Jharkhand ex-CM Babulal Marandi, political leaders detained

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Ranchi, Aug 11 (IANS) Former Jharkhand Chief Minister Babulal Marandi, two legislators and leaders of opposition parties were detained on Thursday when they were heading for a dharna in Hazaribagh against the alleged forcible land acquisition by the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC).

Leaders of the Congress, Rashtriya Janata Dal and Jharkhand Vikas Morcha-Prajantraik (JVM-P) were going to join a sit-in stike at Barkagaon where NTPC has been given a coal block.

Congress legislator from Barkagaon Nirmal Devi, JVM-P legislator Pradeep Yadav, state RJD President Gautam Sagar Rana and other leaders were going to take part in the sit-in strike along with Babulal Marandi.

The Congress lawmaker is fighting for the local people against the forced land acquisition and demanding due compensation.

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The coal block was allocated to NTPC in 2010 but work could not start due to villagers’ protest.

The opposition leaders had on July 24 met the villagers who are opposing the land acquisition for the NTPC’s upcoming coal block in Pakri-Barwadidh area of Barkagaon of Hazaribagh district.

An FIR was lodged by the NTPC against Marandi and opposition leaders. On August 4, the opposition leaders went to court arrest but the Hazaribagh police turned them away.

On Thursday, the opposition leaders again went to Hazaribagh to express solidarity with the local residents against forcible land acquisition.

“The agitation will continue till the district administration assures that the agriculture land will not be acquired. The compensation which villagers should get has not been given,” Pradeep Yadav told reporters.

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