Mamata government’s land policy vague: Congress


Kolkata: Observing that West Bengal’s “vague” land policy was hampering state’s development, the Congress Saturday asked the Mamata Banerjee government to take a clear stand on the issue of land acquisition.

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“The Bengal government must take a clear stand on land acquisition policy. Because of its vague policies, along with industry, infrastructure too is suffering. Land under the land bank is available in places where the industry does not want to go,” Congress leader Deepa Dasmunshi told mediapersons here.

Dasmunshi, also the union minister of state for urban development, said the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill was stalled in parliament because of the Trinamool Congress.

“Because of the Trinamool Congress, the Land Acquisition Amendment Bill has been lying in parliament. The bill needs to be immediately passed and I would urge the party to take a clear stand on that,” said Dasmunshi.

Meanwhile, state Congress president Pradip Bhattacharya asserted that ‘police firing’ did take place in Birbhum district’s Loba village and said the party was mulling legal action against the Mamata Banerjee led-government in the state.

“The villagers have told me that the police did open fire which injured six people. I cannot understand why the state government is denying. We have discussed with experts on taking legal action,” said Bhattacharya.

The party also reiterated its demand for a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into the alleged firing.

“The news channels have been airing a clip showing the industry minister (Partha Chatterjee) ordering the police to move an equipment which resulted in a clash and the subsequent firing. There is an immediate need for a CBI probe for the truth to come out,” added Dasmunshi.

The clash occurred in a confrontation related to coal extraction by DVC Emta Coal Mines Ltd., a joint venture company, at Dubrajpur, around 226 km from Kolkata.

The clash resulting from police action had left 27 policemen and six villagers wounded.

Some landowners had opposed additional land acquisition for the project, and seized an earth-moving machine last year.

The villagers refused to let go of the company’s equipment, after which it lodged a police complaint.

A police force, led by Superintendent of Police R.K. Meena, went to recover the machine but met with resistance from villagers who used bows and arrows.