Orissa peasants protest setting up of university on their lands

Written by: Super Admin
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Puri, Apr 6 (ANI): Around 3,000 people, comprising landowners and farmers, took out a rally on Monday to oppose the setting up of Vedanta University on their lands in Puri.

The farmers and the landowners from nearly 22 villages, who depend on their lands for their daily income fear that they might lose their land to the Vedanta Group, headed by Anil Aggarwal, and took to the streets to protest the acquisition.

The Anil Aggarwal foundation had proposed that the state government provide nearly 10,000 acres of land for the university, which the government provided.

"I have five acres of land and Anil Aggarwal Foundation is going to acquire it for Vedanta University. This land is my only source of earning bread and butter for my family. I am ready to die but I wouldn't let go of my land," said Hare Krishna, a farmer.

Those opposing the land acquisition allege that the Vedanta group is a fraudulent company and it would not help the education sector of the country.

Upali Aparajita, a social activist from Orissa, said that the promise made by the university to produce Nobel laureates is nothing short of a joke.

"Nowhere in the world have I heard of a university acquiring 5,500 acres of land even before it started...trying to win the public with the fact that they are going to give you guarantee about producing Nobel laureates. I mean that's a joke! Are they manufacturing Nobel laureates like steel ingots coming out of a factory line? This is a joke and it is a huge scam perpetrated on the innocent people of Orissa," said Aparajita.

The Orissa Government has already allotted 6,000 acres of prime land to the Anil Aggarwal Foundation for establishing Vedanta University, 1,300 acres of which belong to the Jagannath Temple Trust. (ANI)

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