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Rezzak’s farmer challenge to Mamata

Ghatakpukur, (South 24-Parganas), Feb. 4: Former land and land reforms minister Abdur Rezzak Mollah today challenged chief minister Mamata Banerjee to prove that the farmers who committed suicide were not genuine cultivators.

“Let her prove that these farmers were not genuine and were engaged in some other occupation,” he said at a rally organised by the CPM’s peasants’ wing, the All-India Krishak Sabha, in Ghatakpukur, 35km from Calcutta.

CPM leaders Kanti Ganguly and Sujan Chakraborty also addressed the rally, held to protest the alleged suicide of 32 farmers after failing to get the right price for paddy.

“Farmers produce rice but today, they have nothing to eat. They are being forced to take their own lives. The state has asked rice mills to buy paddy from farmers but the cheques issued by the mills are bouncing. We demand that the government give enough subsidy to farmers and develop a proper marketing system for buying their paddy,” Mollah said.

After the rally, the CPM organised a silent procession with more than 5,000 peasants. The participants walked 10km from the rally venue to Chandaneswar, carrying the effigies of the 32 farmers.

Police said their permission had not been sought for the procession, a charge Mollah denied.