Sougata Mukhopadhyay, CNN-IBN, Posted Wednesday, March 14, 2007 at 22:54
VIOLENCE SRIKES: The question that remains unanswered is what led the government to precipitate the clash.
Nandigram: At least 11 people were dead in clashes on Wednesday between villagers and police in Nandigram. The Rajya Sabha was forced to adjourn over it and the Home ministry is investigating the incident.
The administration however, was once again taken by surprise by the resistance offered after a gap of three months.
When police contingents tried to enter Nandigram, villagers resisted and reportedly started pelting stones and hurling crude bombs. And police started firing in retaliation.
“The police faced heavy brick bating. When it stopped bombs were hurled. Villagers even fired at the police and this forced the police to fire in retaliation,” says chairman, Left Front, Biman Bose.
The West Bengal government has not made an official statement on the incident but the Left has made it clear that no land is being acquired in Nandigram.
Five gram panchayats in Block I of Nandigram have been out of bounds for the administration for the past two-and-a-half months.
The government says land-acquisition cannot become a pretext to cut off Nandigram from the rest of the state.
But then violence seems to be the only possible outcome every time the state uses force and the police instead of getting into a dialogue with the villagers.
The Trinamool Congress has called a 12-hour bandh on Friday protesting Wednesday s incident, forcing board examinations in the state to be rescheduled.
The question that remains unanswered is what led the government to precipitate the clash. Was it another administrative blunder and how much would it cost?
The answer to the question may be found in about a year when panchayat elections take place in Bengal.
(With inputs from Aniruddha Maitra)