Medha slips into Singur, meets slain girl’s family

Medha slips into Singur, meets slain girl’s family
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Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Social activist Medha Patkar Tuesday met the family of Tapasi Malik, whose charred body was found in the Tata Motors’ small-car project plot in West Bengal fuelling speculation that she was raped and burnt by the guards.

Patkar, who was repeatedly prevented from entering Singur earlier this month, managed to sneak into the disputed area and meet the parents of the girl whose unnatural death added a new twist to the movement against the Tata project and the acquisition of land.

‘Medha could visit the family of the girl Tuesday morning. She later headed for the fields where the villagers were holding a meeting,’ a source close to Patkar told IANS.

Patkar, whose entry into the Singur movement bolstered the protestors, said she would not give up the protest. Prevented from going to Singur, she had visited Nandigram in east Midnapore to oppose the Left’s policy on special economic zones (SEZs).

The Narmada Bachao Andolan leader has also apprised President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam on the Singur situation.

The protests against acquisition of fertile farmlands for the Tata Motors project in West Bengal took a new turn Monday when the charred body of Malik, 18, was recovered from a fenced-off field for the plant.

Villagers and the Trinamool Congress party alleged that the victim was raped and burnt by men guarding the controversial land.

Trinamool Congress chief Mamata Banerjee, whose hunger strike entered the 16th day Tuesday, called for a 48-hour shutdown across West Bengal Dec 21-22. Her party claims that the victim was an activist protesting the acquisition of farmlands by Tata Motors.

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