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CBI to probe into Singur girl's death

Tapasi Malik, whose charred body was found inside the fenced off land acquired for Tata Motors in Singur.

india Updated: Dec 19, 2006 16:19 IST

West Bengal Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharya on Tuesday urged Trinamool Congress to withdraw its 48-hour general strike saying he was ready for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the death of Tapasi Malik, whose charred body was found inside the fenced off land acquired for Tata Motors in Singur, about 40-km from Kolkata.

However, social activist Medha Patkar sneaked into the area and met the victim's family.

"I have already ordered a Criminal Investigation Department (CID) inquiry into the death of the girl. As demanded by the opposition I also agree for a CBI probe into the incident. But after this decision I would urge Mamata Banerjee (Trinamool chief) to end the 48-hour bandh (shutdown) called by her," Bhattacharyasaid at state secretariat Writers' Buildings.

"Our home secretary will write to the central government for a CBI investigation," he said.

"I also appeal her to withdraw the hunger strike," the chief minister said, in a climbdown from his earlier stance.

Trinamool Congress supremo Mamata Banerjee's hunger strike entered the 16th day on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Patkar spent time with Malik's parents besides meeting the women who were beaten up by the police. She said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) leader Brinda Karat should come to Singur and meet the women facing atrocities.

A source close to Patkar said she would remain in Singur for more time now. Medha was not restricted much by the police.

The protests against acquisition of fertile farmlands for the Tata Motors project in West Bengal took a new turn on Monday when the charred body of Malik, 18, was recovered from the land fenced off for the Tata project.

Villagers and the Trinamool Congress alleged that the victim was raped and burnt by men guarding the controversial land.

Mamata, whose hunger strike entered the 16th day on Tuesday, called for a 48-hour shutdown across West Bengal from December 21-22. Her party claims that the victim was an activist protesting the acquisition of farmlands by Tata Motors.

First Published: Dec 19, 2006 16:19 IST