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Medha Patkar detained en route to Singur

Medha Patkar detained en route to Singur

KOLKATA: Social activist Medha Patkar was detained on Wednesday as she tried to leave for Singur, the focal point of mass protests against a Tata Motors project.
Patkar was whisked away to a youth hostel in Salt Lake, officials said, a day after West Bengal's ruling Left Front chairman Biman Bose apologised for linking her to the flare-up in Nandigram, which became another flashpoint between the government and villagers over land acquisition.
Policemen surrounded the house at Chingrighata on EM Bypass near Salt Lake in eastern Kolkata where Medha was staying in the morning after news spread that she would visit Singur again on Wednesday.
"Medha has been taken into preventive custody," Inspector General of Police (Law and Order) Raj Kanojia said.
"There is no democracy in West Bengal," Patkar told reporters from the police van after she was detained. A nine-vehicle convoy took her to the Salt Lake Stadium.
Patkar was told that she could not be allowed to go to Singur as her presence there would incite people. She pleaded that she would visit only the border of Singur but was refused permission for that.
"We fear that we will be arrested the moment we step out," a member of the house in which Patkar was staying said, minutes before the police contingent took her away.

 In the morning, journalist Aditi Chowdhury and her filmmaker husband Sumit Chowdhury, in whose house Patkar had stayed earlier, said the police arrived at their apartment compound in search of social activist Anuradha Talwar.
"Police enquired about her and wanted know if Anuradha was here," Sumit Chowdhury said.
"Anuradha has left for Singur in train. She cannot be prevented from going anywhere since she is a Supreme Court-appointed observer," he said.
However, reports said Talwar and her associates were prevented from entering Singur at Kamarkundu in Hooghly district.
On Tuesday night, Bose apologised to Patkar during a live television programme for his comment that indirectly indicted the social activist for the Nandigram flare-up.
"I am sorry for my statement. I apologise," he told her over the phone in a live programme of Kolkata TV.
"I am sorry for my statement. I am sorry if she is hurt. I said perhaps she visited the place and not made any definite comment," Bose said.
While the Singur issue has been escalating for several weeks, the Nandigram stir took off last week, leading to at least four people being killed in clashes between CPI(M) workers and villagers.


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posted by Bimal 10.1.07,


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