Midnapore, Nov 18 (UNI) Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee today wholeheartedly supported the present tribal movement in West Midnapore.
''Their long standing demand for development is justified. The Jhargram Development Board earlier and the present Paschimanchal Unnayan Parishad under the leadership of Mr Susanta Ghosh have never tried for any development of the tribals since Independence.
Most of the tribals still live on ants for there daily meals,'' she lamented.
''Instead of correcting their administrative failure, the party and the state government have engaged police in torturing the hapless tribals by charging them as Maoists,'' she said.
''Not all tribal are Maoists. But police acting as the agents of the CPI(M) have been torturing the tribal women, especially by forcefully entering their villages. I do not like the attack on the convoy of the Chief Minister, but the at the same time I do protest against the merciless beating of tribal women leading to the present stalemate,'' she iterated.
Meanwhile, the Jhargram administration took steps today to remove road blockades on the state highway at Kalaboni by using pay loaders. Thus the Jhargram-Kolkata link via NH 6 was cleared this evening.
Earlier, local people working in Jhargram Paper mill and Kanchan Oil mill approached the SDO, Jhargram, to remove the road blockade as this had stopped movement of raw materials in their factories bringing production to a halt for the past seven days and laying off 700 workers.
But the road blockade at Lalgarh still continued and it extended to more areas in Belpahari where about 5000 tribals in a big procession were raising slogans ''We will go the Lalgarh way''.
UNI XC SJC SLD CS1844