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Updated on: Thursday, August 05, 2021, 10:28 PM IST

Chhattisgarh: Tribal villagers opposing proposed steel plant hold BJP leader hostage in Jashpur

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Raipur: Establishing of Industries once considered as major initiative to bring development in the area has become matter of flash point between business lobby and tribal community in the fifth schedule area of Jashpur, Chhattisgarh. Tribal villagers who were continuously opposing the proposal of establishing steel plant in the area held hostage Bhartiya Janata Party leader considering him as a company man on Thursday.

The BJP leader was freed with the intervention of police when the shopkeepers and traders made wheel halt of the whole traffic by jamming the main Highway of the area.

The incident occurred in Tangargaon in Kansabel tehsil, Jashpur district of Chhattisgarh.

The tribal villagers of the area were continuously opposing the proposal of establishing of Maa Kudargarhi Energy And Ispat Private Limited, is to be set up to produce 0.462 MTPA (462000 TPA) of sponge iron, 0.52 MTPA (520000 TPA) of billets, and 70 MW of electricity.

Seeing the tribal forces and local sentiment in the area is on boil, the district collector cancelled the proposed public hearing for the environment clearance for the project, scheduled for August 4,2021.

The local tribal villagers have earlier also filed a PIL in the High Court.

Father Jacob Kujur who was leading the villagers protest in the area said, “We don't need iron or power; we need agriculture and forest produce-based industries. There should not be a factory that destroys agriculture and forest produce. We need an industry that keeps the environment clean".

Jashpur district falls under the Fifth Schedule Area – the land being transferred to the industrial firm has not received the gram sabha consent yet. Activists alleged that the process of land acquisition was done secretly and that Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006 has also been violated.

As the tribals were already resented with the move they mistook Ram Garg as company person and held hostage him and only set him free after businessmen blocked the main highway and police intervened, Sanjay Choudhary, a local journalist said.

Meanwhile, another Journalist Sanjeet said, the situation reached to flash point, but it was diffused. However, still the tension is prevailing in the area.

Local leader cum businessman Hansraj Agarwal said, the villagers have right to right to register protest but the way it was done is unacceptable.

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Published on: Thursday, August 05, 2021, 10:29 PM IST
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