Mamata fights for Kolkata farmers’ land

November 13th, 2010 - 10:23 pm ICT by IANS  

Mamata Banerjee Kolkata, Nov 13 (IANS) After Singur and Nandigram, Rajarhat on the northeastern fringes of the city could turn into a new political flash point on land acquisition in West Bengal with main opposition Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee Saturday threatening legal steps if 10 percent developed land was not returned to farmers.

The state government arm Housing and Industrial Development Corporation (HIDCO) has acquired large tracts of land in the Rajarhat-Newtown area to set up a satellite township christened Jyoti Basu Nagari.

Banerjee, who had spearheaded the land acquisition protests at Singur and Nandigram earlier, took out a large rally Saturday that traversed some areas of Rajarhat.

She alleged that to develop the area into an industrial town, the state government has forcibly taken away 25,000 acre agricultural land from the farmers, most of whom were religious minorities and backward classes.

“They were not paid any compensation for the land. Till now 200 farmers, whose land was forcibly taken away, have not received any payment,” she said.

“We demand that after developing the area, 10 percent of the land should be returned to the farmers at the earliest. Otherwise we will take all legal steps,” said Banerjee while addressing the rally.

She said: “I have no objection against the IT hub that has come up in the area. We would have not opposed if an educational centre, cultural centre or art centre had been developed here. But we find that the communists are only promoting business.”

“So far we have received 1.31 lakh complaints from the farmers, whose land has been taken at gun point,” said Banerjee.

She also placed a mound of files on the dais and said: “I have not come here only to deliver speeches, I have come here with trunks full of documents.”

Without taking names, she threatened Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leaders that her party will not let them go scot free for acquiring agricultural land forcibly in the name of industrialisation.

“After we come to power, we will initiate a thorough inquiry into every matter and none of them will be spared,” she said.

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