Villagers protest waste treatment plant in Gorur

Two officials and several residents hurt in clashes

Villagers protest waste treatment plant in Gorur

Violent protests erupted at Gorur in Magadi taluk of Ramanagara district on Friday when officials visited the village to survey land for setting up a waste-to-energy unit using garbage from Bengaluru.

Two officials and several residents, including women and senior citizens, were injured in stone throwing and the subsequent lathicharge by police. One of the injured is said to be critical. Some protesters even attempted suicide in protest against the survey.

Three earlier attempts to survey a 45-acre plot identified for the Rs 250-crore unit had failed due to strong opposition from residents. Around 6 am on Friday, officers from the Department of Survey Settlement and Land Records landed in Gorur and began the survey. As the news spread, villagers gathered at the spot and set fire to tyres in opposition.

They blocked the team’s movement and raised slogans against district in-charge minister D K Shivakumar and chief minister Siddaramaiah for allowing a garbage processing unit on their turf.

Some residents led by seer Basavalinga Swami demanded that the survey be stopped. When the officials refused, a heated argument ensued and the irate villagers pelted stones, defying police intervention.

The police then bundled the seer into a police vehicle. In the melee, the seer’s saffron robe was torn. Angered by this, the protesters pelted stones at survey officer Prabhakar, injuring him on the forehead.

When he was taken inside an ambulance, the mob targeted the ambulance. Deputy tahsildar N Shivakumar was also injured, hit by a stone. The police chased the protesters all over the fields and thrashed them.

Nagaraju, a resident of Kanakenahalli colony, sustained serious injuries. Once normalcy was restored, the officials completed the survey under the supervision of Ramanagara Deputy Commissioner F R Jamadar and SP Dr Chandragupta.

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