Millennium Post

Govt to erect monument with names of Singur martyrs

Govt to erect monument with names of Singur martyrs

Kolkata: The state government will erect a monument containing names of the martyrs in Singur. The Public Works Department (PWD) will build the monument at an estimated cost of Rs 6 crore.

Singur had hit the headlines of newspapers across the country, following the agitation led by Mamata Banerjee against the forcible acquisition of farmland by the Left Front government, to set up a factory of Tata Motors for producing the Tata Nano. Singur was the turning point in the history of political movement in Bengal and the movement finally led to the collapse of 34 years of Left Front rule. The movement even found place in the academic syllabus of the state owing to its significance.

The CPI(M) government had given nearly 1,000 acres of farmland to Tata Motors to set up the automobile factory. The then Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee and Industry minister Nirupam Sen had pushed the project and tried to convince people that the construction of the automobile factory would change the financial scenario of the state. The farmers who had opposed the acquisition of land were tortured. Tapashi Malik, a teenage girl, was raped and then brutally murdered by goons owing allegiance to CPI(M). Villager Rajkumar Bhul was also killed.

Mamata Banerjee had led the agitation and observed a 26 day fast. She had categorically stated that under no circumstances could farmland be acquired to set up an automobile factory. Various civil society groups had also joined Banerjee and the intellectuals supported the movement.

Tata Motors finally backed out and Ratan Tata held a Press conference and announced the company's decision, describing Mamata Banerjee as "Bad M."

In the 2011 Assembly election, Singur became the main issue along with Nandigram, where the state government had also tried to acquire land to set up a chemical hub. Banerjee went across the state, campaigning against Left Front's policy and was successful in convincing the people. Following this, the Left Front regime collapsed like a pack of cards.

After coming to power, following a Supreme Court judgment, the new state government returned back the land which was taken from the unwilling farmers. Agricultural experts were consulted to make the land fertile once again, as concrete structures had come up all over the area, destroying the agricultural character of the land.

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