Thursday, February 28, 2008

Singur timeline (with corroborative media articles)

Singur timeline (with corroborative media articles)

Prepared by the Citizens’ Initiative ( and ,

This timeline can be found online at

May 18, 2006: The seventh Left Front government is sworn in. Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya and Ratan Tata announces that Tata Motors will set up a small-car factory in Singur, Hooghly.[i]

May 25, 2006: Villagers show their unwillingness to give up the land when a team from Tata motors comes to inspect the land.[ii]

May 30, 2006: Nirupam Sen, commerce and industries minister, is greeted in Singur with black flags by members of the Krishi Jomi Rokkha Committee (or the Save Farmland Committee).[iii]

June1, 2006: About 3,000 villagers (under the banner of the Krishi Jomi Rokkha Committee) protest in front of the Singur Block Development Officer.[iv]

July 17, 2006: West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation (WBIDC) submits its proposals for acquisition of land for the Tata project to the Hooghly District Magistrate, Vinod Kumar.[v]

July 20, 2006: Publication of notifications under Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act, 1894 for acquisition of a total of 997.11 acres of land spread across five ‘mouzas’ in Singur.[vi]

August 7, 2006: About 5,000 villagers protest in front of the Gopalnagar gram panchayat office against land acquisition in Singur.[vii]

August 22, 2006: About 5,000 villagers protest in front of the Singur Block Development Office.[viii]

August 28, 2006: Land acquisition in Singur is challenged in the Kolkata High Court.[ix]

September 1, 2006: More than 100 villagers from Santoshimatola in Singur prevent officials from entering their villages to serve notice to acquire land.[x]

September 25, 2006: The first lot of compensation cheques begin to be handed out from the Singur Block Development Office. About 10,000 people protest against land acquisition while about 256 of the 354 people to be awarded compensation got their cheques. Mamata Banerjee joins the protests. Protest forcefully quelled down by the police.[xi]

September 26, 2006: Section 144 of the Criminal Procedure Code imposed in Singur making it illegal for five or more persons to assemble together.[xii]

September 28, 2006: Rajkumar Vul (aged 24) of Gopalnagar Madhyapara village becomes the first person to die in the Singur protest.[xiii]

October 9, 2006: Trinamul Congress carries out a 12-hour strike in West Bengal to protest against the incidents of September 25 and against land acquisition in Singur in general. The strike is supported by some other political parties like the Congress.

October 16, 2006: Water-pumping station in Madhyapara, Singur destroyed allegedly by CPI(M) cadres to prevent irrigation and render lands unsuitable for farming.[xiv]

October 23, 2006: Water-pumping station in Kolepara, Singur destroyed allegedly by CPI(M) cadres.[xv]

October 27, 2006: Medha Patkar protests against land acquisition and addresses a rally in Bajmelia, Singur.[xvi]

November 17, 2006: Mamata Banerjee holds a rally in Kolkata which marches to Singur over the next three days.[xvii]

November 19, 2006: More than 7,000 people hold a rally in Bajmelia, Singur. More than 800 police personnel deployed in Singur.[xviii]

November 30, 2006: Mamata Banerjee prevented by police and CPI(M) cadres from going to Singur. Violence spreads across the state.[xix] Section 144 imposed again.

December 1, 2006: Trinamul Congress carries out a 12-hour bandh. Fencing begins at the Tata factory site.[xx]

December 2, 2006: Police and CPI(M) cadres terrorise villagers in Singur burning their houses and mercilessly beating up those opposing land acquisition.[xxi]

December 4, 2006: Mamata Banerjee goes on a hunger strike in front of Metro Cinema at Esplanade, Kolkata.[xxii]

December 10, 2006: Fourteen women go on a hunger strike in Beraberi Purbapara, Singur to protest against police atrocities and land acquisition.[xxiii]

December 18, 2006: Tapasi Malik, an eighteen year old girl, protesting against land acquisition, is raped and burnt within the Tata factory premises.[xxiv]

December 28, 2006: Krishi Jomi Rokkha Committee holds a rally of about 3,000 people in Bajmelia, Singur.[xxv]

December 28, 2006: Tinkari (aged 55) and Maya Dey (aged 50), a couple who had collected their compensation cheque is found murdered. [xxvi]

December 28, 2006: Mamata Banerjee ends her twenty-five-day fast.[xxvii]

January 3, 2007: Activists point out constant disparities in official figures of the number of farmers who have given up the land voluntarily.[xxviii]

January 7, 2007: Farmers protest saying that the government has stopped releasing water from 30 deep and the mini tube-wells which fall inside the fenced-off area.[xxix]

January 15, 2007: Villagers protest in front of visiting Tata officials.[xxx]

January 16, 2007: Villagers of Sahanapara, Singur uproot about 30 pillars from the Tata-factory fence.[xxxi]

January 17, 2007: The CBI starts investigations after the government is forced to request a CBI probe into the murder of Tapasi Malik.[xxxii]

January 19, 2007: Astu Malik (aged 48), Tapasi Mailk’s uncle is found dead.[xxxiii]

January 21, 2007: Construction begins ceremonially at the Tata small-car factory site.[xxxiv]

January 24, 2007: The fence around the factory site is partially set ablaze.[xxxv]

January 24, 25 and 28, 2007: Non-partisan citizens voice their protest against forcible land acquisition and State atrocities.[xxxvi]

February 4, 2007: At least 35 injured as police come down on protesting villagers. Social activist Anuradha Talwar is arrested.[xxxvii]

February 5, 2007: More clashes between police and protesters near Kamarkundu railway station.[xxxviii]

February 9, 2007: Farmers dig up a stretch of the Bajemelia-Beraberi road in an attempt to prevent police from entering the village.[xxxix]

February 14, 2007: Kolkata High Court quashes the government’s latest issue of the prohibitory order under section 144 on Febryary 4, 2007. Section 144 is removed from Singur for the first time since November 30, 2006.[xl] The High Court though terms the land acquisition as “valid and in accordance with law”.

February 25, 2007: Villagers from beriberi Purbapara try to re-claim their land but they are thwarted by the huge police force.[xli]

March 2, 2007: Villagers from Khasherbheri dig up a portion of the road leading to Beraberi Ujjwal Sangha to prevent police from entering the area.[xlii]

March 9, 2007: The state government leases about 997 acres of land in Singur to the Tatas for 90 years.[xliii]

March 12, 2007: Haradhan Bagh, a 62-year-old farmer, commits sucidide in Singur as his land was forcibly taken away.[xliv]

March 16, 2007: Agitating farmers demolished a portion of the boundary wall in Sanapara, Singur.[xlv]

March 18, 2007: Explosives blow off part of the boundary wall as 1,000 police personnel keep guard.[xlvi]

April 2, 2007: Four security guards at the Tata factory site, Dilip Ghosh, Nimai Karmakar, Kashinath Ghosh and Janmenjoy Ghosh, are attacked.[xlvii]

May 20, 2007: At least sixty villagers injured while trying to re-claim their land in Singur.[xlviii]

May 23, 2007: Fencing-off the Tata factory site creates water-logging elsewhere as well.[xlix]

May 25, 2007: Proshanto Das (aged 45), a farmer from Khasherbheri, commits suicide as he has lost his land.[l]

May 27, 2007: By-elections for two panchayat seats take place in Singur.[li]

May 27, 2007: A medical study says that of the 1,000 farmers in Singur whom they studied, about 40 have become suicidal as their land has been taken away.[lii]

June 13, 2007: About 500 farmers try to storm the factory wall.[liii]

June 18, 2007: Living and Livelihood with Human Dignity (LALHUD), a voluntary organisation finds that over 90% of the villagers whose land had been forcibly acquired are severely traumatised.[liv]

June 21, 2007: CBI arrests Debu Malik for murdering Tapasi Malik.[lv]

June 28, 2007: CBI arrests CPI(M) Hooghly district committee member Suhrid Dutta for planning and carrying out Tapasi Malik’s murder.[lvi]

July 2, 2007: Shankar Das, a 42-year-old agricultural labourer, dies of starvation after losing his job because of the Tata factory.[lvii]

July 15, 2007: After being prevented from taking out a rally near the factory site, farmers set fire to a police camp in Bosepukur near Bajmelia.[lviii]

July 19, 2007: Clashes between police and about 200 farmers as farmers try to re-claim land forcibly taken away from them.[lix]

August 10, 2007: Women hold protests in front of Tata officials near Koleypara.[lx]

August 19, 2007: About 300 villagers storm the factory wall but they are quelled down by the police.[lxi]

August 31, 2007: About 100 farmers protest during the visit of Ravi Kant, the managing Director of Tata Motors, to Singur.[lxii]

September 15, 2007: CBI charge-sheets Suhrid Dutta and Debu Malik for the murder of Tapasi Malik.[lxiii]

September 22, 2007: Srikanta Shee (aged 40), a landless farm-hand from Sahanapur, Singur commits suicide.[lxiv]

October 19, 2007: About 200 farmers from Beraberi Purbapara clash with police as they try to storm the boundary wall.[lxv]

November 5, 2007: State government sanctions Rs 7.78 crore to improve drainage within the Tata factory site.[lxvi] Neighbouring villagers fear more flooding.

November 25, 2007: More than 1,500 villagers hold a rally in Singur.[lxvii]

December 17, 2007: Shankar Patra (aged 50), a non-recorded sharecropper from Singur, commits suicide.[lxviii]

January 7, 2008: The CPI(M) is voted out of the management of a Singur school.[lxix]

January 10, 2008: Ratan Tata unveils the Tata Nano, the one-lakh car, in New Delhi.[lxx]

January 19, 2008: Kolkata High Court dismisses allegations of improper and illegal acquisition of 997 acres at Singur.[lxxi] Doctors fear the verdict will make even more of the affected people suicidal.

February 8, 2008: Farmers of Singur block Durgapur expressway to voice their protests.[lxxii]

February 10, 2008: Kalipada Majhi (aged 45), a non-recorded sharecropper who lost his livelihood because of the Tata project, dies starvation and associated health problems.[lxxiii]

February 25, 2008: Agitated farmers attack the car of the Singur Block Development Officer.[lxxiv]

April 3, 2008: Two construction labourers, Shyamsundar Bhattacharya (aged 42) and Manik Pal (aged 24), die after falling from the roof of a building under construction in the Tata Mators plant.[lxxv]

April 9, 2008: About 50 farmers wave black flags as Swraj Paul and other delegates from the Commonwealth Parliamentary association visit the Tata Nano plant. Police used to chase away the farmers. Swraj Paul denies seeing any resistance to the Tata project.[lxxvi]

May 10, 2008: Buddhadeb Bhattacharya addresses a rally in Singur ahead of the panchayat polls.[lxxvii]

May 13, 2008: Panchayat polls in Singur.[lxxviii]

May 21, 2008: The ruling CPI(M) party loses all seats in the panchayat polls in Singur.[lxxix]

May 22, 2008: The state directorate of employment says that Tata Motors has not notified any vacancy to any of the employment exchanges in Hooghly district so far thus bursting the Chief Minister’s claim that the Tata Motors factory will provide employment to the local population.[lxxx]

May 22, 2008: After winning the local elections, SKJRC members ask construction works to stay away from work and then later chase away labourers.[lxxxi]

May 25, 2008: Hours before Mamata Banerjee addresses a victory rally in Singur, some farmers burn down a watchtower outside the Tata Motors factory triggering strong reactions from the police. Mamata urges her supporters to stay away from violence.[lxxxii]

May 26, 2008: Mamata says the government must return the 400 acres of land acquired without consent from the owners.[lxxxiii]

June 14, 2008: Addressing a rally in Joymollahh, Singur, Mamata says she will picket outside the Tata Motors factory from August 20th if the 400 acres of land acquired without consent are not returned.[lxxxiv]

June 27, 2008: Almost 200 famers break down a portion of the boundary wall as a sign of protest as Ravi Kant, the MD of Tata Motors comes to inspect the site.[lxxxv]

July 3, 2008: About 500 people who had been hired by Tata Motors have not been paid for several months and have now been released for work. A large number of them being CPI(M) supporters, the CPI(M) joins the protest to secure permanent employment for them and see to it that the salaries due are paid.[lxxxvi]

July 28, 2008: Crude bombs hurled by farmers protesting against the factory in Singur railway station and at Mainak Lodge, a guest house where workers of the Tata Motors plant were staying. Workers coming to the Tata Motors factory stopped and beaten up by SKJRC members.[lxxxvii]

July 29, 2008: Manish Khatua, an employee of Shapoorji Pallonji working at the Tata Motors factory, beaten up by SKJRC members.[lxxxviii]

August 1, 2008: A group of farmers force their way into the small car project site from Khasherbheri side and allegedly beat up several workers and seven security guards. In another incident, some construction workers and two policemen were allegedly beaten up by some supporters of SKJRC on Durgapur Expressway near the project site last night. The attack took place when some policemen were escorting the workers to Singur railway station. [lxxxix]

August 2, 2008: More than 300 CPI(M) supporters took out a procession from Sahanapara at Singur this afternoon in protest against the alleged TMC sponsored attack on labourers working on the Nano project.[xc]

August 3, 2008: SKJRC held a meeting in front of Singur railway station this afternoon, which was attended by more than 5,000 local people.[xci] TMC decides to set up camps for an indefinite period from 24 August all along the 4 km-long stretch on the highway in front of the TATA plant to press its demand for return of 400 acres of land acquired forcibly from farmers.[xcii]

August 10, 2008: More than 1,000 Congress workers take out a procession from Khasherbheri in protest against the way in which the agricultural land was acquired for the Singur small car factory project. DYFI, the youth wing of the CPI(M), organised a rally at Singur today in protest against the TMC’s attempt to disrupt work.[xciii]

August 20, 2008: The meeting today between the state government and the TMC and its allies spearheading the agitation against the TATA Motors small car project at Singur predictably ended inconclusively, with both sides sticking to their stated positions.[xciv]

August 21, 2008: More than 2,000 Congress workers take out a procession. After being chased away by policemen, Congress workers sat on Durgapur Expressway and blocked the road for three hours that led to heavy traffic jam.[xcv]

August 22, 2008: Ratan Tata says that the Nano project may be moved outside Singur if disturbances continue.[xcvi]

August 24, 2008: Day 1 of Mamata’s camp in Singur.[xcvii] National Highway 2 closed.[xcviii]

August 28, 2008: Workers inside the TATA factory detained for several hours.[xcix]

August 29, 2008: Work suspended inside the TATA factory.[c]

September 3, 2008: Sushil Santra from Joymolla, aged 55, who had happily given his land for the TATA project and whose three sons had found work in the project, drank pesticide and died this morning in his house 100 metres away from the factory.[ci] Clashes between TMC supporters and a section of farmers who have given their land voluntarily for the TATA project.[cii]

September 5-7, 2008: Talk between the TMC and the state government with the governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi acting as a mediator. The governor reads out a statement saying that the government will provide as much land as possible to those land owners who have not collected compensation.[ciii]


feddabonn said...

really good job, building a timeline like this, WITH newspaper corroboration! will keep coming here, keep up the good work!