"Farmers were working on the land outside the Tata factory boundary. Police baton-charged them........"
Singur (West Bengal), Aug 20: Two policemen and scores of villagers were injured in clashes, as farmers protested a proposed Tata Motors proposed car factory at Singur. The farmers said they were working peacefully on the land surrounding the Tata factory and police instigated them by launching a baton-charge.
"Farmers were working on the land outside the Tata factory boundary. Police baton-charged them, after which the farmers tried to hop over the wall to till the land there. Police fired 10 rounds of tear gas," claimed Becharam Manna, a member of the Krishi Jami Rakshya Committee. The police said the farmers attacked the factory wall, and therefore, they retaliated. "Around 200 to 300 villagers attacked the wall of the factory with shovels, saying they will not allow the work to go on. Police warned them, but when they paid no heed, we baton-charged them. While they ran, they pelted stones on policemen, and so, we were forced to fire teargas on them," said Kalyan Mukherjee, a police official.Mukherjee said a Deputy Superintendent of Police and a constable were injured in the ensuing melee. Tata Motors started to build its factory in Singur in January 2007 to make what the company claims will be the world's cheapest car for 100,000 rupees.There have been regular protests in West Bengal this year over the acquisition of agriculture land for industry.Trinamool Congress has been spearheading a campaign for better compensation for the farmers whose lands were acquired by the State Government for the project.he government says it has compensated most of the affected farmers.The proposed Special Economic Zone has since been scrapped by the government and they are looking for alternative land.