Paradip (Odisha), Jan 22 (PTI) Opposition Congress Saturday came down heavily on the BJD government in Odisha for the violent clash between the police and the villagers of Dhinkia over alleged destruction of betel vines and threatened to take the matter to the NHRC.
The party demanded immediate withdrawal of police from Dhinkia, the proposed site of JSW’s mega steel and cement projects.
The demand was made by AICC general secretary in-charge of Odisha, A Chella Kumar after visiting Dhinkia, which witnessed the clash between locals and the police on January 14 during the land acquisition process that left 40 villagers, including children and women and five personnel of the force injured.
“The barbaric attack on the people of Dhinkia by the BJD government in Odisha is highly condemnable,” Kumar, who lead the Odisha PCC’s fact finding team, said.
Alleging that the people of the area are in the grip of fear due to police excess and that the people’s basic rights were groslly violated for setting up industries, he said “It is unfortunate to deny fundamental rights to the villagers. The Congress will take the matter to the NHRC”.
Kumar clarified that Congress is not against industrialization, but is opposed to the forceful acquisition of land.
He said industries can be set up in vacant land but not by destroying a thriving village economy like in Dhinkia where people eke out their living by betel leaf cultivation, fishing and farming other crops.
Congress leaders Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi are aware of the plight of the people of Dhinkia and the party will not hesitate to take the shelter of law for protecting their human rights, he said.
Provisions of the Forest Rights Act, 2006 implemented by the previous Congress government, are sufficient to protect the interest of the people of the area, but unfortunately the legislation is being violated, he said.
The people who have been depending on forest lands since generations cannot be denied access to it for earning their livelihood, the Congress leader said. PTI COR AAM KK KK KK
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Source: The Print