West Bengal Chief Minister Mamta Banerjee today handed over 800 compensation cheques to farmers who were affected due to the controversial land acquisition by State government in the year 2006 in Singur. The chief minister is also scheduled to return the land to 9,117 farmers. The movement which started on 25 September 2006, led Mamta’s rise to the post of West Bengal chief minister. In a major setback to Tata Motors, the Supreme Court on August 31 had quashed former West Bengal Government’s deal with farmers through which the land was acquired. The top court had directed the West Bengal Government to hand the land back to the farmers in the next 12 weeks.
The court also ruled that the farmers will not return compensation received from the government as they were deprived of their livelihood for a decade. Banerjee, who anchored the Singur movement, passed the Singur Land Rehabilitation and Development Act, 2011, to take over the land given to the Tata’s by the previous government. In a deal with state government, the Tata Group was allotted around a thousand acres of land in 2006 to build a car manufacturing factory. However, in the wake of violent protests from the Trinamool Congress (TMC), the project was shelved.