Friday, December 29, 2006

Mamata breaks 25-day fast, furore continues over elderly couple’s death

Mamata breaks 25-day fast, furore continues over elderly couple’s death

Kolkata Dec 28, In a dramatic midnight development, Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee ended her 25-day fast protesting the location of a Tata car project after intervention by both the president and the prime minister.

Mamata broke her fast at midnight Thursday after receiving a letter from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The letter was faxed to the office of West Bengal Governor Gopal Krishna Gandhi that was immediately delivered to Mamata, who was protesting the Tata project at Singur on the ground it would eat away 997 acres of fertile farmland.

'I thank all the political parties for their support,' Mamata told her supporters at Esplanade, the venue of the fast.

She will be admitted to a nursing home for a while to enable her recuperate.

Mamata's decision came on a day of dramatic developments during which President A.P.J. Abdul Kalam expressed 'serious concern' over her health and spoke to Manmohan Singh to stress the need to find a way to resolve the issue. Kalam also appealed to Mamata to end the stir as 'life is precious'.

'The President spoke to the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh and expressed his serious concern and emphasised the need to find a way to end the stalemate and to enable her to end the fast,' a press release - the second of the day - issued by Rashtrapati Bhavan said.

In Singur, furore over elderly couple’s death

Singur, December 28 : The gruesome murder of an old, well-off farmer couple in Singur’s Doloigacha — about 5 km from the Tata Motors small car project site — put the area on the boil once again this afternoon, even as a compromise formula was being worked out between the government and fasting Trinamool Congress leader Mamata Banerjee.

The victims — Tinkari Dey, (56) and his wife Maya (50) — were found in a pool of blood on a ground floor room of their two-storied concrete house. Tinkari had a sharp cut on the back of his head. Both had electric wires tied around their neck, fitted to a plug-point. The bodies bore signs of strangulation and burn injuries from electric shock. “It is certainly not a case of suicide,” said Arun Gupta, IG Western Range, who visited the spot.


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