Rajahmundry: Tense situation prevailed at K. Bethapudi village of Narasap-uram rural mandal in West Godavari on early Wednesday when authorities evicted eight persons who had been on a hunger strike since October 15.
The people on huger-strike were demanding that the state government stall the construction of Godavari Mega Aqua Food Park coming up at Tundurru village of Bhimavaram mandal in West Godavari alleging that its effluents would pollute water bodies.
The health condition of the eight local leaders, including those from CPM and Aidwa, on an indefinite hunger strike for the last three days was deteriorating. Anticipating complications, revenue authorities requested the police to evict them. Accordingly, in the early hours, a huge posse of police personnel landed in the village and took them away despite stiff resistance, to the government hospitals at Narasapuram and Palacole to provide medical help to them as they were found to be weak.
As the police tried to remove them to the hospitals, nearly 14 persons tried to stop the police convoy of vehicles raising slogans against their alleged high-handedness.
The claimed that the protest was on in a peaceful and democratic manner. Police resisted their move and arrested all 14 and booked them on charges of obstructing the police from discharging their duties. Later, they were shifted to the local police stations and where they were kept for some time.
The police booked cases against the eight persons on hunger strike and the 14 others for obstructing police from discharge their duties. Later, all of them were released on submission of personal surety.
Work on the aqua food park is being executed by Ananda Group in about 55 acres of land at Tundurru village. Though the company maintains that the project is based on discharge of zero effluents, the villagers raise concern of its effluent polluting local water bodies depriving their sources of livelihood.
The facility will have 3,000 tonnes capacity of cold storage to preserve shrimps and fish. The built-up area is about 1.5 acres while the remaining land will be used for developing greenery. The total project cost is estimated to be about Rs 120 crore with Central funding up to 40 per cent....