Ranchi: Three raiyats (land owners) from a tribal family in Godda district's Mali village staged a dharna near Raj Bhavan on Wednesday alleging that the Adanis were trying to grab their land in connivance with the district administration.
They submitted a memorandum to Governor Droupadi Murmu and urged her to take prompt action in tune with the provisions of Santhal Pargana Tenancy Act and the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution.
The protestors were backed by a little-known social outfit, Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti, that claims to fight for safeguarding the rights of tribals and original natives of the state. Over 100 members of the outfit joined the trio and vowed to steer the battle to a decisive end.
"I am not an educated person. We own 16 bighas, 16 kathas and 7 dhoor (approximately 7 acres) in Mali village. There are four bona fide claimants of these plots. It is our only source of livelihood. We don't want to part with it. We haven't accepted any compensation or other favours from the company," said Anil Hembrom, one of the raiyats.
His brother Rakesh claimed that on August 31, standing crops on these plots were destroyed by earthmovers in the presence of Adani Group executives and local police. When they protested, they were threatened, he added.
"Our close relative Manager Hembrom, one of the owners of the raiyati land, has been implicated in false criminal cases for opposing forced acquisitions. That is why he could join the protests," alleged Rakesh, a student of Godda College and one of the raiyats.
In Godda, too, a daylong dharna was staged at Poraiyahat block grounds to protest against land acquisition for Adani power plant. Although the protest was organised by Adivasi Vikas Morcha, JVM principal general secretary and local MLA Pradip Yadav's presence and patronage added political flavour.
Meanwhile, land donors in Godda also held meetings to discuss their action plan. One Ranjan Mandal of Mali village told reporters that they were happy because they received compensation at the rate of Rs 4,910,400 per acre. He added that the proposed power plant would generate jobs for the local people and boost the economy.
"Only two land owner families in our village are not willing to part with their plots. The unwarranted politics on the issue is unfortunate," Mandal added.
Godda additional collector Anil Tirkey, who is overseeing land acquisition work for Adani Group's power plant, said that 166.40 acres involving 240 awardees were identified for acquisition in the village. Of this, 230 awardees have already received their money amounting to Rs 6,10,942,012.