West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday praised the police for their handling of the conflict with villagers in Birbhum district while describing the combating locals as innocent people provoked into violence.
“Many cops were injured, three of them seriously. One of them, injured by arrows, is fighting death,” she said.
“The villagers cannot be blamed. I am happy that none of them was injured. We have to find out who provoked them and why the police visited the place without informing anybody. We have already ordered an inquiry, and despite pressing engagements industry minister Partha Chatterjee has gone to Birbhum to find out what happened.”
On Tuesday, in the first violent confrontation between land agitators and the state — after Singur in 2006-07 and Nandigram in 2007 when the Left Front was in power — 27 policemen and five villagers were reportedly injured while four of the villagers suffered gunshot wounds in Loba village, 300 km north of Kolkata.
The CM was in agreement with state home secretary Basudeb Banerjee, who said on Tuesday the police did not fire.
On Tuesday 27 policemen and five villagers were reportedly injured while four of the locals suffered gunshot wounds in Loba village, 300 km north of Kolkata.
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 KBRC and began demanding more compensation and rehabilitation.