Hands off Loba, TMC dist leaders told

Sensing that the party's image has been dented in the wake of the alleged nexus between land mafias and Trinamool Congress leaders that came to light in the land acquisition issue plaguing a mining firm in Dubrajpur in Birbhum, party leadership has now instructed the district leaders not to interfere in the land deal between DVC-Bengal Emta and the villagers.

Commerce and Industry Minister Partha Chatterjee, whose name too had cropped up, met a delegation of Krishi Jomi Raksha Committee, a group of farmers opposing the land acquisition, and select leaders of the party's Birbhum unit at the Assembly on Friday. The minister tried to broker a peace in the wake of the violent clash that took place last week between the Loba villagers and police leaving 33 people injured, 27 of them were policemen.

Acting on the direction of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee who has directed him to resolve the dispute as early as possible, Chatterjee told the district leaders of the party to remain at arms' length from the issue.

Speaking to The Indian Express over phone, Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Chandranath Sinha, who attended today's meeting, denied the allegations levelled by villagers that some influential district level Trinamool leaders have link with land mafias. Instead Sinha said that the villagers requested the government to arrange at least one one-on-one interaction with the representatives of DVC-Bengal Emta to finalise the land deal. "We are trying to arrange for the same because we feel that the presence of some people not directly connected with the land has created some confusion. There are some people who have land in the proposed mining area but do not live there. Therefore, they have asked some people to have discussion with the mining company regarding land deal. But this will not be allowed to take place any more. Those having land in the area will have to speak with the company directly instead of engaging some others," Sinha added.

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