Villagers protest land acquisition

Convincing act: DSP S. Surya Rao trying to pacify the protestors of Kakinada SEZ at Vakadaripeta in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district on Tuesday.

Convincing act: DSP S. Surya Rao trying to pacify the protestors of Kakinada SEZ at Vakadaripeta in Thondangi mandal of East Godavari district on Tuesday.   | Photo Credit: – Photo: S. Rambabu

Staff Reporter

Agitators in no mood to part with their lands in East Godavari district

Police had to beat a hasty retreat at some places as villagers virtually chased them

Officials incur people’s wrath and had to be escorted to safety by the police

Kakinada: Tension prevailed in U. Kotthapalli and Thondangi mandals on Tuesday as attempts by officials to fence around nearly 2,000 acres purportedly acquired for the development of Kakinada Special Economic Zone (KSEZ), pitted a large number of people, against over 1,000 armed policemen.

The people, mostly marginal farmers, were refusing to allow their lands to be taken over for the purpose on the grouse that either the compensation paid to some of them was paltry or lands of unwilling farmers were also being usurped.

The agitators resolved not to part with their lands whether or not higher compensation is offered or the terms of relief and rehabilitation package are sought to be modified in their favour. Nearly 3,000 out of 6,000 acres acquired in those two mandals, were taken into possession and the remaining land is to be fenced.

Verbal duels

Fresh trouble broke out on Monday night when a large posse of policeman descended on the villages even as people entered into verbal duels with them and demanded that they go back.

However, the policemen stuck to their positions till Tuesday morning. Two leaders of All India Kisan Mazdoor Sangh N. Ramanna and B. Narayana Swami were said to be taken into custody in the early hours of Tuesday.

After the break of dawn, the policemen tried to erect fencing at Srirampuram, Moolapeta, Vakadaripeta, Thondangi, Perumallapuram and Chodipallipeta and other villages in the presence of Revenue officials but they faced stiff resistance from the villagers. At some places, the police successfully erected fences but elsewhere they had to beat a hasty retreat as the villagers virtually chased them. Scores of concrete poles were destroyed by the agitators.

People at Vakadaripeta grilled the policemen and the latter maintained restraint as per the orders of their superiors.

DSP stopped

The vehicle of Kakinada DSP S. Surya Rao was stopped at Srirampuram but he managed to wriggle out of the situation with the help of constables. He told mediapersons that the process of fencing would continue even if the villagers obstruct them at a few places.

Fencing work was stopped in the afternoon as the villagers appeared to be in no mood to relent but policemen were still posted in the KSEZ area.

Kakinada RDO G.C. Kishore Kumar visited the KSEZ affected villages and monitored the situation. He also incurred the people’s wrath and was escorted to safety by the police. The situation continues to be tense.

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