Union minister favours judicial probe in Jharkhand police firings

Ranchi, Oct 7 (IANS) Union Minister Jayant Sinha on Friday demanded a judicial probe into two police firings in Jharkhand and accused anti-social elements of targeting the police that led to what he said were unfortunate happenings.

Sinha is the BJP’s Lok Sabha member from Hazaribagh, which was earlier represented by his father and senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Yashwant Sinha.

“There should be a judicial probe in both the police firings,” Sinha told the media here.

One person was killed in police firing on protesters at Gola in Ramgarh district on August 29 at the Inland Power’s plant while the villagers were protesting against their displacement.

On October 1, at least four people were killed and more than six injured in clashes between the police and protesters in Barkagao police station area in Hazaribagh district during a protest over a coal mining project for a National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant.

“Local leaders with business interests in the area instigated people and some anti-social people targeted the police, which led to firing,” the Union minister said.

He claimed that some leaders were using the protests to further their business interests and did not want landowners to get compensation.

“The development work in the area has begun and the NTPC is investing Rs 40,000 crore. We have offered Rs 20 lakh per acre as land compensation, besides other benefits. The villagers were ready but certain leaders played a villainous role,” Sinha said.

The NTPC has acquired 8,000 acres under the Coal Bearing Act.

He said the 2013 land acquisition law cannot be implemented in the case as the land was acquired before 2013 under the Coal Bearing Act.

“We offered good compensation and the villagers were ready but certain leaders tried to spoil the deal. We are ready to hold talks in a peaceful environment. No further land will be acquired without the consent of the landowners,” Sinha said.

Sinha said he will file a defamation case against Congress Rajya Sabha member Pradeep Balmuchu who had accused the minister of being a partner in Triveni Sainik company involved in NTPC mining job.

–IANS

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