Mamata sets Dec 2 deadline for return of land to farmers

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Singur, Nov 15 (UNI) Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today set a December 2 deadline for the West Bengal government to return of the 400 acres land to the unwilling farmers.

Addressing a public meeting at Singherberi on National Highway two, Ms Banerjee said, ''If the government fails to return the land by December 2, the unwilling farmers will take possession of their land forcibly and undertake cultivation of potatoes, cucumbers and open shops and stalls on their land.

''Further, the state government should issue global tenders in a transparent manner and invite industrialists to set up their units on the remaining 600 acres of land,'' she demanded.

She warned that no industrialist would be allowed to set up their factories at Singur unless the 400 acres was returned.

The Trinamool chief also took potshots at the Tata Group of Industries, saying the company had sacked 700 workers so far at its Tata Steel unit at Jamshedpur.

''The Tatas have been unable to give the salaries to their employees. The number of working days at its unit at Pune has been reduced to five while their unit at Andhra Pradesh has been shut down. Under such circumstances, how can they set up a new industry,'' she argued.

On the recent verdict of the Tapasi Malik murder case, she said, ''We are happy that at least two of the perpetrators have got the punishment they deserved. But many more of the guilty, belonging to the ruling party, escaped scot-free as they were sheilded by the state government.'' She came out in support of the ongoing agitation of the tribals at Lalgarh against the alleged police atrocities after the blast at Salboni on November 2.

''Any agitation of the people is being branded as Maoist rebellion. If such is the case, why is the state government not banning Maoists?,'' she questioned.

Ms Banerjee alleged that the UPA government at the Centre was silent on the atrocities being committed by the ruling CPI (M) in West Bengal.

The Trinamool chief announced a series of agitations against the misrule of the Left Front government by picketting police stations at Birbhum on December 1, West Midnapore on December 18 and North 24 Parganas on December 20.

She also announced to hold a public rally in Singur on December 2 to decide their further course of agitation.

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