The company is facing massive resistance from the marginal farmers, fishermen and hatchery workers.

A large crowd sitting in protest on road while a police officer holding a mic tries to negotiate with them
news Protest Friday, December 18, 2020 - 15:47

Over 70 people comprising farmers and leaders from CPI (M) have been arrested by the East Godavari police, following the violence in Divi’s Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company which is under construction in Kothapakala village. Alleging that the company was violating the court order by going ahead with the construction activity, CPI (M) leaders and residents opposing the company staged a rally. 

The protestors later barged into the facility destroying the property and setting it on fire. The company is facing a massive resistance from the marginal farmers, fishermen and hatchery workers. While the farmers are protesting their lands being taken away for the project, the fishermen are worried about the company releasing chemical effluents into the sea that would affect their livelihood. 

Tension prevailed in the region as the violence escalated. Under charges of arson, police arrested 36 persons on the same and another 40 of them the following day. 

Speaking to TNM, Duvva Sesha Babji, CPI (M) district leader who has been in the forefront of the agitation said, “Since 2016 we have been opposing the project. The farmers are strongly opposing the company’s establishment. The company is going to be built on 500 acres by taking away land of the farmers in the region. The dispute reached the court and they granted the decision in favour of the farmers. But by deliberately ignoring this, the company has started construction illegally.”

According to Babji, the farmers of Thatakulapalem, Vakadaripeta, Srungavruksham Peta are opposing the company.

“If what the agitating farmers did was illegal warranting their arrest, what the company did was also illegal. It was a contempt of court. The police did not take action against them, but have arrested the farmers,” he said.

Babji alleged that the YSRCP which was previously fighting along with them for the same cause, has now changed its stance after coming into power.

“Allowing the company is injustice and also detrimental to the environment, the YSRCP government should intervene and restore justice,” Babji said.

 

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