Railway construction work sparks off tension in Kalinganagar

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Jajpur: Police on Wednesday arrested 14 persons from Kalinganagar area in Odisha’s Jajpur district following stiff protest by the locals of at Duburi and Baliapal area against the ongoing construction of Duburi-Sukinda-Angul railway line yesterday.

Notably tension ran high at Duburi and Baliapal area of the district yesterday when the locals vehemently protested the construction of railway line. Following the protest, the work was stopped for nearly two hours. However, the work resumed after police rushed to the spot and drove away the agitators.

Anticipating further trouble, police today arrested 14 persons.

On the other hand, people, who have lost their land, have said they would continue their protest until they have received adequate compensation.

Taking to media persons, Dabara Samad, a native of Baliapal area, said the Railway authorities have taken possession of his agriculture and homestead land. Besides, several farmers of Baliapal have also lost their land.

“As we are poor farmers, we have redressed our grievances to the state government since last four years. As there is no response from the government, we have been peacefully agitating in a democratic manner. We want that the government should rehabilitate us properly and provide us with adequate compensation. Unless our demands are met, we will not allow the work to continue,” he added.

Briefing the media persons, Pratyush Kumar Sahu, Site Engineer of Rail Vikash Nigam Ltd (RVNL), said he was supervising the construction work on government land by 40-50 labourers when the local people protested the work for which the work was stopped for nearly two hours. However, the work resumed later after police intervened and drove them away from the area.

Asked whether the work was on the government land, Sahu said since he is an engineer, he has no idea on the nature of land. “You can check it from the Special Land Acquisition Officer who can give the details,” he pointed out.

Talking about the law and order situation, Additional SP, Kalinganagar, PK Sahani said the Railways had acquired the land a year ago. “The work has started 10-15 days ago on government land. Yesterday, about 100 people, some of them outsiders, had come to the spot and asked the Railway officers and workers to stop the work. But the police, who was present on the spot, asked them go away and without creating disturbance. Though the police was able to drive away the agitators, it has detained 14 persons to prevent any cognisable offence. We will forward them to the court of the executive magistrate-cum-tehsildar through advance personal bond (PR),” he added.

Subash Chandra Nathasharma, tehsildar, Danagadi, said the valuation of the private land in the area has been done as per the prevalent rate in 2009-10. But the people are not receiving the compensation from the government since last 2-3 years and obstructing the construction work.

“Presently the work is going on government land. Though work has not started in private land, the people are still obstructing the work,” he informed.

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