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Bihar: Several Farmers Injured in Police Action During Protest for Land Compensation for Buxar Power Plant

The farmers, who have been staging a peaceful dharna since the past 11 days, are demanding compensation as per the new land rate.
Bihar police

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Patna: Angry over the police’s alleged move to forcibly end their protest demanding compensation of land acquisition for a power plant, hundreds of farmers clashed with cops in Bihar’s Buxar district on Wednesday. Several farmers were injured when police lathi-charged the protesting farmers and a few police officials were also injured in stone pelting by farmers.

The protesters clashed with police near the main gate of the Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam’s (SJVN) 1,320 MW coal power plant, which is being constructed at the cost of Rs 11,000 crore, in Chausa block.

"Farmers, including women, have been staging a peaceful dharna near the gate of the under-construction power plant since the past 11 days demanding compensation for land acquisition. But on Wednesday afternoon, when we refused to end our protest, police used force and lathi-charge to disperse us. After that the protesting farmers clashed with police", a farmer, Ranjeet Tiwari, told Newsclick.

Tiwari said farmers had the fundamental right to stage a protest to demand compensation for land acquisition for the power plant.

Another farmer, Hari Narayan Rau, said farmers had been protesting for over 500 days but nothing has happened till date. “It is a long protest for land compensation,” he added.

The farmers are demanding compensation as per the new land rate. Last year, hundreds of farmers protested for days with the protest even turning violent.

Dheeraj Kumar, a district police officer, claimed that the protesting farmers attacked police team and some police vehicles were damaged. “After this incident, heavy security forces have been deployed outside the power plant," he added.

The 1,320 MW plant, containing two units of 660 MW, is being constructed by SJVN Thermal Pvt Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam on 1,283 acres.

According to state energy department officials, the second unit’s construction is the Centre’s biggest project. The construction is expected to be completed by early next year with the plant put on trial run in February and operations starting soon thereafter.

The project, whose foundation stone was laid by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on March 9, 2019, will use greenfield supercritical thermal power technology and cost about Rs 11,000 crore.

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