A police source said: “In early September, Chatterjee called the SP, demanding an explanation why the machine was not recovered. The SP said such attempts could create tension and might require force. Chatterjee allegedly asked the SP to go ahead.”
After the violence, Meena had told HT there was pressure on him. However, he refused to disclose who pressured him.
The minister on Thursday denied any role in the incident. “I didn’t instruct the police. Neither my department nor the state government did so. Is it our job to instruct the police?”
However, earlier in the day the minister told a TV channel that he had visited the village in August and asked the locals to release the machinery. Chatterjee also said the district magistrate and the SP were present in the meeting.
The genesis of the trouble was the granting of mining rights to Bengal EMTA and DVC, which had acquired 3,500 acres, spread over 16 villages. The land was acquired for lifting coal for a thermal power plant run by DVC. The villagers formed the Krishi Bhumi Raksha Committee and began demanding more compensation and rehabilitation.