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Blockade targets Panem

Ranchi, Nov. 20: Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM) will enforce an economic blockade in Pakur this midnight against Panem Coal Mines Limited, with party president Babulal Marandi and Congress’s Stephen Marandi continuing an indefinite dharna asking the company to implement all provisions of a 2006 agreement promised to the displaced.

JVM also plans to extend the agitation to other parts of Santhal Pargana from Thursday, while party workers have stalled extraction of coal by Panem in Pakur for four days. They are now intent on stopping transportation of coal.

The JVM chief and the Congressman are sitting on a dharna near Panem’s office in Amrapara — after they had gone to attend a function observing slain nun Sister Valsa John’s first death anniversary — even as Stephen Marandi’s decision to offer support without prior nod from his party has raised eyebrows.

“We won’t budge unless Panem’s chairman or a member of his board of directors comes here and senior representative of the state government joins negotiations. We have little faith in the local administration. I can’t skip my responsibilities because I was an approver when Panem inked an MoU to rehabilitate villagers,” said Stephen Marandi.

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