Land losers of Bokaro at the jal satyagraha on Monday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Around six dozens displaced youths launched a jal satyagraha from Republic Day, standing knee-deep in water to demand jobs at Bokaro Steel Plant.
Led by one Chandrakant Kumar Kushwaha, the agitators waded into Two Tank Garden pond, right in front of the steel major’s administrative building on Sunday and threatened that unless their demands were met by the management they would not come out.
“We would rather die of hunger, turning this pond into a watery grave than give up on our demand and stop this stir,” declared a defiant Kushwaha on Monday.
Kushwaha urged the Bokaro steel management to fulfil the promises made to all those who gave away their land for the steel plant, which include jobs for land losers and compensation at par with today’s market rate.
The protesters further alleged that they were receiving step motherly treatment at the hands of the steel plant authorities.
Kushwaha claimed that as per rule, grade III and IV jobs must be been given to the family members of the displaced, but youths from other states, including Bihar, took away the jobs. He demanded a CBI inquiry into the matter.
Notably, after the steel plant came up, the authorities had given jobs to one member each of 6,019 displaced families.
On Supreme Court’s order in 2008, another 7,290 families received job benefits.
The steel giant claims that till date, it has given jobs to over 16,000 displaced.
When contacted, Bokaro Steel Plant chief of communications Sanjay Tewary said they were open to discussion, but the protesters must possess land titles and also have to prove whether their fathers or grand fathers have not got the job.
“There are still thousands of people who are claiming that they are genuine displaced and have not been given justice by us. We act in accordance with Supreme Court guidelines and do whatever direction comes to us,” stated Tewary.