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Another death at Singur
Subhrangshu Gupta
Tribune News Service

Kolkata, December 17
Tempers of the aggrieved farmers at Singur flared up once again today at the unnatural death of Sankar Patra, a 52-year-old Bhumi Raksha Committee member. Patra’s body was found hanging from a tree near his hutment at the Tashes Bheri today when in Kolkata, the chief justice S.S Nirjar’s Division Bench was holding a hearing on the CBI inquiry into the March 14 incident at Nandigram in which 14 persons were gunned down in the firing by the police and CPI(M) cadres.

Patra was stated to be a share-cropper in a plot of land, which had been forcibly acquired for the Tata Motors plant. His family members and the local people alleged that his name was not recorded in the share-croppers’ list and as such he was denied the compensation.

According to the preliminary report, Patra was running a small wayside tea shop near the Tata Motors plant site but the earnings were too little to meet his needs. Acute distress and starvation might have forced him to commit suicide, they alleged.

The CBI today submitted an interim status report on Nandigram firing to the chief justice’s Division Bench, which also included justice Pinaki Ranjan Ghose and sought another four months time to complete the report and submit it to the court. But the Division Bench granted two months’ time and directed the CBI to submit the report on February 15.

Incidentally, the CBI, which was also due to submit its inquiry report on the Priyanka-Rizwaur marriage matter vis-à-vis Rizwanur’s mysterious death, was also granted extension of time till January 8 by Justice Saumitra Pal for finalising its report and submitting it to the court.

Though the contents of both the reports were kept secret, the CBI officials involved in these two separate inquiries, told the court that they had just completed their reports but still some more time was needed for summing up and finalising these after considering the various inquiries conducted separately by several groups of officials engaged by them.

But it was indicated that in the case of the March 14 Nandigram incident, the CBI was of the firm opinion that it was a pre-planned attack by the police and the CPI(M) cadres on the Nandigram people.

The CBI was preparing charge-sheets against the policemen and the CPI(M) members involved in the incident. The 10 CPI(M) members, who were arrested from the Jnanai brickfield along with firearms by the CBI last year and handed over to the local police, had been named by the CBI in the list of people involved in the attack on the Nandigram residents on March 14.

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