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Govt probe delinks farmer suicide and Tata land

Singur, March 13: The government today said the farmer who committed suicide for allegedly having to give up his land for the Tata small-car project had only a small plot which was not taken away.

The government carried out an inquiry yesterday as soon as it learnt about the suicide of Haradhan Bag.

“After carrying out the inquiry, we found that Haradhan owned a small plot located outside the Tata Motors project site,” said M.V. Rao, director of industries.

Government officials said the inquiry also revealed that Haradhan’s two sons, Joydeb and Arun, had about one bigha land each that were acquired for the Tata project. “We found that Haradhan’s two sons have about two bighas of land within the project site,” said Rao.

It was this fact that had initially confused district officials, who thought the land actually belonged to Haradhan, a resident of Beraberi Purbapara, about 50 km from Calcutta.

Yesterday, some officials had said Haradhan’s land was acquired but the cheque for compensation was not issued as he had not given consent. They today clarified that Haradhan had no land within the project site.

Haradhan’s widow Jaya, Joydeb and other family members who yesterday claimed that the 72-year-old farmer had committed suicide out of depression after the government inked the land lease deal with the Tatas last week, stuck to their guns.

“We did not say anything wrong. It is all the same. Our land is our father’s land. Isn’t it' It is he who had given us the land a few years ago,” said Joydeb.

In Singur, villagers owing allegiance to the CPM had been alleging that a dispute between Haradhan and his two sons led to his suicide.

“All along, we have been saying that land was not the reason for which Haradhan babu committed suicide. It was problems within his family,” said Suhridbaran Dutta, CPM’s zonal committee secretary.

In the Assembly, members of Trinamul Congress today staged a walkout in protest against the suicide.Trinamul MLA from Singur, Rabindranath Bhattacharya, said the government should set up industry only on land handed over willingly by farmers.

Stage personality Shaoli Mitra, along with some associates, today visited Singur. She also went to Haradhan’s house. “I came to visit the place and express sympathy to people who lost their land,” she said.

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