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Medha intercepted and packed off from Singur

Written by: Staff

Kolkata, Dec 4 (UNI) Social activist Medha Patekar was today intercepted by police and sent back for the second time in the past two days on her way to Singur in Hooghly district, where the Tata Motors' small car project is coming up.

Official sources said while traveling in an auto on her way to Singur, police barred the way of Ms. Patekar three km ahead of the proposed site and she was asked to go back.

The area is now under prohibitory orders under 144 CrPC following recurring incidents of agitation and violence involving a number of opposition parties, protesting against acquisition of farm land.

On December 2, Ms.Patekar rushed to Singur after protestors, largely comprising Naxalites and SUCI workers, clashed with police resulting in firing of rubber bullets and teargas shells. But police prevented the social activist from staying there and escorted her outside the area.

While three policemen sustained injuries in stone throwing, five protestors were injured in police lathicharge.

Earlier in the day today, Ms Patekar set out from Chandernagore where she had been on a sit-in in front of the local police station, and reached Bandel in a local train. She took an auto from there along with some of her companions to take a different route to Singur to evade police attention.

But the administration had already posted several police pickets on different routes to Singur and deployed a massive force in and around the proposed site to prevent any 'untoward incident' by outsiders.

Police said Saturday's incident was largely sparked off at the 'provocation' of a group of outsiders and very few local people were involved in it.

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

Protesting the 'attitude' of the Left Front Government and the 'police high handedness' in carrying out the land acquisition process, she said police had 'falsely implicated' poor villagers under stringent section 307.

She said while Left leaders extended support to her in Maharashtra against acquisition of land for industries, they were acting different in West Bengal.

Yesterday Ms Patekar wrote to state Chief Secretary Amit Kiran Deb demanding immediate withdrawal of police from Singur and release of all those arrested in connection with Saturday's violent incident.

She said she would also take up the matter with the National Human Rights Commission.


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