Jharkhand: 4 Killed And 40 Injured In Police Firing
In another news where the land acquisition was being done without the prior consent of the villagers, at least 4 villagers were killed, and 40 other were injured as the police opened fire in the Chirudih village near Hazaribagh on Saturday morning. The villagers were staging a protest against NTPC for its Barkagaon Project which was allotted coal mines in the area in 2010.
An Additional Superintendent of Police and a circle officer were injured too as the angered mob abducted them.
The project is facing protest since 2004. In 2010, coal mines in the area were allocated to the NTPC but work could not begin.
It had proposed coal mining in the Karanpura Valley, in the East Singhbhum district of Jharkhand, over an area of 47 square kilometres simultaneously acquiring land in the area which is proposed to be one of the largest coal blocks in Asia. The protest of the villagers to halt this acquisition has been going on since 2010 owing to the claims by villagers that the land is highly fertile giving three crops a year thereby curbing unemployment in the area and bringing relief to the lives of the villagers.
This year NTPC started acquiring the land. NTPC has till date taken possession of 8056 acres of land out of the promised 17000 acres from the forest department. According to the Forest Rights Act, however, any land acquisition requires consent from 70% of the gram sabha members. Clearly, the act wasn’t followed, following which the villagers have been staging various protests as Kafan satyagraha and Chitan satyagraha to oppose land acquisition against their will.
After requesting the authorities and the collector, the villagers also pleaded the govt to look into whether the law has been abided by or not and obviously the requests fell on deaf ears. The protest grew when the villagers were blocking the front gate and Congress MLA Nirmala Devi at the front was mishandled and was later arrested, following which the mob attacked the police and the clashes increased.
Observing to the chaotic situation additional forces were sent. Reports talk about women being dragged by hair further angered the mob which started pelting stones on the police and injured six other police officers in between and many other villagers from nearby areas joined the protest which led to serious casualties.
The injured have been admitted in the Sadar Hospital Hazaribagh. According to the police, the police opened fire in self -defence and now section 144 has been imposed in Barkagaon. Although, the Jharkhand government has promised to handle the situation and requested the villagers from holding any more protests.
The Logical Indian Community requests a fast track redressal in the issue followed by investigation into whether the Forest Rights Act was followed or not, if not then a stringent action against NTPC is fast recommended and the govt needs to come out with appropriate solutions to address the grievances of the villagers to strike a profitable deal to satisfy both the parties.