As has been reported earlier in Mazdoor Ekta Lehar, the people of Bhangar, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal, have been waging a militant struggle against the forcible acquisition of their fertile agricultural land by the Power Grid Corporation of India Limited (PGCIL).
According to the villagers in the affected region, their consent was never sought or obtained. The state government, which is acquiring the land on behalf of the central government owned Power Company, is offering the present owners of the land very low rates of compensation. The PGCIL plans to set up a 440/220 KV power grid consisting of a sub-station and 450 MW double circuit power transmission lines. All people in and around the affected area have become highly concerned and agitated about the health hazards that this will pose.
It has been reported that
- Two people have died as a result of bullet wounds inflicted by the police and armed goons while several more people have been beaten and injured.
- K. N. Ramachandran, General Secretary of CPI (ML) Red Star, was detained and harassed.
- Three activists of the agitation were picked up by the police. False charges were slapped against them and 35 other activists, for allegedly inciting violence. They were detained for 8 days in police custody.
- The police are reportedly trying to book the activists under sections 18 and 19 of the draconian Unlawful Activities Prevention Act.