Govt patronage led to Rewa firing, says report

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Bhopal, Oct 18 (UNI) Official patronage to various irregularities by a private cement factory led to firing on agitating farmers at Rewa in which a youth was killed and 70 others injured, a non-official investigation team alleged in its report.

Charging Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan with favouring the factory management, Jansangharsh Morcha, which probed into the September 22 incident at the gate of Jaypee cement, said many injured still being treated in Rewa and outside the state were yet to be provided any solatium.

Releasing the report, Morcha spokesperson and Samajwadi Janparishad Executive President Sunil told reporters here today that the 11-member fact finding team representing various organisations was of the view that the chief minister's ''complicity'' with factory owner Sunni Gaur led to the firing.

''The administration did not attempt to stop Gaur and his security guards from firing on villagers,'' rued Mr Sunil, adding the state government had announced a judicial probe but neither the judge nor the terms of reference had been declared till date. Even this probe seemed to be an attempt to save government officials from their accountability, he added.

The report said villagers handed over memoranda to the government regarding unemployment, pollution and other problems but the government machinery, while protecting the company was giving false assurances to them.

The local administration incited the villagers by arresting their leaders a day before the dharna. The demonstrators were lathicharged and teargassed without any warning, the report added.

UNI

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