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Tatas should return 400 acres in Singur: Mamata Banerjee

August 24, 2008 18:17 IST

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Amid repeated calls to party workers to peacefully hold the indefinite dharna over the Singur land issue, Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee on Sunday said her party did not want the Tatas to leave, but to restrict its small car factory in Singur to 600 acres.

"If you smile, let others also smile," Banerjee told a huge gathering from the dais near the main gate of the Tata Motors [Get Quote] plant in Singur as her party launched the indefinite dharna to demand the return of 400 acres of land to farmers unwilling to part with their land for the Nano project.

She said that in their letter to her the Tatas had stated that they required 600 acres for the mother plant of the small car. "Please don't change your stand everyday," she said.

The vendor park of the Tata Motors plant, she said, could come up opposite to the main plant where "Communist Party of India-Marxist-backed promoters have land."

Stressing that the agitation would be totally peaceful the TC supremo told partymen and supporters, "Don't even look at the walls of the Tata Motors factory. We believe in people's movement. No agitation can be launched by demolishing walls. If anybody tries to demolish walls, we will not have anything to do with them."

Trinamool Congress volunteers even formed a human chain near the main gate of the Tata plant to prevent anyone from going near it.

Two party flags of the TC and Socialist Unity Centre of India, which were tied to the police barricades, were removed at her instruction.

The area around the Tata Motors project was turned into a fortress with massive deployment of security for TC's indefinite dharna.

Over 2,000 police personnel, mostly unarmed, were deployed and the gate of the Tata Motors unit was barricaded with policemen on watchtowers keeping close watch and water cannons kept ready.

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