Andhra Pradesh

Tension prevails at Kakinada SEZ

Farmers protesting against works at KSEZ at Ramanakkapeta on the outskirts of Kakinada on Tuesday.

Farmers protesting against works at KSEZ at Ramanakkapeta on the outskirts of Kakinada on Tuesday.

Tension prevailed for a couple of hours at Ramanakkapeta on the city outskirts on Tuesday morning, when the farmers who were protesting against land acquisition for the Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ) entered into wordy duel with the police after removing the fence built around their farm fields.

Of the total extent of 10,500 acres acquired by the State government for the KSEZ at Uppada Kothapalli mandal, the issue of compensation remained unsettled for about 3,000 acres. Some of the farmers, who got money against their lands, too were expressing dissatisfaction over the price fixed by the government and were demanding a fair deal.

Struggle Committee against the KSEZ, which had been staging agitations against the land acquisition for the past 10 years, resumed its protest a couple of weeks ago demanding implementation of the new land acquisition policy announced by the Union government. The committee sought the officials of the KSEZ, being promoted by the GMR Group, to halt the works at least for sometime, so that the government could listen to its plea and announce revised compensation to the farmers. With the fence works going on uninterruptedly, the farmers lost their cool and gathered in large numbers at Ramanakkapeta in the morning.

Over 1,000 farmers obstructed a few dozens of workers from laying the fence. Following a complaint from the KSEZ officials, the Uppada Kothapalli police entered the scene and resorted to caning. Scuffle took place between the farmers and the police, in which over two dozens of farmers and a couple of police personnel sustained injuries.

The police left the scene without registering any cases. The agitating farmers, however, were suspecting police action against them and making it clear that their agitation would be continued till the issue of compensation was resolved.

“The government commenced land acquisition on December 29, 2005 and we are observing the completion of a decade at the KSEZ site on December 29. N. Chandrababu Naidu when he was in the Opposition performed ‘Eruvaka’ in the KSEZ lands and assured that our lands would be returned once the TDP is voted to power,” said Chinta Suryanarayana Murthy, convener of the struggle committee.

He said the committee was sending an invitation to the Chief Minister to the meeting. “Our demands include fair price to the lands, employment to the evacuees and removal of cases registered against us in the last 10 years. If the government failed to address these demands by December 31, we are going to sit on fast unto death in our lands from January 1, 2016,” said Mr. Suryanarayana Murthy.

Meanwhile, secretary of the Communist Party of India’s district unit Tatipaka Madhu demanded that the State government render justice to the KSEZ farmers.


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Printable version | Aug 14, 2022 10:06:37 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/andhra-pradesh/tension-prevails-at-kakinada-sez/article7993844.ece