Cong condemns police excess on demonstrators in Bolangir
Bhubaneswar: Terming alleged police excess on the peaceful demonstrators at the site of the Lower Suktel Irrigation project site in Bolangir district as "uncivilised", opposition Congress on Tuesday demanded legal action against the officials and police involved in it.
"We strongly condemn the police action and demand stringent legal action against officials and policemen responsible for assault on demonstrators," Congress media cell chairman Narasingha Mishra told reporters here.
The police had allegedly rained lathis on the demonstrators who opposed construction of the irrigation project, which was considered as the lifeline of the drought prone Bolangir district. The project would provide irrigation to about 38,000 hectare of land in Bolangir district.
About 40 persons were injured in the police excess yesterday, Mishra alleged adding that women demonstrators were misbehaved by the male police personnel.
Claiming that Congress was first to moot the proposal for construction of the irrigation project, Mishra said the party demanded implementation of the project after giving compensation and rehabilitation to the affected people.
"Starting work without giving compensation and proper rehabilitation is clear violation of a Supreme Court judgement," Mishra, a former law minister said.
Stating that the residents of Pardhiapali village were supporters of the project, Mishra said they came to streets demanding full compensation and rehabilitation. "Is it wrong to ask for compensation," Mishra asked adding that these people were facing difficulties due to heavy presence of police in their village.
Meanwhile, water resources secretary Suresh Chandra Mohapatra said that the government has decided to start payment of full compensation and rehabilitation as soon as it started work for the mud dam of the irrigation project. "We are hopeful to begin mud dam work in 2/3 days," Mohapatra said.