Even as the representatives of the villagers agitating at Loba village in the Dubrajpur area of West Bengal’s Birbhum district said here on Friday that they were not against the Trinamool Congress government, they refuted its claim that “outsiders” were involved in the violence there on November 6.
The representatives also refuted the State government’s contention that the police did not fire on the villagers that day .
The villagers are demanding proper compensation for their land acquired for a mining project.
Their delegation , led by Party for Democratic Secularism (PDS) leader Samir Putatunda, met West Bengal Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee at the State Assembly and submitted a charter of demands.
“The villagers feel that there can be no justification for the police firing on the agitators there on Tuesday,” Mr. Putatunda told journalists.
The claim that outsiders were involved in the violence on Tuesday was an instance of “false campaign” against the villagers, said Joydeep Majumdar, the secretary of Krishi Jami Rakha Committee (Save Farmland Committee) formed by the villagers. “Farmers from 11 villages in the area, whose land will be taken away for the mining project, are part of the agitation. It is a struggle for our existence,” he added. Mr. Chatterjee blamed the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a section of Congress for the violence at the village.
The violence was sparked by the arrival of a large contingent of police to retrieve an earth moving equipment of DVC Emta Coal Mines Ltd. that was seized by the villagers in December 2011.
Committee members demanded compensation for the injured , and called for action against the police officers responsible for the incident.
The villagers also demanded a judicial inquiry into the incident, but said that since the State government had ordered an administrative inquiry into the incident they were ready to give them some time .
When asked by journalists if they would release the equipment, the villagers said they would not till the dispute was sorted out.