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Day-long drama in Bengal over Singur land acquisition issue

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Dec 4 (UNI) On an eventful day over the Singur issue, BJP president Rajnath Singh was arrested and social activist Medha Patkar detained en route to the Tata Motors' small car site, while Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee began an indefinite hunger strike even as Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee offered talks with the Opposition.

In the running sequels to the confrontation between the Government and the Opposition over setting up of industry on farm land alleged Naxalites smashed the window panes of Lexus Motors showroom in the city.

Mr Singh along with top party leaders in the state was arrested after he was stopped by police at Maitipara, 25 km ahead of Singur, where prohibitory orders under Section 144 Cr pc were in force.

They were, however, immediately freed on bail, Superintendent of Police Supratim Sarkar said.

Mr Singh, being accompanied by BJP state president Sukumar Banerjee and general secretary Rahul Sinha, was heading for Singur in Hooghly district where protestors to acquisition of farm land clashed with police on Saturday last giving rise a widespread uproar.

Earlier, social activist Medha Patkar was intercepted by police and sent back for the second time in the past two days on her way to Singur where fencing of the acquired land was going on.

Mr Sarkar, while travelling in an auto on her way to Singur, said police barred the way of Ms Patkar three km ahead of the proposed site and she was asked to go back.

Ms Patkar, opposing acquisition of agricultural land for setting up industries in the state, yesterday declared her programme for a visit to Singur to ''test whether democracy is alive'' in West Bengal.

Meanwhile, demanding that the Government stop the land acquisition and atrocities on protestors, Ms Banerjee began an indefinite hunger strike in the city's Esplanade area, sharing dais with Mr Singh.


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