BENGALURU: Scores of farmers and women suffered injuries on Friday as police caned a group opposing a waste management unit proposed near Gorur.
Tension prevailed at the village near Ramanagaram as thousands gathered to resist the Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike’s plan to set up a plant to process garbage from the city.
Following the lathi-charge, a furious mob pelted stones at police vehicles and ambulances. As the trouble escalated, police took 150 protesters into custody, and released them later.
As the government keeps its promise to Mandur to stop dumping garbage from Monday, trucks are increasingly frequenting Mavallipura, where resentment is seething. Friday’s incident at Gorur again highlights how the BBMP’s trash-dumping plans run into resistance from people whose consent it ought to have taken.
Earlier in the day, the agitators tried to surround survey officials visiting the site. Police wielded their lathis to disperse them. Policemen entered some houses and beat up the women inside, Gorur residents alleged.
Anticipating trouble, the district administration had made security arrangements and about 300 policemen, including KSRP staff, had been on duty at the site since Friday morning.
District officials and surveyors arrived at around 6.30 am. Protesters soon roughed up Prabhakar, a surveyor, and shouted slogans such as ‘Save Gorur from garbage dumping’.
Tempers cooled down around 12.30 pm after the officials and police left. The Karnataka Rajya Prantha Raitha Sangha has called a Solur bandh on Saturday and threatened to block the busy Bengaluru-Mangaluru national highway.
F R Jamadar, Deputy Commissioner, Ramanagaram, said officials had completed the survey for the waste plant on Thursday, and marked out the boundaries. The district administration has been distributing handbills to inform people about the project, he said. The waste unit will not pose health hazards or cause other problems, he claimed.