After Sunday’s violent clashes shaking off few days of lull, Singur returned to the warfront, as locals clashed with the police once again at various places across the area on Monday.
The tension heightened at adjacent Kamarkundu station where members of the Singur Krishijami Raksha Committee (SKRC) and Trinamool Congress activists got into a violent collision with the state police and Rapid Action Force (RAF), amidst lathi-charge and teargas smoke. The re-imposition of Section 144 few hours before the visit of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, along with huge deployment of the police and RAF personnel triggered fresh lease of life to local hostilities.
The sudden appearance of Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee on the way to Singur later in the day further complicated things, even though the police prevented her from moving towards Singur at Maitipara near Dankuni.
At Kamarkundu, the police lathi-charged on Trinamool and SKRC supporters, who had gathered for a scheduled meeting at a field near Kamarkundu Bharati Sangha, where Banerjee was to be a speaker. Few rounds of tear gas shells were also fired to disperse the mob, after they lit tyres on the railway track to block trains from passing and set a truck on fire. The demonstrators later organised a rally, led by senior Trinamool leader Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, which was also dispersed by the police, injuring around 11 persons.
While Trinamool general secretary and Rajya Sabha MP, Mukul Roy said that the police charged on a peaceful gathering without any provocation. "The ugly face of the Left Front is being apparent very day. Despite talking about democratic ways, the administration has violated all civil norms and attacked unarmed men and women, just because they do not agree with what the government has to say," Roy said.
Inspector General of Police (Western Range), Arun Gupta, said at Singur that the police lathi-charged only after they were provoked. "The police attacked in self defence after a large mob accosted them at Kamarkundu. Section 144, which was imposed on early Monday, would remain inn place till February 14. The prohibitory order were re-imposed because whenever it was withdrawn, there have been incidents of violence as different political parties competed against each other to create trouble in the area," he said. Inspector General (Law & Order) Raj Kanojia said that the ban was re-imposed for administrative conveniences and not as preemptive action following Sunday’s clashes.
Banerjee, who was prevented by the police at Maitipara, alleged of police obstruction to her movement when she was on her way to Chinsurah to visit party activists and SKRC members injured in Sunday’s clashes. "The police obstructed my movement, encircled my car and convoy at Maitipara when I was on my way to Chinsurah. In protest I cancelled my visit," she said. Banerjee further said that she was free to visit injured party activists and demanded to know from the police why she was being prevented from going to Chinsurah.
Denying Banerjee’s charges, Kanojia said, "The Superintendent of Police of Hooghly rushed to Maitipara and told Banerjee that she was free to go ahead. She, however, refused and returned back to Kolkata," he stated.