

Nandigram, Nov. 13: The Central Reserve Police Force and local police today found four landmines in Sonachura and said they were the sort used by Jharkhand’s Maoists.

The central force also seized three rifles in the village — believed to have been the Opposition and Maoist hub — including a .303, a make of rifle used only by the police.

“Such explosives are used generally by Maoists in Jharkhand. Their recovery clearly indicates the presence of Maoists in the area… whether they operated from here or just trained people,” said CRPF deputy inspector-general Alok Raj, whose men spotted two of the mines on a mud road.

“We have told our personnel to move cautiously. I am sure there are many more mines planted in Sonachura. We have information that arms and ammunition are piled up in Nandigram and Khejuri.”

He added: “We are trying to find out how they got hold of a .303 rifle that is used only by the police. The other two were country-made guns.”

The central force, which raided homes in Nandigram villages without facing any resistance today and set up five camps, will tomorrow go to CPM stronghold Khejuri.

The CID’s bomb disposal squad defused the two mines. Later in the evening, the local police found two more. The rifles lay in an abandoned hut in Jellingham, about 20km from Nandigram town.

“The mines were deadly, capable of huge impact. Each had a detonator and a bomb tied to it with a long rope,” Raj said.

The CRPF held flag marches and patrolled several villages. Later, Raj led a company to Gokulnagar and Garchakraberia.

Gokulnagar had red flags everywhere. Hundreds of frightened people stepped out of their homes as the troops marched in. Raj stopped near a house where a group of people, huddled in the yard, saluted him. “Is this a CPM office?” he asked. “No sir,” came the reply.

“We are here to help you. Don’t fear anything, we will ensure your safety,” the officer said.

The CRPF set up camps at Nandigram College, Khodambari and the high schools at Gokulnagar, Sonachura and Rajaramchowk. It carried out raids at Sonachura, Gokulnagar, Adhikarypara and other villages.

“We will enter Khejuri tomorrow and set up two camps deep inside violence-hit areas,” an officer said.


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