To stop the agitation of oustees and affected villagers of the Kol Dam project in the Harnoda area of the Bilaspur district, District Magistrate-cum-Deputy Commissioner Dr Ajay Sharma has imposed Section 144, CrPC, in the Barmana area. DC issued a notification enforcing Section 144, CrPC, in the Barmana area with immediate effect till two months.

According to the notification, not more than four persons can assemble at a place. Thus, the agitators will not be allowed to assemble and stage a dharna at the dam site.

Meanwhile, despite the ban orders, all the oustees, including a large number of women, assembled at a place and demonstrated, though a large posse of police force was present. Later, they were persuaded by officials to shift their dharna to some other place.

In the afternoon, the protesters converged in the town carrying placards and raised slogans against the NTPC management and the district administration.

They alleged that the district administration was trying to suppress their peaceful agitation by the use of force and terrorizing villagers. Protestors said they were determined to continue their peaceful agitation even if it meant confrontation with the state government as this would mean that the government was “siding” with the management which was not implementing even a written agreement signed in presence of the then Deputy Commissioner.

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