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Singur: Farmers want better compensation, demand vacant land to be returned

The protesters, led by Mohammed Nizamuddin, queued up outside the office of HIDCO Chairman Debashis Sen, to submit a memorandum to him regarding their demands.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata |
Updated: September 20, 2016 12:20:37 am
 singur, singur land verdict, singur verdict, tata nano plant, singur farmers, singur farmer demand, mamata banerjee, supreme court, indian express news, india news, kolkata news The farmers, under the banner of Rajarhat Jamin Bachao Committee, alleged that between 1998 to 2002 — when the Left Front government was in power — their lands were acquired forcibly for New Town.

DAYS AFTER the Supreme Court quashed Singur land acquisition, hundreds of farmers on Monday held a protest outside HIDCO Bhavan in Kolkata, demanding that their land, which was acquired to build New Town, be returned or adequate compensation be paid to them.

The farmers, under the banner of Rajarhat Jamin Bachao Committee, alleged that between 1998 to 2002 — when the Left Front government was in power — their lands were acquired forcibly for New Town and they were not paid adequate compensation for the same. Overall, land across around 25 moujas was acquired for a mere Rs 13,000 per cottah, said a protester.

The protesters, led by Mohammed Nizamuddin, queued up outside the office of HIDCO Chairman Debashis Sen, to submit a memorandum to him regarding their demands.

“The Supreme Court has rendered the Land Acquisition Act of 1894 invalid and directed the state government to return land to farmers in Singur and pay compensation to them. It should be applicable to us as well because our land in New Town was also acquired under the same Act,” Nizamuddin said.

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“Government gave us a paltry sum for our land and sold it to the builders at a higher price. The builders, in turn, constructed high-rises and sold the same at even higher prices. Everyone made good profit and we were the losers,” he added.

Nizamuddin said that ahead of the 2011 state elections, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had started an agitation claiming the 25,000 acres had been forcefully acquired by the Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee government for New Town. “She had also gheraoed the HIDCO office on December 9, 2010. We were promised justice if Trinamool Congress came to power. Now, that the Supreme Court has given its verdict, we should also get our land back, which is lying vacant. In places where buildings have come up, farmers should get adequate compensation and jobs,” he added.

Following the Supreme Court’s Singur verdict, farmers had agitated over their land being acquired for a ‘mishti hub’ near Burdwan.
Mamata later relocated the hub. Later, farmers whose land was acquired for the Raghunathpur industrial park in Purulia district also demanded that their land be returned as the project is yet to take off.

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First published on: 20-09-2016 at 12:20:34 am
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