Kuditini farmers take BTPS staff ‘hostage’

Staff Correspondent
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They were released after authorities promise to look into their demands

CONFINED:Employees of Bellary Thermal Power Station in the playground of a school in Bellaryon Monday.
CONFINED:Employees of Bellary Thermal Power Station in the playground of a school in Bellaryon Monday.

The agitation launched by land losers of Kuditini village against alleged failure of Karnataka Power Corporation Ltd. to fulfil its promise of providing employment to their (land-losers) family took a serious turn when the employees of the Bellary Thermal Power Station (BTPS) were confined in a playground for over three hours.

However, they were released later after the authorities concerned promised to take up the issue with KPCL and ensure fulfilment of their demands.

The agitators, who had initially planned to block the National Highway 63 that passes through Kuditini, launched road blockade by squatting on road, which brought vehicular movement to a standstill.

Meanwhile, more than six busses ferrying about 150 personnel of BTPS from Bellary, were stopped by the agitators, who went on to confine the BTPS staff to the adjacent school playground, to pressure the authorities concerned to concede their long-standing demand.

The agitators did not budge when the police tried to convince them and get the BTPS staff released.

The BTPS employees, including women, alleged that they were forcibly detained from 9.30 a.m. “A few employees, who are diabetic, were not allowed to have some food before taking medicines,” a BTPS employee complained.

The agitators criticised the government, especially the authorities concerned, for not keeping their promise.

“Whenever we stage protests, the authorities agree to fulfil our demands, but later, they keep on postponing the process of recruitment under some pretext.

More than 1,000 acres of land belonging to 350 families was acquired for BTPS. So far, only about 150 persons have been recruited. All others are being rejected by stating that they are not eligible,” Venkataramana Babu, member of an association fighting the cause of land-losers, said.

U. Basavaraj, convener of the association, alleged that KPCL was cheating farmers by not providing employment to members of displaced families.

However, the agitation was withdrawn and the BTPS staff released only after Sashikant Senthil, Assistant Commissioner Sashikant Senthil and tahsildar Sashidhar Bagali, along with KPCL officials, assured them that the matter would be taken up with higher ups and convene a joint meeting of the Managing Director of KPCL, the Deputy Commissioner and farmers, at the earliest.

  • ‘KPCL promised to give employment to a member of each displaced family while acquiring land’

  • ‘Authorities are now rejecting most applicants by stating that they are not eligible’




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