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Police Violence Escalates as Resistance Continues to Forced Land Acquisition in Singur, West Bengal

Posted to the IUF website 11-Dec-2006

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State repression and organized violence against the villagers of Singur, West Bengal (India) have intensified since the police assault which led to the death of a protester on September 25. Despite a massive police presence, the cutting off of seed supplies and the denial of irrigation water by police and cadre of the ruling Left Front government, villagers continue to resist the state government's plan to hand over to Tata Motors 420 hectares of farmland supporting 30,000 people (click here for background).

On November 30, emergency measures including a ban on all assembly were imposed on Singur and all roads leading to the area. On December 2, heavily militarized police units entered the villages, erecting steel fences around farmland and responding to peaceful protest actions with rubber bullets, tear gas and beatings. Scores of villagers, including the elderly and the very young, were arrested and charged with attempted murder. Homes were forcibly entered by the police and their residents beaten; workers and peasants were attacked in the fields and on the way to work. Villagers report that the massive police presence is being used to prevent food from being harvested.

On December 4, Anuradha Talwar, President of the PBKMS (the union which is leading the struggle against the forced acquisition of land for construction of a nuclear power plant in Joonput-Haripur West Bengal which would similarly evict thousands of agricultural workers), was arrested with 2 other activists and held for over 48 hours. The three were seeking to enter Singur to investigate police violence, the situation of women and villagers' access to food.

Despite the escalation of repression, the workers and poor peasants of Singur continue to resist the forced seizure of land. To support their struggle, you can click here to send a message to the government of West Bengal and the Managing Directors of Tata Motors condemning the land seizure and the escalation of police violence. Copies of your messages will be automatically forwarded to the IUF secretariat and to the PBKMS.