Jharkhand to hold talks with villagers for IIM, IIIT land
Ranchi, July 11 (IANS) Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda Wednesday constituted a five-member team to hold talks with villagers protesting against the acquisition of 227 acres of land for building educational institutions on the outskirts of state capital Ranchi.
The Jharkhand High Court Tuesday directed the government to hold talks with the villagers to acquire land for three institutions - an Indian Institute of Management (IIM), an Indian Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) and a law university - and submit a report before next hearing July 16.
The five member team is headed by Land and Revenue Minister Mathura Mahto. Other members include Land and Revenue Secretary N.N. Pandey, Finance Secretary Sukhdeo Singh, Ranchi Commissioner Surendra Singh and Ranchi Deputy Commissioner Vinay Kumar Chaube.
The 227 acres of land at Nagri, around 20 km from here, belongs to the government. However, it had been lying vacant and used by villagers for farming for the last many years.
Last year, when the government began the acquisition process for building the institutes, a protest was launched by the villagers.
They moved the high court against acquisition of the land, but the court ruled in favour of the government, and in an order passed April this year directed it to expedite the work on the educational institutions.
Subsequently, the case went to the Supreme Court, however, it refused to hear the case.
After the set back, villagers stepped up their protests. Last week, they demolished a boundary wall at the project site and clashed with police in which more than 20 people were injured.
Indo-Asian News Service
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