Agitating adivasis force governor to change route



Jamshedpur: Agitating adivasis on Sunday put up a road blockade on the main road in Sonari here, forcing Jharkhand Governor Dr Syed Ahmed to take an alternative route to return to Ranchi after a programme.

Adivasi Mahasabha activists were on dharna in front of the East Singhbhum district Deputy Commissioner's office since September 22 in protest against the recent public hearing for the proposed three million tonne steel plant to be set up by Bhusan Power and Steel Company at Potka.

The governor was here to attend a programme organized by Jamshedpur Diocese to mark its Golden Jubilee at the Loyola School ground here, official sources said.

As soon as Dr Ahmed came out of the venue, hundreds of the Mahasabha activists lay down on the road, forcing the district administration to take an alternative route to lead the governor to Sonari aerodrome from where he took an aircraft to reach Ranchi.

The Mahasabha secretary Jasai Mardi said they had to protest in this manner as the district administration was reluctant to pay heed to their demand for immediate cancellation of the public hearing held on September 24.

The activists were waiting outside Sonari Aerodrome to meet the governor, the custodian of the Schedule area, to apprise him of their problem but they failed to meet him as the district administration was not willing, he alleged.

"We are on dharna since September 22 but no district official held any talk to us," Mardi said alleging that the steel company acquired 450 acre in Potka, which came under schedule area, and thus violated the Chotanagapur Tenancy Act.

Asked whether action would be taken against the Mahasabha activists, police said the senior officials would have to take a decision in this regard.

PTI