Jharkhand villagers beat up land surveyors sent by steel company
The war for land surfaced with a vicious intensity in Jharkhand when angry villagers first thrashed Bhushan Power and Steel Company's surveyors, then blackened their faces and made them chew their shoes before garlanding them with slippers and parading them at Sarmohuda village in East Singhbhum district.
The incident forced Bhushan Power and Steel Company Ltd to announce suspension of its acquisition drive for its Rs 12,000 crore greenfield steel plant in Potka block of the district. Apart from the three million tonne greenfield steel plant, Bhushan also proposes to set up a 900 mw power plant.
The three land surveyors, Yusuf Ahmed, Sahdeo Singh and Sheetal Kumar were stopped by villagers who had gathered under the banner of Gram Ganraj Parishad and Bhoomi Sudhar Andolan, and, after the thrashing, bound and dragged them to the police station, a Bhushan Steel spokesperson said.
Bhoomi Sudhar Andolan convenor Ramesh Hansda alleged that the company was conducting the land survey without permission from the district administration, a charge denied by Bhushan Steel. This is the third and the most vicious attack on Bhushan Steel's employees, with the last such assault having taken place in June this year.
Reacting to the incident, Bhushan Steel's executive director for Jharkhand, Paras Singh, said that the company has decided to suspend its land identification and acquisition drive. "We will take up the issue with the government which has assured us of all help to set up the plant," said Singh.