27 injured in violence outside NTPC plant in Jharkhand
Chatra/Ranchi, March 8 At least 27 persons were injured at Tandwa in Chatra district of Jharkhand after a violent clash broke out between the district police and the locals protesting since the last 14 months against the construction of a National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant.
An angry mob burnt more than a dozen trucks and two-wheelers outside the NTPC plant on Monday.
Senior police and district administrative officers of North Chotanagpur division immediately rushed to the site.
On Tuesday, several MLAs created a ruckus in the Jharkhand assembly over the incident, after which the state government swung into action by launching an investigation into the incident within 24 hours.
The NTPC plant in Tandwa is under-construction since 1999 and has not become fully operational till date.
People living in the area, whose properties have been taken away for setting up this plant, have been holding protests for the last two decades raising demands such as financial compensation, rehabilitation and jobs.
There have been several incidents of violence between the locals and the NTPC management, police and local administration.
Despite agreement on several demands, this matter has not been resolved till date.
For the last 14 months, a large group of displaced locals have been holding protests outside the NTPC plant.
On Monday evening, a tanker loaded with chemicals reached the NTPC plant which was stopped by people protesting outside the plant.
When the police tried to disperse the mob, the latter started pelting stones at the police. The police reacted by resorting to a lathi-charge and fired tear gas shells at the angry mob.
The angry protestors set ablaze eight NTPC vehicles, including a dozen vehicles outside the thermal power plant.
The protestors also attacked the offices and site of the outsourced company engaged in the construction work of the plant and vandalised private property as well.
Of the 27 injured persons, seven are reportedly in critical condition and the doctors have referred them to Ranchi for further treatment after giving first aid.
The NTPC and the firms working for it have suffered heavy losses to the tune of several crores of rupees.
The tents installed at the protest site were removed with the help of JCB machines.
After receiving information about the incident, Deputy Inspector General of Police (Hazaribagh range), Narendra Kumar Singh, Chatra Deputy Commissioner Anjali Yadav, Chatra Superintendent of Police Rakesh Ranjan, Chatra Sub-Divisional Police Officer (SDPO) Avinash Kumar and Tandwa SDPO Shambhu Singh reached the site along with a police team.
The Jharkhand Assembly held a heated discussion over this incident. Congress MLAs Amba Prasad and Bandhu Tirkey, All Jharkhand Students Union-party leader Sudesh Mahto and Bharatiya Janata Party’s C.P. Singh raised the matter on the floor of the Assembly.
The opposition MLAs said the people displaced due to the construction of NTPC plant are being lathi-charged and killed by the district administration which is unfortunate.
On getting no response from the state government over the incident, opposition MLAs continued to create a ruckus in the House.
Later, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Alamgir Alam on behalf of the state government said appropriate action would be taken after investigating the matter within 24 hours.