The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Jindal plant rift among villagers

Jamshedpur, Feb. 8: Villagers of Asanboni in East Singhbhum, either protesting or supporting to shell out their land for Jindal's proposed steel and power plant, are up in arms against each other.

While one faction of the villagers who have pledged to extend their support for a company to come up in their area and are ready to give up their land for industry purposes have reportedly formed an organisation, 'Bhumi Vikas Samiti', against the opposing faction who have been spearheading the campaign under the banner of 'Bhumi Raksha Gramin Ekta Manch'.

Interestingly, majority of the villagers supporting a steel and power plant in their area by Naveen Jindal-owned Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) have termed their campaign as 'mission-e-plant'. 'We have recently returned from Raigarh (Chhattishgarh), where the company has already its operations. The village areas where the company is situated have witnessed much development in every sphere. That is the reason, we have decided to support JSPL's proposed unit in our area provided the company offers a good compensation package for us,' said Ashutosh Das of Beergaon who was part of the company-sponsored trip to Raigarh.

The villagers claimed that now they would forcibly try to thwart away any move by the opposing faction. 'They have organised several meetings and protests at the district collectorate' a villager said.

The senior functionaries of Bhumi Vikas Samiti told The Telegraph that for them the prime challenge is to mobilise people against the 'anti-development' stance of Bhumi Raksha Gramin Ekta Manch, which has convened a meeting, 'Jindal bhagao-hudka jam', on February 24 against Jindal.

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