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     Korba, January 07, 2012: Armed police today severely assaulted villagers for opposing a public hearing for expansion of Lanco Power Project in Korba district of Chhattisgarh.

     Villagers have even complaints that the police opened fire and lobbed teargas shells to disperse them, who were opposing a public hearing for expansion of the LANCO power project.

      People have accused the private power company of going back from its promises and said they never wanted to give away their land to the power producer.

     The agitators have even put up pickets two km ahead of the place for the public hearing and did not allow any vehicles, forcing the officials to take a walk to reach the spot.

     As part of the agitation, the villagers of Patadhi, Pahanda, Dhandhani, Saragbundia, Barpali and Bengchulbhata put up a chakka jam at Imlipara main road disrupting road connection to the public hearing site at Siliyaripara of Saragbundia village today.

     After facing stiff opposition from the people, local administration had sent messages to the District Collector RPS Tyagi and the District Superintendent of Police Sundarraj P.

     On arrival District Collector hold a meeting in a different place and recorded statements of a few people and said the public hearing was over, which was seen unaccepted by the people who, raised slogans and on instruction from the SP when police started assaulting them, the mob turned violent and damaged several government vehicles and threw stones at the government forces.

     When contacted, both the District Collector Tyagi and SP Sundarraj refused to talk on the issue.

     Currently LANCO was producing 600 MW power from its Patadhi plant and wanted to expand that to 1320 MW, for which a public hearing had earlier been convened on November 27 to acquire 750 acre land spread over seven villages but due to stiff opposition from the villagers, that meeting could not take place.

     Local MLA Jai Singh Agrawal has also sided with the villagers on the issue and Congress workers have actively participated in the opposition today and also on previous occasions.

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