“Trinamool Government will not acquire land forcibly”
Four weeks after more than thirty people including six villagers were injured at Loba village in the Dubrajpur area of the State’s Birbhum district over land acquisition issue, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee visited the area on Tuesday and assured the villagers that the Trinamool Congress government will not acquire their land forcibly.
“Be assured. You can sleep in peace. No one is going to take your land forcibly,” Ms Banerjee told the villagers. Ms Banerjee made a sudden deviation in her ongoing tour of Bankura and Purulia to visit the village.
Violence erupted at Loba village on November 6, when a huge contingent of police tried to take possession of heavy earth-moving equipments of DVC-EMTA Coal Mines Pvt Ltd, which the villagers had seized in December 2011. There was a dispute between the villagers and the company over the compensation offered for the land, which the company was trying to acquire for an opencast mining project.
Referring to the protests against forcible land acquisition, which she had led at Singur and Nandigram, Ms Banerjee, said that unlike the previous Left front government her government will not forcibly occupy land.
“Do you trust me ? I always keep my word. I can sacrifice my life for it,” she said, adding that the State government will award a compensation of Rs 25,000 to each of the six villagers injured in the violence.
Ms Banerjee urged the villagers not to allow land-agents to trade off their land adding that if they want to sell their land they should directly talk to the company. She said that the problem of land acquisition in the area started in 2009 during the previous government.
“What happened that day ( November 6) was a mistake,” she said, adding that all the police officers responsible for the incident have been removed.
“Though we are waiting for the Centre to finalise its policy on land acquisition, we have decided in-principle that there will be no forcible land acquisition in the State,” Ms Banerjee said.
Addressing a public gathering in the State’s Bankura district earlier during the day, she pledged to provide basic amenities like drinking water, schools and health facilities to the people.
Ms Banerjee inaugurated a piped-water supply project that will benefit 14 drought -prone blocks of the district.