Return “forcibly” acquired land, demands Mamata
SINGUR (WEST BENGAL): Vehicles, motorcycles and cycles were set ablaze as Trinamool Congress supporters and members of the Singur Nano Bachao (Save Nano) Committee (SNBC) clashed with sticks, iron rods and bricks here on Sunday.
Police burst tear-gas shells to disperse the protesters.
The violence broke out when SNBC members put up road blockades at Ghanashyampur, 3 km from the site where Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee held a rally in support of her demand for the return of a portion of land acquired for the Tata Motors Nano project.
The situation turned volatile as Trinamool supporters started congregating for the rally.
Leader of the Opposition and senior Trinamool leader Partha Chatterjee was assaulted by the SNBC members and the window-screen of his car smashed as he tried to reach the rally site bypassing the road block.
“It is a case of total negligence by the State administration as well as the police who could not provide security to an Opposition leader, even though I had informed the Home Secretary Ashok Mohan Chakroborty of my visit to Singur,” Mr. Chatterjee said.
Trinamool supporters set on fire the office of a syndicate comprising members of the SNBC, who had supplied building material when the Nano project was being constructed.
The photographer of The Hindu was assaulted by the Trinamool supporters as he was taking photographs of the burning vehicles. This correspondent was threatened.
Addressing the rally, Ms. Banerjee reiterated her demand for the return of the 400 acres allegedly acquired forcibly from farmers for the project.
“The State government did everything to ensure that I cannot hold the meeting here. We have proved we can,” she said.
She announced that protest meetings and rallies would be organised across the State for the next two days.
Ms. Banerjee blamed the State government for Tata Motors’ exit.
“Had the State government acted according to the agreement reached on September 7 before Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi, both the project and agriculture could have flourished here.”Related storiesTatas choose Gujarat as new home for NanoTatas pull out of Singur A battle has been lost, but not the war: Buddhadeb Singur observes bandh Buddhadeb voices concern over future of industrialisation