Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Protests in Singur and Nandigram


Tata project
Chinsurah: The Hooghly district administration has deployed 550 policemen at the Tata small-car project area in Singur following a tip-off that farmers and Maoists might carry out a strike at the project site.


Bomb message to Tata workers
Singur, July 28: Crude bombs exploded tonight at Singur railway station and a lodge occupied by workers employed at the Tata Motors project site.
The bomb at the station went off around 10pm on platform one. Minutes later, two bombs were hurled at Mainak Lodge near the station.
One exploded on the rear side of the lodge but did not cause any injuries. The other was thrown at the front gate but did not explode.
Local people and the lodge occupants informed Singur police station, about 100 metres from the spot.
The officer-in-charge, Priyobrata Bakshi, visited the spot and defused the unexploded bomb.
The police said the bombs were thrown with the intention of scaring the workers in the lodge into leaving Singur.
“We suspect that the bombs were thrown to scare those people away, but we cannot confirm this until the investigation is over,” a senior police officer said.
Yesterday, the Trinamul Congress-backed Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee had said that those who worked at the small-car plant site would face dire consequences if they did not leave.
Committee convener Becharam Manna said: “We will not allow outsiders to work at the Tata Motors project site till the government returns the land forcibly taken from farmers.”
This morning, committee activists stopped a trekker carrying workers to a vendor park at the factory site. “The activists slapped some of the workers and ordered them to leave,” Bakshi said.
Many workers fled after the incident, and the vendor park saw 40 per cent less attendance today. But work at the main small-car plant was not affected.
After tonight’s blasts, the owner of Mainak Lodge, Gopal Hazra, said: “Four men who were staying in my lodge left after the blasts. They were working at the Tata project site.”
Trinamul chief Mamata Banerjee has said she would defer her Singur blockade on August 20 because of a strike called by Left trade unions. She had announced an indefinite dharna.


Nandigram trouble
Tamluk, July 28: Trinamul Congress and CPM supporters allegedly hurled bombs and fired at each other in Nandigram tonight.
The exchange of fire began around 7.30pm at Sherkhanchowk in Khejuri, about 165 km from Calcutta.
Police said trouble started when CPM supporters hurled bombs targeting a Trinamul procession near Sherkhanchowk. The firing continued till late tonight, though the police claimed the situation was under control.
Trinamul district president and Egra MLA Sisir Adhikari said: “The CPM has again started its recapturing spree and that’s why they attacked our procession.”
The CPM has denied the charge, saying Trinamul supporters attacked first.