September 1, 2016
Singur movement: A look back in time
On Wednesday, when the Apex Court of the country ordered the return of acquired land taken by the erstwhile Left Front government within 12 weeks, the chronicle of Singur beacons as the bright reminder of series of incidents. The Singur incident brought a socio-political change in Bengal.
Tata Motors announced the small car factory in Singur on May 18, 2006.
Just after two months, on July 18, the Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee started protesting the issue. The ground of the protest was forceful land acquisition by an elected state government. Mamata Banerjee’s rally at Singur, as a sign of protest – started the historical movement.
The LF government acquired 997 acres of multi-crop farmland to allocate the Tata’s to construct their factory. The rule is meant for public improvement projects, and the LF government wanted Tata to build factory under this rule.
However, amidst the huge protest Tata started to set up their plant in Singur in January 21. By then, they had already promised to produce ‘Nano’ – the affordable car which would cost just above a lakh only.
The protest had also turned turbulent as many of the internationally famed social activists, and Bengali luminaries had stood beside the movement led by Mamata Banerjee. The protesters – Anuradha Talwar, Medha Patkar, Arundhuti Roy, Mahasweta Devi and others were started to protest saying the location of Tata Motors site is the most fertile one in the whole of the Singur block. The local population depended on agriculture. Almost 20,000 farmers are making their livelihood from the multi-crop land.
On December 3, 2006, Mamata Banerjee started her indefinite hunger strike for 26 days.
In the meantime, the rape case of Tapasi Malik had stunned the entire country. The fenced off area of the Nano-factory, which has been continuously guarded by the policemen, where allegedly guarded by cadres of the CPI (M) party as well. The girl, Tapasi malik, who was one of the protesters, was allegedly gang-raped and burnt to death by those CPI(M) cadres. Later, a CPI (M) leader, a zonal committee leader, Suhrid Dutta was arrested by CBI.
On August 2008, Mamata Banerjee started indefinite dharna at Singur. Tata Motors suspended development work on Nano factory on September 2, 2008.
On September 3, 2008, then governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi agreed to play a mediator to resolve the issue between government and the Trinamool Congress but in vain.
Tata Motors decided to move out from Singur and conveyed the decision on October 3, 2008.
Maa Mati Manush government
In May 20, 2011, Mamata Banerjee became the Chief Minister of Bengal and announced in her first Cabinet meeting that they will return the 400 acres land to the unwilling farmers for the Singur. An ordinance to that effect was promulgated but it was challenged in court.