ANDHRA PRADESH

Gangavaram fishermen accept compensation



Special Correspondent

Entry of some Left party leaders into the village reportedly objected

1,600 fishermen given cheques so far under the compensation packageBoats belonging to fishermen yet to be shifted to Yarada Villagers asked to identify bogus names among the list of beneficiaries

VISAKHAPATNAM: The situation at Gangavaram, the fishing village which witnessed tension for a few months in the past due to the agitation by the fishermen over compensation package following the decision to build a private port, is now peaceful and the distribution of cheques by the officials as part of the package is going on.

The tent where relay protest fast was held for several months was removed on Wednesday. The shifting of boats to Yarada, from where the Gangavaram fishermen will go for fishing as part of the package, did not take place on Thursday as scheduled since the fishermen wanted all the 2,079 identified beneficiaries be given cheques. So far about 1,600 were given the cheques by the officials.

Background

The agitation by the fishermen led by the Ikya Vedika and supported by CPI, CPI (M), Telugu Desam and other political parties and people's organisations attracted wide attention after a fisherman was killed in the police firing on March 27 following clashes between the police and the fishermen. The fishermen and others obstructed the construction work at the private port.

Later 65 persons, including all the important leaders of the Ikya Vedika, political parties and people's organisations were arrested. They were released a few days ago on bail after being detained for 40 days at the Central Jail here. Several cases were booked against them, including two cases under Sec. 307 of IPC (attempt to murder).

The present situation of the villagers accepting the cheques is in contrast to the situation that prevailed for a few weeks after the March 27 incident when ruling party leaders or senior Meanwhile the issue of bogus names in the list of beneficiaries is yet to be solved. It was reported that, when the officials offered the list of beneficiaries to the villagers to trace bogus names, the villagers did not come forward to check the list.