Trinamool leaders attacked, Mamata demands government’s sack (Lead)

November 2nd, 2008 - 7:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Raj ThackerayKolkata, Nov 2 (IANS) Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee Sunday demanded West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee’s resignation and imposition of Article 356 in the state as Nano Banchao Committee (Save Nano Committee) members attacked her party workers in Singur.”The state government has no moral right to continue in office. The chief minister should resign. Or else, he should be dismissed for stifling the voice of the main opposition political party and Article 356 imposed in the state,” Banerjee told mediapersons here.

She said the state government had filed first information reports (FIRs) against her party workers in early September for laying siege to Tata Motors’ Nano plant site at Singur, about 40 km from here.

“But today their cadres are mercilessly beating up our workers and preventing them to attending my meeting. If they don’t allow us to hold our political meeting, what’s the difference between CPI-M (Communist Party of India-Marxist) and Maharashtra Navanirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray?” she asked.

Banerjee said: “If me and my party activists are hurt in the incident, the CPI-M, state Home Secretary Ashok Mohon Chakraborty and the entire administration would be held responsible.”

“I cannot sit at home when my workers are being beaten up there at the ground zero,” she said, claiming nearly 1,000 Trinamool Congress supporters including MPs and MLAs were injured but the party will not be cowed down by the violence.

Earlier, Banerjee announced that her party would hold public meeting at Singur Sunday to press demand for return to farmers their 400 acres acquired by the state government for the Nano car project.

Hundreds of Save Nano Committee members Sunday went on a rampage on the Durgapur Expressway and damaged vehicles carrying Trinamool Congress supporters to Banerjee’s rally near the abandoned Tata Motors small car project site at Singur.

The activists damaged the red beacon car of Trinamool leader Partha Chattopadhyay and also stopped the vehicle of other senior party leaders, including Mukul Roy and Madan Mitra, near Ratanpur area on the way to the rally site.

In the backlash, Trinamool supporters also ransacked a few shops and beat up rival CPI-M supporters, turning parts of Singur area into a battlefield.

“Our vehicles were attacked by the CPI-M-backed hooligans who were agitating under the banner of the Nano Bachao Committee. We declared our programme to hold a public meeting at Singur last week and got all required permissions from the district administration,” Trinamool Congress general secretary Mukul Roy said.

He said the CPI-M-supported “anti-social elements” pelted stones at the car of Chattopadhyay and completely damaged the vehicle.

Hooghly district police superintendent Rajiv Mishra confirmed the incident.

According to police officials, the Save Nano Committee activists blocked the Durgapur Expressway at several points, holding placards that read “Go Back Mamata Banerjee”.

They also waved black flags.

Roy said: “The police played a role of a mute spectator. They did nothing when the attack was launched on the Trinamool supporters.”

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