Mamata awaits decision to fulfil commitment to Singur farmers



Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee said Tuesday her government was awaiting the court verdict to fulfil the commitment made to farmers who parted unwillingly with their land at Singur.

"Since the matter is subjudice, we are waiting for a decision to fulfil our commitment to the unwilling farmers/labourers and that is why the government has been able to resume the land (at Singur) so that it is returned to them," Banerjee said in a post in Facebook.

The chief minister said her government had kept its promise and introduced a new land policy which prohibited forcible acquisition of land.

She said the Jami Bachao (Save Land) movement had earned recognition in the country "and it has been established that forcible acquisition of land from the unwilling farmers is unethical."

She said Trinamool Congress leaders were in Singur and that she addressed them over her mobile phone.

"We must remember the days of sufferings and share it together. We reassure them of our commitment and we still stand by it.

"To me, 25th September every year reminds us of the pain and sufferings afflicted on the poor agricultural farmers at Singur. On 25th September, 2006, the oppression of the previous Left Front Government on the poor agricultural farmers and landless labourers reached the stage of utmost brutality," she said.

Stating that often the spirit of determination stemmed from pain and suffering, she recalled the happenings of this day in 2006 when she had rushed to Singur and participated in a peaceful demonstration at the BDO Office.

"I cannot forget the inexplicable and barbarous torture meted out to all of us on that day ... I myself was a victim and hospitalized," she said.

She said Raj Kumar Bhul, the son of a poor farmer, was also hospitalized and died the next day. "This loss to the parents can never be compensated. However, we have extended assistance to the family of the victim."

She said the state government arranged for payment of Rs 2000 and 16 kg of rice @ Rs 2 per kg per month for land-losers and agricultural labourers.

PTI