SINGUR: A day after chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee talked about the wonder that Singur would be, an unemployed farm worker killed himself at Singur's Khaserbheri Shibtala on Monday.
Shankar Patra (48) was found hanging in the cattle shed behind his mud house around 2 pm. Son Pratap said Shankar had taken to working in other people's farms after his tea shop was burgled. But the state took over the land, where he regularly found work, for the Tata factory. Shankar then joined the anti-land acquisition movement. Though many farm hands got work at the factory site, Shankar did not.
Shankar was jobless for weeks and depressed, said Pratap. "We have nowhere to go. Since we went against the government's plans, no one cares for us," said widow Asha.
The Opposition was quick to turn the suicide into a political issue. "CPM claims people are happy after getting compensation and work at the site. Why did he commit suicide if everything is fine? People starve and the state turns a blind eye," said Singur Krishi Jami Raksha Committee convener Becharam Manna.
Local CPM leaders, however, refuse to accept blame. "We can't take responsibility for those who refuse to work," said Singur gram panchayat president Ranjit Mandal.
Trinamul Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, who will be in Bajemelia on Tuesday to visit Tapasi Malik's family, is expected to meet Shankar's kin as well. A CPI (M-L) delegation met Tapasi's parents on Monday and slammed the land acquisition policy.
Time of India