Communist Party of India (Marxist) and rights organisations have criticised the lathi charge on people protesting against the East Coast Energy thermal power station construction in Srikakulam district.

The CPI (M) secretary B.V.Raghavulu condemned the use of teargas shells and lathicharge on agitators in Vaddithandra village in Santabommali mandal on Friday. He demanded the release of the agitators picked up by the police.

He wanted the police force to be withdrawn immediately, the ongoing construction stopped immediately and a dialogue initiated by the Government with political parties and the displaced people.

Human Rights Forum strongly condemned the police action in removing the hunger strike camp at Vaddithandra and the subsequent cane charge on agitators. HRF president S. Jeevan Kumar and general secretary V.S. Krishna in a press release said the camp was being run for the last six months.

Asserting that the demand of the locals was totally justified, Mr. Jeevan Kumar said the power plant was being constructed on a precious wetland in utter disregard of environmental norms. He demanded the immediate cancellation of environmental clearance accorded to the power plan. The Forum wanted Government to protect and conserve the wetlands.

In another statement National Alliance of People’s Movement, AP Chapter, condemned the high handed behaviour of the police and demanded action against the erring police officials.

Alliance State convenor B. Ramakrishna Raju and others in a statement wanted action against the district administration and company officials besides withdrawal of forces. They flayed the police action in deploying huge force, imposition of Sec. 144 and mass arrests of people without any incidence of violence.

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