Jharkhand land acquisition row: Pradeep Yadav, locals refuse to end fast; police arrest MLA
The protest against Adani power plant in Godda district of Jharkhand led by Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajatantrik (JVM-P) legislator Pradeep Yadav is intensifying with every passing day with locals unwilling to sacrifice their land at any cost. In a recent development, MLA Pradeep Yadav was arrested on Saturday early morning in a police crackdown by the state on him and his supporters.
“It’s a police crackdown by the state on Pradeep Yadav and his supporters. Jharkhand Government is using forceful means against Pradeep Yadav and land owners who are not willing to give their lands until their demands are met. These methods clearly violate land acquisition policies and guidelines set by the government,” a source told Newsd.
Yadav along with hundreds of poor villagers have been sitting on an indefinite fast against the forceful land acquisition for a week. “He (Yadav) was trapped in a false case under conspiracy. A large police force reached the protest ground at around 4:50 pm in the morning and arrested him. The officials sent him to Godda jail. With this move, the state government’s intention is already clear,” another source close to Yadav told Newsd.
On Saturday morning, around 4.30 pm, SDO Saurabh Kumar Sinha and SDPO Abhishek Kumar reached the protest spot with the team force. The SDO asked Yadav to end the fast but as the protestors were unwilling to do so, SDOPO Abhishek Kumar showed him the arrest warrant and arrested Yadav.
People on the hunger strike tried to oppose, but the MLA requested them to maintain peace. The MLA said, he will continue fasting even in jail and his committee will continue its movement to save the land. “The police can silence me, but the voice of the public cannot be suppressed,” Yadav said.
Protests against the Adani power plant began as hundreds of villagers, who are likely to lose their lands, sat on an indefinite fast with Yadav. People were protesting with the legislator under the banner of Jameen Bachao Sangrash Samittee.
According to a letter written on April 20 by the Jharkhand Morcha Manch, it’s been six months that the district administration has started the process of land acquisition at the behest of state government. The locals and landowners were against the land acquisition from the very start. In fact, this was the reason that the government had to withdraw its decision of the earlier proposed land called Paraspani of Paththargama.
The villagers are protesting because the land that will be acquired under the land acquisition process is productive and agricultural in nature. The region has huge population and there is no sufficient facility of water, meaning the power plant may severely impact the lives of locals, leading lakhs of farmers and labourers to leave their houses and move on to other places.
But the government seems unbothered about the local people and is rigid in its decision. While ignoring the plight of poor people, it is only favouring the company i.e. Adani Power, locals say. The state government is also building pressure on the local administration to push the land acquisition process illegally, they add.
Last year, Adani Power signed a MoU with the state government to establish a 1,600MW power plant in Santhal Pargana area of the state.