Cases against Singur, Nandigram protestors to be withdrawn

Kolkata, Jan 31 (IANS) The Mamata Banerjee government in West Bengal Friday announced withdrawal of cases filed by its predecessor Left Front against anti-land acquisition agitators in Nandigram and Singur, which had played major roles in bringing the political change in the state.

The state cabinet, which met during the day, decided to withdraw cases against 302 people in Nandigram of East Midanpore district and Singur of Hooghly district, said Panchayat Minister Subrata Mukherjee.
Among the beneficiaries of the government decision is a current minister Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who holds the statistics and programme implementation portfolio.
Addressing a rally here Thursday, Banerjee Thursday had flayed the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) for giving a clean chit to the erstwhile Left government in the Nandigram police firing case which had claimed 14 lives in 2007.
In East Midnapore’s Nandigram, about 125 km from Kolkata, the LF regime’s plans to acquire 10,000 acres of land for a special economic zone (SEZ) triggered violent agitation spearheaded by Banerjee’s Trinamool Congress.
Singur, Singur was on the boil between 2006 and 2008 after the LF government acquired 997.11 acres of land for setting up the factory for Tata’s small car Nano.
Demanding return of 400 acres to “unwilling farmers” (from whom land was allegedly taken against their will), the Trinamool led a violent and sustained movement that ultimately forced the automobile giants to shift their plant to Sanand of Gujarat.
Bhattacharya, the legislator from Singur, had played a leading role in the movement.
The Trinamool reaped the fruits of the twin movements, as the anti-acquisition protests lowered the LF’s popularity graph, and ultimately ended the communists’ 34 year rule in the state.