Normalcy returns as villagers withdraw roadblock after 8 days
Villagers in Bhangar have withdrawn their eight-day-long roadblock after the unrest over setting up of a power grid substation.
Sabyasachi Dutta, MLA from New Town Assembly constituency and Mayor of Bidhannagar Municipal Corporation, held a rally in Bhangar on Tuesday. Dutta said: "Farmers in Bhangar were misled and it resulted to the unrest. People should realise that the police vehicles which were damaged here was bought from tax payers' money and they are also one of them."
The situation in Bhangar changed overnight on Tuesday when villagers agreed to withdraw the roadblock. The villagers were found removing bricks, concrete lamp posts and tree trunk with which they had blocked the Haroa Road.
Bhangar is gradually returning to normalcy as plying of vehicles on the road will resume shortly. The situation in Khamarait and Machibhanga has become normal. A large contingent of police was also pressed in Bhangar after six days. The police were withdrawn following the demands of the villagers. Even burnt and damaged police vans were left on the road. Local people had set a police van on fire and damaged two more protesting against the setting up of power grid substation. Cranes were engaged and the vehicles were removed.
On Tuesday, the police held a route march up to Polarhat and Shyampur. There was no roadblock in any part of the stretch of the road. But, the decision of a section of villagers to withdraw the roadblock was criticised by another group of people.
Representatives of Jomi, Jibika, Poribesh O Bastutantra Raksha Committee claimed that a section of villagers were forced to withdraw the roadblock. They claimed that they demanded a discussion with representative of the state government. But it is yet to happen. They had sent a letter to the District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas district seeking the discussion.
On Sunday, the residents of Bhangar wrote to the District Magistrate of South 24 Parganas stating that they were ready for a discussion with the state government in connection with the setting up of the power grid substation.
Residents of villages including Machibhanga, Khamarait and Padmapukur protested against the setting up of the power grid substation on a plot of 16 acres when the project was nearing completion. The unrest over the issue claimed two lives.
It may be mentioned that the state Power minister Sobhandeb Chattopadhyay went to Bhangar on the first day when the villagers had started agitating. He had assured them all sort of support for their co-operation to let completion of the power grid substation.