This is what happens when land, wetland at that, becomes the heart of battle, in this case the seaside village of Sompeta, 120 km from Srikakulam town. The Hyderabad-based Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC) picks 1,100 acres of wetland here to build a thermal plant. The villagers object. On 14 July, they come to protest. Facing them are 200 NCC workers with blue ribbons and wielding lathis. Around 200 police personnel wait with batons, shields and helmets. The slogans begin: “Go back NCC”.
The biggest rebellion in Indian politics right now puts Sonia Gandhi in a fix. So, what’s next? First-time Lok Sabha member YS Jagan Mohan Reddy challenges Sonia over what he considers his rightful place as chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, the revolt comes from the streets.
ON JUNE 29 at around 8 am, Maoist leader Ramanna, alias Ravula Srinivas, made a surprise call to TEHELKA. The mastermind of the deadliest Naxal attack ever — the massacre of 76 CRPF jawans on April 6 — sounded furious. Speaking in his usual Telugu-accented Hindi, he said, “The CRPF and state police are spreading terror in the region. They want to drive out all the tribals so that multinational companies can happily mine here.”