The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata men in raid rerun

Calcutta, Jan. 4: Not content with their rampage in the Assembly or perhaps encouraged by it, Mamata Banerjee’s angry band ransacked the office of the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation today.

Around 30 Trinamul Congress supporters — the same number that uprooted furniture and hurled eggs and chicken in the Assembly on November 30 — overturned chairs, yanked telephone wires, smashed computers and tore up files at the WBIDC office, a stone’s throw away.

The provocation: same as before — Singur.

Waving Trinamul flags, the raiders shouted: “Singur-e krishi jamin nite dicchi na, debo na (We won’t allow acquisition of Singur farmland).”

“Mamata Banerjee zindabad,” chanted the mob, which fled in 20 minutes after executive director Naveen Prakash called police.

The WBIDC has acquired the land in Singur for the Tata Motors small-car project.

“They assembled in front of the office in ones and twos. Then they barged in together, climbed atop workstations and kicked telephones and computers. When some employees resisted, they pushed them away and punched a few,” said Ramal Mukherjee, manager (project and identification).

Three employees were injured.

Ella Naskar, a staff member, said nobody thought anything amiss when the large group arrived at 3.15 pm. “We’re used to seeing teams of entrepreneurs come here.”

While Trinamul hasn’t officially owned up to the raid, its youth leader Madan Mitra said: “This is the natural reaction of the masses to police atrocities in Singur. It’s not surprising and such incidents will occur more and more.”

Surveying the damage, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee said: “I saw what indiscipline means. I’ve seen what an unruly party can do.

“But do they think they can stop industrialisation in Bengal just by overturning chairs and tearing up papers'”

DC Central, Ajey Ranade, said one person has been detained for questioning.

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