Congress MLA leading protest against NTPC Jharkhand project held

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Ranchi, Oct 18 (IANS) Congress legislator Nirmala Devi, who is spearheading the protest against NTPC coal block mining in Hazaribagh district of Jharkhand, was arrested on Tuesday, police said.

“Nirmala Devi has been arrested from Hazaribagh,” said Inspector General of Police (Operations) M.S. Bhatia.

She was earlier arrested on October 1 when she was sitting on a dharna with her supporters to demand a ban on the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) work in Barkagao in Hazaribagh district.

She and her husband are protesting the land acquisition by the NTPC and alleged absence of suitable compensation to landowners.

After her arrest on October 1, she was allegedly freed by her supporters, after which police firing on villagers had led to the death of four persons.

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Her husband and former Minister and Congress leader Yogendra Sao was arrested after the firing on the charge of instigating people. Nirmala Devi’s son too was arrested in another case.

The arrest comes a day before opposition parties’ rally in Barkagao to protest the land acquisition for the NTPC project.

The coal blocks of Pankri Barwadih, Chatti Bariatu and Keredari in Hazaribagh district were awarded to the NTPC in 2004. The mining work required acquisition of 4,000 acres of land from ‘rayats’, 2,900 acres of forest land and 1,200 acres of government land.

The land acquisition was estimated to hit 8,745 families.



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