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Marandi duo snub Panem offer

Dumka, Dec. 2: The ongoing agitation against Panem continued today, a day after the coal company’s officials approached JVM president Babulal Marandi and Congress’s Stephen Marandi in Pakur requesting them to hold talks and end the deadlock.

Panem officials yesterday handed over a letter of the CMD, Ujjwal Upadhyay, to the two politicians leading the charge, proposing a tripartite dialogue between the company, agitators and the state government either today or tomorrow at the divisional headquarters in Dumka. They proposed Santhal Pargana commissioner Surendra Singh Meena’s name as a representative of the government.

However, the politicians stuck to their stand of negotiating only with Upadhyay and a government official not below the rank of a commissioner.

They declined Panem’s proposal asking the company to involve members of the Rajmahal Pahari Bachao Andolan Samiti as well in the talks.

Panem Coal Mines Limited — a joint venture of the Punjab State Electricity Board and EMTA Group — had signed an MoU in 2006 promising an elaborate rehabilitation package for the displaced people in Pachuara, Pakur.

“We are only fighting for the displaced people who have been deprived benefits promised in the MoU. There is no question of not involving the villagers and the samiti in any dialogue with the Panem management and the government,” Stephen Marandi told The Telegraph.

He further said the Panem CMD and the government emissary had to come to the venue of the dharna for talks.

JVM threat

The JVM will bring in an adjournment motion in the Assembly tomorrow to compel the government to clarify its stand on the Panem deadlock. If the Speaker rejects the motion, it plans to stall the functioning of the House on successive days of the winter session.