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Tatas to exit Bengal if protests continue

August 29, 2008

Indrani Roy Mitra

Even as work at the Nano factory at Singur came to a grinding halt on Friday, the sixth day of the indefinite dharna being observed by the Trinamool Congress, the Tatas said they would pull out the Nano project from West Bengal if the protests roll into the second week.

Madan Mitra, a prominent Trinamool Congress leader, confirmed this to rediff.com over the telephone.

None of the 600 to 800 engineers, executives and technocrats came to work since Thursday night after the management decided to pull out the workforce, including about 500 construction workers from the site.

Asked if such ominous signs confirmed the fear that the Tatas may pull out of Bengal, a company official on condition of anonymity said, "The workers and the executives were afraid and worried and our foremost priority was to ensure their safety. Hence, the management decided to evacuate its manpower from the plant late last evening."

However, a Tata Motors spokesperson told PTI from Kolkata that, "Since the employees and contract labourers had left the plant late last night, it was a conscious decision of the company that there would be no attendance at the project site at any of the three shifts today."

Additional reports from PTI | Photographs by: Dipak Chakraborty

Image: The Trinamool Congress dharna site at Singur.

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