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Nagri villagers march for land

Residents of Nagri and anti-displacement activists on Tuesday took out a protest march till the disputed site, where three premier educational institutes are coming up, reiterating their demand that the land be returned to them.

“The march was held to repeat our demand that the land that was taken away by the government for the national cradles should be returned to owners. It was a peaceful protest against displacement,” said Dayamani Barla, a social activist.

Subdivisional magistrate Amit Kumar agreed that the demonstration was peaceful and that no untoward incident took place.

Nevertheless, a team of district officials and security personnel was posted at the site. However, they did not stop the villagers, who went back to Nagri after shouting slogans.

Recently, Jharkhand High Court asked the government to resume construction of the campuses of IIM, NUSRL and IIIT that had remained stalled since early July after violent protests by the villagers. SDM Kumar said they were waiting for a copy of the order after which construction would commence.

Contractor Md Arif said he had deputed around 20 labourers at the site, but the administration asked him not to resume work on Tuesday. “We are in a fix as to how to undertake construction in the present scenario,” he said.

Later in the day, a team of social activists called on Governor Syed Ahmed and requested him to ask the state government to find an alternative site for the campuses.

“The government can find barren land for the educational institutes,” said Salkhan Murmu, chief of Jharkhand Disom Party and one of the five who met Ahmed.

The high court will again hear the case on October 3.