Power plant protest turns violent; 25 hurt

VADDITANDRA (SRIKAKULAM): A war-like situation prevailed in this small fisherfolk village in Santabommali mandal on Friday after the anti-power plant agitation turned violent. Police lobbed tear gas shells and fired rubber bullets on the protesters. Twenty-five people, including seven cops, were injured in the melee. Seven cops, including DSP of Kasibugga town A V L Prasanna Kumar, suffered injuries when over 200 villagers attacked them with sticks, iron rods and chilli powder. The protesters even pelted stones when cops tried to remove them from their dharna camp in Vadditandra junction near the proposed mega power plant in Srikakulam district. About 130 people were taken into custody.

People of 36 villages are opposing the proposed 2,640 MW coal-based power plant set up by East Coast Energy Private Ltd ( ECEPL) at Kakarapalli, 2 km from Vadditandra, in 3,333 acres allotted by the government citing destruction of their livelihood and also precious wetland. The fisherfolk community have been on a relay hunger strike for the last 195 days in Vadditandra, 50 km from Srikakulam, opposing the power plant. Two persons were killed and scores injured when police opened fire and resorted to lathicharge to disperse the agitators who were protesting the
setting up of a thermal power plant of Nagarjuna Construction Company in Sompeta last year.

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