Another round of bullets. Another round of bodies. All for their land. It’s a sense of déjà vu for the people of Srikakulam in northeastern Andhra Pradesh. Just like July last, police opened fired at agitators who have been protesting the setting up of a thermal plant on their farmland.
That time, the police shot dead two men. This time they killed another two. Last year, Opposition politicians including Chandrababu Naidu and Chiranjeevi made their obligatory visit after the tragedy. This time they created uproar in the assembly. Last year, it was about the Nagarjuna Constructions Company (NCC), and this time it is about the East Coast Energy Pvt. Ltd.
Last time, the Central Green Tribunal cancelled the land allotment. This time the environment minister has threatened to halt the project.
On 28 February, police fired teargas shells setting fire to nearly a hundred huts of fisherfolk in the Vadditandra village of Srikakulam district inciting people’s anger. The police provoked the villagers and then opened fire with live ammunition killing and injuring in the process, local activists claimed. The police claim they used rubber bullets. So how did 30-year-old C Erraiah and 36-year-old Giri Nageswar Rao die?