Madhya Pradesh govt imposes section 144 as villagers announce protest on Monday


Madhya Pradesh government has imposed section 144 of Crpc in Gevra, a coal mining region in Korba district, ahead of the planned protest call by the villagers affected by various projects of the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) on Monday.


A PTI report said that the the administration was worried after the opposition Congress extended its support to the protest alleging that the administration was supporting SECL to suppress the voices of protesters.

“The prohibitory orders were issued by Korba Additional District Magistrate A Lakra yesterday to thwart the possibility of unlawful activities in Gevra region on account of the announcement of protest given by villagers of Bhathora and other villages on May 2,” Darri City Superintendent of Police (CSP) D R Porte was quoted by the news agency.

The prohibitory orders will be effective from May 2 till further notice, he added.

“Local people have been informed about the orders and no protest or ‘bandh’ will be allowed to take place during this period. “If anyone tries to violate the law, strict action will be taken against them,” Porte added.

Villagers and farmers of at least 30 villages affected by Gevra and Deepka projects of SECL had announced launching of a huge protest at Gevra and blocking transportation of coal from the mining site to power plants for fulfilment of their demands under the amended Land Acquisition Act.

Congress party accused the ruling BJP of attempting to snatch the democratic rights of the people to protest.

“The villagers, belonging to Bhathora, Naraibodh, Raliya, Bhilaibazar and other villages, have decided to fight for their rights, demanding justice for land acquired by SECL and get employment, rehabilitation and compensation,” Congress MLA from Korba seat Jaisingh Agrawal told reporters.

The villagers, who got displaced due to the projects, have raised their problems before the SECL management in the past but failed to get positive response, he said.