Villagers in Bhangar in West Bengal’s South 24 Parganas district stopped ongoing work to construct a power grid, accusing the government of having a “laidback attitude” over certain promises made to them.
The project was halted in early 2017 after series of protests and violent incidents. It resumed in August after the local residents and the government reached an agreement. The committee spearheading the movement against the power sub-station in Bhangar said the villagers are feeling betrayed. The committee claimed that while the government is keen to complete the project, it is yet to fulfil the commitments it made.
The matter was temporarily resolved after the local administration scheduled a meeting of the parties concerned for Friday. “We don’t want protest for the sake of it. What villagers are demanding are very simple things from lighting to the setting up of a cold storage. For these things, one doesn’t need to go for an agitation. We hope this token protest… will make the government notice the loopholes,” Sharmishta Choudhury, a CPI(ML) Red Star member, told The Indian Express.
The protest resulted in work being stopped from morning till late afternoon. A considerable police presence has been deployed in the area. While the government did not comment on the issue, a Trinamool Congress leader said, “There is no tension in the area at all. Some people unnecessarily try to instigate innocent villagers for their own benefit.”