Villagers under virtual house arrest | punjab | Hindustan Times
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Villagers under virtual house arrest

punjab Updated: Apr 13, 2012 11:47 IST
Ravinder Vasudeva

Opposing the acquisition of their land for the proposed railway line to be set up for a thermal plant coming up in the nearby area of Rajpura, more than 20 families of Jeonpura village of Fatehgarh Sahib district have been under virtual "house arrest" for the last two days.

Tension gripped the village on Monday evening after a few residents tried to erect the boundary wall for the newly built gurudwara situated on the land in question and the police stopping them. Since then, police have been deployed around 60-70 acres of land to be acquired, blocking every entry to it.

More than 20 families living in the area, which are opposing the land acquisition, are a harried lot as their entry is also restricted in the village from outside.

Therefore, many villagers are staging a dharna outside the village on the National Highway-1.
For the last two days, local Congress MLA Kuljit Singh Nagra and his supporters have been lending support to protesting villagers.

Opposing the action by the police, villagers alleged that the district administration was denying them their religious rights to benefit Larsen and Toubro Company carrying out the project. "The land for the project has not been acquired till now. The case is still pending with the high court and scheduled to come up for hearing on April 16. Till now, we are owners as we have not been paid any penny for this. Why were the police opposing our entry in the land and the boundary wall of the gurdwara," said an angry Satnam Singh.

Congress MLA Kuljeet Nagra, who has been opposing the acquisition with the villagers for the last five months, said till now even the notification for the acquisition had not been issued but the police had been deployed to protect the land by the administration.

According to the project proposal, a separate 25-km railway track will be laid for the loading of coal of the thermal plant. The track would come up at a height of 30 feet and would cover around 60 acres of land of the village.