Demand for Hungund MLA’s arrest grows

The State government on Monday strongly defended the establishment of National Thermal Power Corporation’s (NTPC) 4,000 MW plant in Kudgi, Bijapur district, and said farmers were misled about the project.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, who has ordered a magisterial inquiry into the police firing in Kudgi on Saturday, informed the Legislative Assembly that NTPC was setting up a super critical thermal power generation plant on 4,000 acres in Kudgi, which is estimated to cost Rs. 15,000 crore. Work on the project had commenced about three years ago.

Farmers had been misled on the facts by a retired scientist from Bangalore, he said. He said the government would provide the best available medical treatment for the two injured in the police firing. Compensation of Rs. 1 lakh would be given to both and Rs. 25,000 each to four others who had been injured during the protest.

The Opposition BJP, which had demanded a judicial probe into the violence, staged a walkout. It demanded withdrawal of cases registered against innocent farmers, higher compensation for the injured, jobs to local people who had lost their land for the plant, and a probe by a sitting or retired judge of the High Court. In reply to the debate on the issue under rule 69 of the House, Mr. Siddaramaiah said the police resorted to firing to bring the situation under control. Engineers from Korea and Japan were stationed at the site. The deputy commissioner has been asked to submit a report within 45 days. Action on withdrawal of cases against farmers would be taken based on the probe report, Mr. Siddaramaiah said. Minister for Home K.J. George said protesters set on fire nine sheds, jeeps and police vehicles. Six police personnel were also hurt in the melee. The police have booked 15 cases and 23 persons have been arrested.

BJP stages walkout

The BJP members also staged a walkout in the Legislative Council after the government turned down their demand for a judicial probe into the incident.

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