Kolkata: Activists of West Bengal’s ruling Communist Party of India (Marxist), or CPM, clashed on Sunday with supporters of the state’s main opposition Trinamool Congress, which prepared to resume a campaign for the return of farm land seized for Tata Motors Ltd’s abandoned small-car project in Singur.
Four people were injured in the clash between members of the Trinamool-led Krishi Jami Raksha Committee (KJRC) and the CPM cadre belonging to the Nano Bachao Committee, formed to promote industrialization in Singur, from where Tata Motors pulled out its Nano car project on 3 October.
The Trinamool Congress, headed by Mamata Banerjee, had planned to launch a campaign in Singur on Sunday for the return of 400 acres of Singur land to farmers.
Steel plant inaugurated: (L to R) Union steel minister Ram Vilas Paswan, chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, state commerce minister Nirupam Sen, JSW’s Biswadip Gupta and Sajjan Jindal. Indranil Bhoumik / Mint
The clash broke out when a group of Trinamool Congress supporters, seeking to enter Singur, were stopped by the CPM cadre. Partha Chatterjee, a Trinamool leader, tried to force his way through the crowd, and his car was greeted with a shower of stones.
The police stopped the clash with a cane charge and four rounds of teargas, inspector general of police (law and order) Raj Kanojia said.
Chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee, meanwhile, said the government would be announcing a new project for Singur soon. He told reporters that the state government had received a number of proposals for projects in Singur, but declined to elaborate on them.
Banerjee has said she will not allow any factory to come up in the areas unless the 400 acres of farmland was returned.
Bhattacharjee and Union minister Ram Vilas Paswan had a narrow escape when a landmine exploded within minutes of their convoy passing through Baroa near Salboni in West Midnapore district, where Maoist rebels are active. Six policemen were injured.
Bhattacharjee and Paswan were returning after the inauguration of JSW Bengal Steel Ltd’s 10 million tonne per annum steel plant.
(PTI contributed to this story.)