Singur fence: 70% finished

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By OUR BUREAU in Calcutta
  • Published 4.12.06

Singur/Calcutta, Dec. 4: Two-thirds of the Singur fencing was completed today without further protests after the police turned away activist Medha Patkar.

BJP chief Rajnath Singh was also stopped — at Maitipara — but was invited to visit the Singur BDO’s office under police escort with state party chief Sukumar Banerjee. Later, Singh and six others courted arrest and were given bail on the spot.

Sal posts were put up along a 2-km stretch in Khasherbheri and Bajemelia. “Of the 10-km perimeter, 7 km are done. We’ll finish the job tomorrow,” director of industries M.V. Rao said.

Taking the cue from Mamata Banerjee, local Trinamul MLA Rabindranath Bhattacharya and about 20 villagers sat on fast in small groups at several places.

The highest-profile hunger strike outside Calcutta was continuing at the Coal India guesthouse in Dankuni, where Medha and associate Anuradha Talwar were protesting their detention.

Medha, who had got off her train at Sheoraphuli and climbed into an auto-rickshaw in the morning, was stopped at Nasipur and taken to the guesthouse.

“Police say we are outsiders, but Singur is not foreign territory. We have not violated any law,’’ she said.

Inspector-general (western range) Arun Gupta said she “is free to go anywhere except Singur’’.

Medha’s colleagues have complained to the state rights commission and she herself wrote a letter to the state chief justice. Calcutta High Court, on a petition by a rights group, has asked the state to produce by 10.30 am tomorrow the records relating to the detentions.

JU engineering students boycotted their semester test protesting the land acquisition but science and arts examinations were held. Neither CU nor JU will suspend tomorrow’s exams because of the SUCI bandh, but higher secondary schools have put off their tests till December 11.

Krishi Jomi Banchao Committee leader Prasanta Singh has been arrested on the charge of attacking the police on Saturday.