An incident of forceful land acquisition by a local real estate developer saw massive tension in Durgapur yesterday. Durgapur, the fastest developing city of Eastern India has in recent years witnessed massive increase in land prices.
Tribal people living on the outskirts of Durgapur town took up bows and arrows to threaten the agents assigned by the realtors who were accused of illegal land-grabbing on farmland has irked the, who today.
The private realtor group, Damodar Developers, has allegedly been grabbing forest land and vested land, in and around the localities surrounding Durgapur since last two years. The firm however faced stiff opposition at Biju Para and Dhobi Ghat localities when they sought to build fences around 60 Bighas of land where the tribal are residing and farming for nearly four decades.
The tribal organisations from across Birbhum, Bankura came together to resist the bid today. Mr Mongal Hansda, secretary, Birbhum Adibasi Gaonta, accused by saying: “The land-grabbing by the realtors has made the life of the tribal people very difficult. They are trying to uproot them from their homesteads and farmlands. We will resist the bid till the last breath.”
Mr Ramcharan Murmu, president, Durgapur Adibasi Gaonta said: “They have engaged brokers who are operating from an office at the Shivaji Road in the Steel township of Durgapur. They initially tried to purchase us by offering hefty bribe. When we refused, they called in goons who threatened us last week. Today the brokers and the staffs of the realtor agency asked us to vacate the land, which we resisted.”
Four staff members of the realty agency were beaten up by the tribals and later kept tied up at a tree. The police later rescued them. The directors of Damodar Developers, accused of grabbing forest land and stone quarry land, refused to comment on the matter.
Though this is not the first time that the residents of Durgapur have complained of forceful land grabbing but the kind of anger that outpoured yesterday was something which the people of Durgapur have not witnessed in the past.