Special Correspondent

KOLKATA: The West Bengal government, plans to seek deployment of Central forces in the Nandigram area of the State’s Purbo Medinipur district if the situation deteriorates. Violence has claimed four lives and forced scores of people out of their homes since the elections on May 7.

Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee reviewed the situation in Nandigram with senior State and police officials here on Sunday. An all-party meeting was convened by the district administration at Tamluk, the district headquarters, to find ways to restore peace in the troubled area.

“The State government is concerned about the developments at Nandigram and will adopt all measures, including deployment of Central forces, if the situation deteriorates,” Chief Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakraborty said.

Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi expressed distress at reports of election-related violence in certain constituencies that have “come as a matter of the greatest regret.”

“I urge contestants and their supporters to neither provoke violence, nor respond to such provocation by counter-violence, ” Mr. Gandhi said in a statement.

Fresh tension

There was fresh tension in Nandigram following the recovery of the body of a man from the Haldi river. The police are ascertaining whether the deceased is a victim of the on-going violence. Local leaders of the CPI(Marxist) said some of their supporters were missing.

Two persons, said to be CPI (M) supporters, were killed allegedly by Trinamool Congress activists in the Nandigram area on Saturday. Earlier, two persons including a child, were killed in post-poll violence there.

Local leaders of various parties reportedly assured the district administration of their cooperation in restoring peace in the area.

“They were all supportive of the need for peace to return and acknowledged that they will have to come forward and ask for restraint among their supporters so that people are not terrorised and forced to leave their homes,” District Magistrate Chhoten D. Lama said.