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Green revolution

A crowd of 5,000 farmers barge into Nano site in Singur to celebrate Trinamool’s win as their hopes of recovering lost land flare again. Saptarshi Banerjee reports.

india Updated: May 14, 2011 03:28 IST
Saptarshi Banerjee

The Nano project finally died the morning Trinamool Congress won Bengal. No regrets about missed opportunities came to haunt the residents of Singur. Rather, a 5,000-strong crowd — most of them dispossessed farmers — barged into Tata’s abandoned site to offer prayers.

The guards pulled a vanishing act, and the crowd rushed into the Taltala Kali temple, their faces smeared with green gulal (coloured powder).

Most of the people were from Beraberi Purbapara, who had been in a tizzy since morning, when the results had begun trickling in. Their hopes of recovering their lost land, which had almost been extinguished, had flared again.

“We hope to get back our land forcefully taken by the Front, Didi has promised,” said Badrinath Koley, a resident of Bajemelia.

Banerjee’s popularity has been on the rise ever since the anti-land acquisition movement in 2006. Trinamool’s sitting legislator Rabindranath Bhattacharya, who won from Singur with a margin of 1,600 votes in 2006, has increased it to 34,811 this time.

The farmers, however, have taken a reality check.

Koley knows it won’t be easy for Didi to return his land. He was prepared to let it go if he received proper compensation and a job. Srimanta Majhi, 23, who lost 1.5 bighas, also feels the same way.

Badal Santra said he is ready to part with his land if a railway coach factory comes up at the abandoned site. "I want proper compensation," he said. http://www.hindustantimes.com/Images/HTEditImages/Images/14_05_11_pg3b.jpg

Mritunjay Ghosh of Beraberi Bazaar, who owned a 12-bigha plot, said: “The industry minister, Nirupam Sen, had called me up and offered to set up a petrol pump or a liquor shop. When I refused, the land was forcibly taken.”

Monoranjan Malik, whose daughter Tapasi was raped and killed, allegedly by CPM goons in 2008, feels Trinamool’s victory is his revenge.

“The tears the people shed over the last five years did not go waste,” he said, “I hope my daughter’s murderers will now be punished.”