Your lands will not be taken, Mamata assures Loba villagers

Kolkata, Dec 4: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Tuesday visited Birbhum district’s Loba village, four weeks after 33 people including six villagers were injured in a mob-police clash, and assured peasants that their land would not be acquired forcibly.

“You can sleep in peace. I ma assuring you that nobody will take your land by force,” Banerjee told the villagers.

The clashes occurred Nov 6 in a confrontation related to coal extraction by DVC Emta Coal Mines Ltd, a joint venture company at Dubrajpur, about 226 km from Kolkata.

Some landowners had opposed additional land acquisition for the project, and seized an earth-moving machine last year. Police went to recover the machine, but met with resistance from the villagers.

“You can trust me. I never go back on my word,” the chief minister told the villagers, days after announcing that compensation of Rs.25,000 will be given to each of the injured villagers.

She called upon the locals not to let brokers get involved in trade with their land. “Instead, you should talk directly if you want to sell your land”.

On Nov 29, Banerjee had admitted that the police action in Lobavillage was “wrong”.

IANS