Just as hopes of a solution to the impasse in Singur floated for the first time on Wednesday, with both Mamata Bannerjee and the state government agreeing to hold talks in a couple of days, a 65-year-old farmer living close to the Tata Motors plant, committed suicide.
His family and local CPM cadres said it was due to the sheer shock of the Tata decision, announced a day earlier, to suspend work at its plant. "He committed suicide due to depression," said Dibakar Das, a local CPM leader.
Police said they were probing why Sushen Santra, from Joymalla village, swallowed insecticide. Santra had sold his half-acre land to the Tata project, and both his sons worked as security guards at the plant.
Even as CPM leaders lashed out at Mamata's 10-day-old siege of the Nano plant, which had forced it to stop functioning, the Trinamool chief said: "It (the suicide) is unfortunate. But we have heard that it was due to a quarrel in the family."