Mamata orders judicial probe into Tehatta firing

Last Updated: Thu, Nov 29, 2012 13:40 hrs

Kolkata, Nov 29 (IANS) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee Thursday ordered a judicial probe into the recent police firing in Nadia district, and admitted police action in Birbhum district's Loba village which resulted in a clash leaving 33 injured was "a mistake".

"I didn't like the incidents which occurred in Tehatta of Nadia district and Loba in Birbhum. My government has never been and will be anti−people," Banerjee told media persons at the state secretariat, Writers' Buildings.

"Whatever happened at Dubrajpur (area where Loba is located)was wrong. There should be tolerance. I still feel that police storming the village that day without informing the secretariat was wrong," she said.

"We have already taken action by sending the SP (superintendent of police Rishikesh Meena) on leave. We have already ordered a probe and those found guilty will not be spared," she added.

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. The police force led by Meena went to recover the machine, but met resistance from the villagers.

Banerjee reiterated her stand that the incident was pre−planned and pointed fingers at the erstwhile Left Front regime.

She also said she will be visiting the villagers. "I will visit the people of Loba just to give a message that our government will always adhere to its commitment of not forcibly acquiring land for industrial projects."

She also announced a compensation of Rs.25,000 each to all the people injured in the clash.

Announcing the judicial probe into the Tehatta incident, Banerjee said several police officers including the one who had fired the bullets have been removed.

A man was killed and nine people were injured in Tehatta, around 150 km from here, Nov 14 following a mob−police clash over a land dispute.

The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) Tuesday had issued a notice to the Banerjee government in the matter.

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