SIX days after four people were killed in police firing in Barkagaon area of Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district, local MP and Union Minister Jayant Sinha Friday accused “some people” of fomenting trouble since “their interests would be affected if all issues were sorted out”.
Taking a dig at Barkagaon MLA Nirmala Devi of the Congress, Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation, asked why she was still absconding if she had nothing to hide.
Her husband, Congress leader Yogendra Saw, has been arrested in the case and stands accused of instigating the violence through his group called ‘Tiger Sena’, which was banned by the state government on Friday.
The issue flared up on October 1 when a group of protesters opposed to the NTPC coal mining project in Barkagaon freed Nirmala Devi, who is leading the protest against the NTPC project saying land of tribals is being forcibly acquired, after her arrest.
Addressing the media in Hazaribagh Friday, Sinha said, “A couple of days before the violence, we had assured the PM that the issue would be sorted out soon. Most outstanding issues, demands and apprehensions of the affected people were taken care of. (But) those who orchestrated the violence realised that their interests would be affected…so they did not want things to reach a positive conclusion.” He told The Indian Express later that NTPC officials had agreed to the proposal and things were at the stage of obtaining formal approval of the NTPC Board, when the recent developments took place.
Calling for a judicial inquiry into the violence, he said: “However, it is for the state government to decide.” Sinha also said he will move a defamation case against Congress Rajya Sabha MP Pradeep Balmuchu, who had alleged that the minister is in partnership with NTPC’s mining developer and operator Triveni Sainik, which is involved in coal mining work in the project.