Villagers agitating against the proposed Thermal Power Project in Niddodi, gheraoed Congress partymen led by All India Congress Committee (AICC) member P.V. Mohan in Bangarpadavu

Residents of three villages, who are agitating against the proposed Thermal Power Project in Niddodi, gheraoed Congress partymen led by All India Congress Committee (AICC) member P.V. Mohan in Bangarpadavu on Monday. The Congress team had come to seek opinions of the villagers a day after they organised a satyagraha against the project.

Just as the Congress partymen reached a primary school ground in Banjarpadavu, residents of Tenkamijar-Badagamijar, Munchur and Kallamundkuru started gathering around. Brandishing footwear and brooms, they expressed anger against the Congressmen and accompanying mediapersons for not being part of their protest on Sunday. “We cannot trust you all. We do not want your sympathies. We are firm in our opposition to the project,” said an angry Povappa Gowda, the convenor of the committee of villagers fighting against the project.

They were not convinced with Mr. Mohan’s statement that he had come to seek villagers’ opinions and report the same to the AICC. “Our party is concerned about the cause you are fighting for. We are with you,” Mr. Mohan said. The protestors started raising slogans against the State and Central governments. At one point villagers started throwing stones on the car of a Congress activist who tried to keep his vehicle away from the rally ground. “We will not allow you or reporters to visit the site,” said an agitated villager.

The villagers, especially women folk, gheraoed Mr. Mohan. “At no cost will we allow this project by taking away our fertile land. We are ready to sacrifice our lives,” said an agitated woman.

They were also angry over the way Minister of State for Youth Services K. Abhayachandra Jain spoke “disrespectfully” with the convenor of villagers committee Alfanso D’Souza.

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