Representatives of the villagers of Loba in Dubrajpur area of Birbhum district who have taken possession of an earth-moving equipment of a mining company will meet State Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee at the State Secretariat here on Friday with the hope of settling the dispute between them and the company.

 Demanding adequate compensation from the DVC Emta Coal Mines Limited, the villagers had taken possession of the equipment belonging to the company in December 2011.

Violence erupted in the village this past Tuesday when a large police contingent that had gone there to retrieve the vehicle met with resistance from the villagers.

Two days after the incident the villagers are taking turns to guard the equipment and are not ready to return it unless the dispute is settled.

“We want Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and the Industries Minister Partha Chatterjee to intervene and solve the dispute. We are happy that the State Government has announced that no action will be taken against villagers,” said Joydeep Majumdar, the secretary of Krishi Jami Raksha (Save Farmland) Committee, to The Hindu .

The villagers took out a rally during the day protesting against the police action and demanding adequate compensation for their land.  Salaram Mondal, a villager who owns about three acres of land, said that the villagers are not keen to sell their land without proper compensation.

Mondal said that the company that plans to acquire about 3,353 acres of land has not been able to acquire more than 700 acres of land because of resistance from the villagers.

Meanwhile, representatives of the six-member delegation of the State Left Front who visited the area said that none of the claims made by the State Administration regarding Tuesday’s violence was found to be true.

“We asked the villagers whether outsiders were in the village when the police tried to take possession of the equipment and whether the CPI(M) and the Congress were involved in the violence as claimed by the State Government. They told us that none of this was true,” said Anisur Rehman, a senior CPI(M) leader .



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