Redeeming a pledge she made years back, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday returned 9,117 land records to farmers and compensated 800 peasants from whom land had been taken against their will for the Tata Motors’ Nano project.
Amid chants and songs eulogising the state and the chief minister, thousands watched as Banerjee, also the Trinamool Congress supremo, personally handed out the documents to many of the farmers who responded with warm smiles and touched her feet in gratitude at the Singur Diwas venue here at Sanapara.
It was the same spot of the Durgapur Expressway where Banerjee had held a 16-day sit-in protest in 2008 demanding 400 acres out of the total 997.11 acres acquired for the project be returned to the “unwilling farmers”.
Lending a hand at the packed event were her party leaders including celebrities like actor Dev Chatterjee.
Intellectuals and activists including Narmada Bacho Andolan founder member Medha Patkar, who had supported Banerjee’s staunch stance on the issue right at the outset, were also present.
A replica of an agricultural field installed at the venue in Hooghly district struck a chord with the peasants who erupted in joy and were overwhelmed with the celebrations which came two weeks after the Supreme Court struck down the land acquisition made by the erstwhile Left Front government and ordered the land be returned to the cultivators.