Indian state drops industrial hub

Protests cause West Bengal state to abandon low-tax economic zone.

    Violent protests against the proposed industrial
    site left 14 people dead [AFP]
    The industrial zone will now be built elsewhere in the state.

    'Police attacked'

    On Wednesday, police opened fire on farmers and political activists, many armed with sickles, after they attacked officers as they tried to enter an area earmarked for the park, officials said.
       
    "We have taught the government a lesson they will never forget. You cannot play with the lives of innocent villagers"

    Siddiqullah Choudhury, 
    head of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind group

    At least three women were among 14 people killed, increasing pressure on the communist government accused by many of turning its back on the poor farmers.

    Siddiqullah Choudhury, chief of the Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind, a Muslim group leading the protests, said: "We have taught the government a lesson they will never forget. You cannot play with the lives of innocent villagers."

    A Bengali-language TV channel showed people dancing in Nandigram as they waved the flags of the leading opposition Trinamul Congress party and shouted slogans.

    Many farmers across India are unhapppy about the compensation they are being offered for the land as the country moves towards increased industrialisation.

    Despite the protests in West Bengal, India remains committed to developing the special economic zones which are tax havens meant to lure foreign investors and close the gap with Chinese manufacturing.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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