Union Minister Jayant Sinha Wednesday said that no land would be acquired “forcefully” as he expressed anguish over the killing of four persons in police firing during a protest against land acquisition in his Hazaribagh Lok Sabha constituency in Jharkhand.
“It is very tragic and unfortunate that people have been hurt and injured. Four people have died and several have been injured. I express my anguish over what has happened. We fully accept that no land will be taken from anyone forcefully,” Sinha, who is the Minister of State for Civil Aviation, told reporters on the sidelines of an event in Delhi.
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He said he has been working with the state government and Chief Minister Raghubar Das to ensure appropriate compensation and medical relief are provided to the victims.
Four villagers were killed and more than 20 injured in police firing in Jharkhand’s Hazaribagh district on October 1 during a protest against land acquisition.
Police also took into custody Congress legislator Nirmala Devi who had been staging a protest at the National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) plant gate against land acquisition.
Sinha accused the Congress lawmaker and her husband Yogendra Sao, a former legislator, of “instigating” the violence. A high-level committee has been set up to look into the causes of incident and the people responsible it, he said.
“Whoever is guilty in this will be prosecuted,” he said.
“Obviously, this tragic set of event was precipitated by the fact that after Nirmala Devi was taken to station by the police, a group of people mercilessly and brutally attacked the police that led to the very, very tragic incident,” he claimed.
“We have been working very hard over the last many years to ensure that these mining activities are run peacefully and with the full concurrence of the local people,” Sinha said.
He said he had been working with the local people to put together a set of demands which they have. “Our discussions have been moving forward very peacefully and with a great deal of understanding with the local people and NTPC as well as the local administration,” he said.
He said that only a few days ago he had presented a comprehensive compensation package which was very “warmly received” by the people of that area.