Now a pro-Nano sit-in at abandoned Singur site

October 10th, 2008 - 8:53 pm ICT by IANS  

Kolkata, Oct 10 (IANS) Hundreds of Nano supporters Friday began an indefinite ’satyagraha’ (sit-in) in front of the Nano small car plant in Singur, recently abandoned by automobile major Tata Motors following protests by the opposition. The new agitationists are demanding that the factory once again start operations in West Bengal.”We all want the project to come up at Singur. We had been building hopes for the past two years and could never imagine Tata would backtrack from its own stand to set up the small car unit in the state,” Susanta Ghosh, one of the contract labourers involved in the Tata Motors project, told IANS.

“Though I am not a direct member of any (pro-Nano) syndicate, but I support their stand. Some of my family members are already associated with the forum and they’ve also joined the agitation from today,” he said.

About 300 members of 22 different syndicates have formed the Nano Bachao Committee (Save Nano Committee) to bring back the small car project at Singur, about 40 km off Kolkata.

The committee is an apolitical platform for the common people of Singur, syndicate members, people who had given their land willingly for the project and people who were trained to get jobs in the factory.

“The committee is collecting signatures in and around Singur village. A team will meet Governor Gopalkrishna Gandhi at his residence Monday,” said Ghosh, who will also accompany the team.

Tata Motors on Oct 3 announced it was pulling out its Nano project from the troubled Singur region and blamed the principal opposition Trinamool Congress for the “regretful” decision.

The auto major’s decision came 32 days after it decided to suspend operations in the Singur factory fearing for security of its employees who were manhandled and threatened by Trinamool Congress-led protesters, demanding the return of 400 acres out of the total 997.11 acres taken for the project.

Since its inception in May 2006, the project to roll out the Rs.100,000 ($2,250) car encountered resistance from the Trinamool Congress-led farmers, protesting the “illegal” acquisition of farmland.

Tata Motors has relocated its Nano plant to Sanand, near Ahmedabad, in Gujarat.

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