A screengrab of the video
A screengrab of the video

Raipur: In Naxal affected Dantewada, government officers who went for an identification of land for a food processing unit were chased away by the villagers.

Women carrying axes and sticks chased the government officers team accompanied by police in Dantewada’s Geedam, locals said. The incident occurred on Monday evening.

The government was trying to establish a food processing plant in the area in order to create jobs and provide a platform for the local agro-produce, unfortunately misguided and misinformed villagers take the initiative in a wrong way and a small scuffle occurred in the Dantewada’s Geedam, Superintendent of Police Abhishek Pallava.

Some mischievous element spread rumour that establishment of a food processing unit will result in taking away of the villager’s lands. However, the rumour is baseless and the land was government land, officials reached to identify the land for the establishment of the proposed plant, Pallava said. No private land will be acquired.

Both the parties are trying to mutually resolve the issue, no offence was registered in the case.

The food processing plant will be a state undertaking agro-food industry which requires very less land, the SP said.

While speaking to Media Tehsildar Priti Durgam said, the land belongs to the industry department no villagers land will be acquired. Apart from establishing a Food Processing Plant in the name of Martyr Mahendra Karma in Geedam’s ward number 12, the government also wants to open a forest produce collection centre.

People's Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL) Chhattisgarh Unit President Degree Chouhan said, first the government must discuss their plan of development to the locals and take them in confidence through democratic process. The government must publish the data wherever the industries were established in the scheduled areas and what are the numbers of indigenous people benefitted. Without showing transparency putting blame on whistleblowers, activists, human right defenders will not resolve the problem.

Degree said, government officials are complicating the problem and they want to impose development on the local tribals without knowing their needs, and will not work for a longer period.

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