As per Supreme Court’s verdict, the farmers of Singur are given back their lands. Encouraged by this incident, this time the farmers of New Town approached the state government to bring back their lands. Their complain, during the built of new town the Left Front government forcefully took thousands of acres of cultivated land. Like Singur, many of the lands of New town were three-cop land. On Monday, almost 1.5 lakh farmers submitted land return application in New town HIDCO office. They crowded in front of the HIDCO office from 11 am to submit application.
Both willing and unwilling will get their land back in Singur after Supreme court order. On that basis, has stepped up demands to get back their lands of the mouzas in New town like Aknadkeshari, Hatishala, Jatragachi, Kadampukur. The farmers who had gathered in front of the office, many of them did not take the cheque for compensation that time and some of them took the cheque, but now they wants their land back. One farmer of Gopalpur, Rashid Ahmed Mondol said, “In 2000 they took my 7 acre land but I received a few rupee in exchange. CPM gangster threatened us so we had to take the cheque. There was no scope of opposition.”
According to the applicant farmers, after Singur verdict they made contact with the mouza farmers who had lost their land. They decided to submit the return application to HIDCO office on Monday. They themselves printed application form and distributed in the mouzas. They demanded, farmers came from 23 mouzas on the day.
As per 1894 Land Acquisition Act the lands of Singur and New town were taken. However, the Supreme Court said it was not the right method of acquisition in Singur. The farmer said, “They took our land forcefully. During Assembly election campaign while visiting Mamata Banerjee promised to return our lands. We hope she will keep her promise.”
Government sources said that from 1995, land acquisition was started to built New town. Then there was the Rajarhat assembly constituency and CPM’s Rabin Mondol was the MLA of Rajarhat. Acquisition was continued to 2002-03. He lost against TMC’s Tanmoy Mondol in 2001. Now, Rajarhat area is known as a stronghold of the Trinamool Congress.
Tanmoy Mondol said, “When the acquisition was started, the Trinamool Congress had not even created. At that time, there was not much initiative from congress. Despite of the prohibition, many of the farmers took cheque. When TMC was created Mamata di wanted the files of the farmers who lost their lands. I gave her. But after that she didn’t took another initiative.”
Development work of New town to a city is not yet completed. After TMC came to the power, there was no new land acquisition but land pointed for acquisition during the CPM period is still on. Notice was given on behalf of government in different time.
Former MLA of Rajarhat, Rabin Mondol said, “Mamata promised farmers to return their land. So now she will decide what she has to do.” Secretory of state Congress who laid the farmers this day, Sheikh Nizamuddin said, “Those lands in which work has finished, we want to be compensated in accordance with the current market price for them. But vast amount of lands are empty, these lands are cultivable, we want them back. We would go anywhere for the sake of the movement. It was the first step for us.”
Chairman of HIDCO, Debashis Sen is yet to comment on the issue. Department of Urban Development Minister, Firhad Hakim said, “ I don’t have heard about it. Will check!”
A top executive of government said, “The government gave priority to a private ownership of Singur. But New town is a city for human. So there’s no question of returning acquired land.”