Barsu refinery protest: No force against agitators is our policy, says CM Shinde even as police arrest MP Raut

Barsu refinery protest: No force against agitators is our policy, says CM Shinde even as police arrest MP Raut

Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Vinayak Raut, who tried to enter the Barsu village in the morning, was detained by the police and cops also used tear gas to disperse protesters on Friday.

Abhijit MulyeUpdated: Friday, April 28, 2023, 09:31 PM IST
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Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Monday said that the state shall not use force against the agitators and that the project shall not advance till all the issues bothering all stakeholders are addressed, even as police arrested Shiv Sena (UBT) MP from the region Vinayak Raut for trying to enter the village where prohibitory orders have been pressed.

Refinery plan will come up only after consent of locals: Shinde

“The refinery plan in Barsu in Maharashtra's Ratnagiri district will come up only after consent from the local population and not by force or through injustice,” CM Shinde said while speaking to reporters here in Mumbai. He also claimed that around 70 percent of the local villagers have supported the project and are cooperating with the authorities.

“We have undertaken boring and soil testing procedures etc. We are not immediately starting the Barsu project," the Chief Minister added.

“Under no situation will the Maharashtra government start the Barsu refinery project by subjecting people to injustice or through force and without consent of the people,” he added.

All stakeholders will be taken into confidence: CM

Citing the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway project, which faced initial opposition, but has seen the Nagpur-Shirdi leg commissioned, Shinde said all stakeholders will be taken into confidence at Barsu, adding that many people there are already supporting the plan.

Vinayak Raut detained while trying to enter the village

Meanwhile, Shiv Sena (UBT) MP Vinayak Raut, who tried to enter the Barsu village in the morning, was detained by the police and cops also used tear gas to disperse protesters on Friday.

“I’ve been detained along with my colleagues by the police for participating in the anti-refinery stir,” Raut tweeted in the afternoon.

As Raut reached the village along with his colleagues to meet the protesters, he and his supporters were stopped by the police. After that, they sat on a road there as a mark of protest, following which they were allowed to meet the local protesters. Meanwhile other protesters too started gathering and chaos prevailed at the site. Police then used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who have been sitting in the Barsu-Solgaon villages Rajapur tehsil to press for their demand that the project be scrapped and detained Raut.

Police used tear-gas to disperse protesters: Raut

“The police asked the protesters, who have been agitating since the last four days in Barsu-Solgaon, to return home. But as they refused to budge, the police personnel started evicting them and in the process use teargas to disperse agitators. Due to the action, the protesters started running away from the protest site” Raut said.

Two companies of the State Reserve Police Force (SRPF), around 1,000 police constables and 120 officers are currently deployed at the protest site. On Tuesday, the Ratnagiri police arrested 111 people, most of them women, during a protest against the proposed refinery.

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