Ranchi, July 5 (IANS) The protest against acquisition of land for an Indian Institute of Management, an Indian Institute of Technology and a law university on the outskirts of this Jharkhand capital has turned violent, officials said.
Hundreds of villagers, mostly tribals, Thursday blocked the Ranchi-Patratu national highway, protesting the arrest of three people a day earlier.
More than two dozen people, including Superintendent of Police(Rural) Asim Vikrant Minz, suffered head injuries in the clashes Wednesday.
The state government had acquired 227 acres of land way back in 1957 for setting up an IIT, an IIM and a law university at Nagri, around 20 km from here.
The villagers’ protest began in March this year after the state government started boundary wall construction on the land.
The affected people had moved the Jharkhand High Court, which had passed the judgment in favour of the state government.
The people then moved to the Supreme Court against the high court order, upholding the land acquisition 55 years back.
The Supreme Court in June refused to hear the case and put the high court order under suspension.
When they failed to get relief from the apex court, the villagers stepped up their protest.
Hundreds of villagers gathered and started demolishing the boundary wall Wednesday. When policemen tried to stop them, the villagers starting pelting stones. The police resorted to baton charge to disburse them.
The villagers claim that of the 153 affected families in 1957, 128 had refused to accept the compensation of the state government, and since they did not accept the compensation, they had right over their lands.
Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda has sought detailed report on Wednesday’s incident from the district administration. Sub-Divisional Magistrate Shekhar Jamuar told reporters: “The construction work will continue and we will try to resolve the issue the villagers.”
Meanwhile, Jharkhand Human Right Association secretary Gladson Dungdung has demanded a halt to the construction work and protection of land rights of the tribals.
The Daily News Post India (tdnpost)