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Singur battle shifts to cyberia

Left is mailing a project factsheet to NGOs, civil liberty groups and activists, reports Sutirtho Patranobis.

india Updated: Dec 13, 2006 02:55 IST

The battle over the fields of Singur is now being fought on the net. Cornered by some incessant ‘propaganda’ on the Internet by ultra-Left groups against the land acquisition, the CPI (M) is mailing a factsheet on the project to NGOs, civil liberty groups and activists.

The 14-page factsheet was prepared by the West Bengal government earlier this month and then sent to the party headquarters here. Subsequently, the data is being mailed all across India.

A covering letter with the mail claims that arguments against the project are baseless. It states: "We are utterly amazed to find that allegations of police excesses are being made when not even one case of hospitalisation due to serious injuries have been reported so far....exaggerated claims of atrocities do not add to the credibility of those who are opposing the Project.''

The factsheet comprises data collected by the government till December 4. The note says that till December 2 more than Rs 76 crore had been disbursed among 9020 people as compensation for land adding up to 635, out of 997.11 acres. Another Rs 54.58 crore need to be disbursed among 3,000 people, the note says. It claims the government had the consent to buy 952 acres of land by December 4. This is one fact contested by civil liberties groups like Paschim Banga Khet Majoor Samity, which claims that 450 acres have still not been given to the state government. Further, the Samity — among the groups that have been circulating emails against the project — claims that at least 300 farmers, with 184 acres of land holdings, would not give consent.

The CPI(M) note also gives details about rehabilitation and training programmes by the West Bengal Industrial Development Corporation. "Till December 2, 1,372 landlosers and 443 landless workers have been enrolled," it claims.

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First Published: Dec 12, 2006 23:06 IST