Thursday, May 24, 2007

Rains not quite good for Tata

Statesman News Service
KOLKATA, May 23: While elsewhere in the state the rains have proved a blessing from the heat in Singur they have been a curse.
The three recent attacks by farmers on the boundary wall of the Tata project site were made during heavy downpours when policemen were running for cover and were therefore caught unaware.
Inspector general of police (Law and Order) Mr Raj Kanojia told The Statesman: “There is a direct relationship between the attacks and the rains in the Singur project site.”
The last attack took place on the evening of 21 May while it was raining. The attack on the afternoon of 8 May also happened during a heavy downpour, as did the first attack in the week before that.
However, Mr Kanojia said steps have been taken to remedy this.
“Several camps have been posted along the boundary walls recently to provide shelters to the policemen during the rains. Movement of people around the project site can be monitored from the camps during rain.”
In addition a police vehicle has been stationed near a club in Bajemelia village, which is where the attacks were triggered. Police will take shelter in the vehicle when it rains and will monitor the movement of the people, Mr Kanojia said.
Mr Priyabrata Baxi, officer-in-charge at Singur police station, said: “We have set up 32 makeshift camps along the 15 kilometre boundary wall for the policemen to take shelter during the rains.
Because they are close to the boundary walls officers will be able to keep a constant watch. More camps will be set up if needed.”
The police have also learnt that farmers spearheading the movement in Singur are preparing for a fresh attack and are waiting for more rain to hit the area.
“We have so far been able to thwart their attempts. We don’t want rain to avert fresh trouble,” Mr Baxi said.
The senior police officers have instructed junior colleagues not to go far from the boundary walls during rain. “Officers have been asked to stay careful and alert when rains begin,” Mr Baxi said.