Gorakhpur 'hostage' drama ends

Trouble seems to be brewing for the upcoming nuclear power plant in Haryana with protesting farmers holding three engineers hostage.

The government was forced to stall the ongoing preliminary work of 2800 MW nuclear power plant site in Gorakhpur in Fatehabad district.

The farmers have been protesting against the project for more than 17 months. The showdown came to an end on Monday after farmers released the engineers, after the administration assured that no work would be carried out at Gorakhpur.

The hostage drama, however, had a non-violent plot with the farmers entertaining the captive engineers – Sadanand, Vinesh Kumar and Praveen – with sweets, tea and refreshments . Officials said a consensus is being worked out to settle the logjam.

A private firm hired by the Nuclear Power Corporation of India had deputed these engineers to collect soil samples and data about ground levelling.

The farmers have already moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court against the government notification to acquire their land.
Villagers said they would not let the government build the nuclear plant fearing a replication of the recent nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan. The government notified 1,500 acres land for a nuclear project in 2010,  claiming the area was barren.

The government even invoked Section 4 of the Land Acquisition Act. Hans Raj, a leader of Kisan Sangharsh Samiti said the government was acquiring fertile land.

“The land yields us three crops a year. The government should let us live and earn our livelihood in peace,” he said.

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