The Nonadanga row continued today with Trinamool MP Kabir Suman putting up a street-corner demonstration along with other intellectuals protesting the eviction of slum-dwellers by the government.
Suman was joined by film and theatre personalities like Kaushik Sen,Asim Chattopadhyay,Bulan Ganguly,Suman Mukherjee and Sunanda Sanyal at the Academy of Fine Arts to protest against government policies and alleged police atrocities.
Earlier in the day,police arresting six Association for protection of Democratic Right (APDR) activists who had taken out a rally against the eviction.
It is unfortunate that I had once been by the side of Mamata Banerjee,who had put up Bhumi Uchchhed Protirodh Committee. Today her government is evicting slum-dwellers in the same fashion as the previous government, Suman said.
Suman added that there were people in her ministry who were working according to her whims and fancies and earning money. I have not sold my soul yet and will speak against anything that I think is illegal and should not happen, he said.
Asked if he anticipated a backlash after todays action,Suman said,Mamata fell on my feet and wanted to make me an MP candidate. I did not go to her. And as her party MP,I pay Rs 6,000 from my salary every month to her party fund.
He brushed aside as lies the governments allegations that the Nonadanga slum was a breeding ground for Naxalite activities.
Urban development minister Firhad Hakim said Suman had a habit of talking rubbish and that the intellectuals should enquire first before jumping to conclusions. We have not evicted a single old resident from there. A housing complex for the poor will be put up in the evacuated area. Only the new residents have been removed. I request intellectuals to have a look at the place before agitating, he said.
Sunanda Sanyal,too,was with Mamata at Singur. The change has been for the worse, he said. Mahasweta Devi could not be present today. She sent a text message saying she hoped the government would mend its ways soon.
Around 12.30 pm today,APDR supporters gathered at Hazra for a procession to the Police Court where the arrested were to be produced. Police intervened and arrested six APDR workers.
We had got permission from Kalighat police station but later they told us that Section 144 was implemented in the entire city till April 17, said an APDR member.