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Eviction drive in Kolkata called off
March 02, 2005 09:40 IST
Last Updated: March 02, 2005 13:41 IST
The West Bengal government on Wednesday called off the eviction drive to remove about 20,000 encroachers from the Railway land in the Lake Gardens area of Kolkata due to stiff opposition to the move.
Tension prevailed in the western fringe of the city with Trinamool Congress workers, led by party chief Mamata
Banerjee, sitting on a dharna since Tuesday night to protest against the eviction.
The drive was being carried out in accordance with a Calcutta high court order.
The government decided to call off the operation as the slum dwellers put up a strong resistance. Women and children were in the forefront of the protest.
After holding meeting with locals and the Trinamool Congress chief, the police announced they were calling off the operation.
The area had witnessed minor incidents of violence. Two bombs were hurled on Tuesday night. However, no damage was reported. The protestors also tried to disrupt train movement in the area, official sources said.
Banerjee said that the government could not evict the people without any alternative arrangements being made for them . "How can they throw them out now especially when the Board exams are on?"
The government had made an unsuccessful effort to evict the slum dwellers in 2002.