RANCHI: Support for Nagri villagers on Sunday came from the largest opposition party of the state, the Congress.
Jharkhand Pradesh Congress Committee (JPCC) chief Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu visited Nagri village to take a stock of the situation. "The situation is grim. The government's stand on the situation is pathetic. Any development at the cost of the livelihood of tribals is unjustified," Balmuchu said while assuring his support to the villagers. The villagers showed to the leaders their plight by taking him to the field where paddy seeds have been recently sown.
On Sunday, JMM supreme Shibu Soren confirmed that he would be the chief speaker in Nagri on July 15 when the villagers would organize a large gathering.
A group of over 500 villagers are opposing the forceful land acquisition by the state government for the construction of an educational hub in the village. The stretch of 227 acres acquired plot is agriculture land. The villagers have no other source of income and survive from the produce of this land only. The construction of Indian Institute of Management-Ranchi and Central Law University has already begun in the land.
A group of villagers, who had decided to march to Kanke police station on Sunday to get their FIRs lodged, withdrew their plans because of rain. "The decision was withdrawn for rain. It will be done later," said Arun Pradhan, the state secretary of the Peoples' Front of India.
The core committee of 35 villages on Sunday held a meeting and decided to forms groups that would gather support for July 15 maha sabha (general meeting).
"We will go from door to door to gather support in the neighbouring villages as well. It is a now or never situation. The July 15 meeting has to be decisive and so we will leave no stone unturned to gather the maximum possible support," said Dayamani Barla, a leader.
The central committee of Adivasi Jan Parishad on Sunday decided to hold a daylong dharna at Raj Bhavan on Monday on the issue. Prem Shahi Munda, the party general secretary, said, "The acquired land should be returned to the villagers, the arrested villagers released and FIR against the villagers withdrawn."