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Tribal Villagers Protest Power Project Deceit in India

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Thousands of tribal in India's eastern Jharkhnad state demonstrate against the power company affiliate that purchased their land. They are demanding jobs in the power project as promised.

About 5,000 tribal villagers took part in protests on Wednesday in the town of Maithon in India's eastern Jharkhand state, demanding jobs from the local power company.

According to the villagers, 1,200 acres of land was purchased from 1,600 families for a joint venture between Tata Power and Damodar Valley Corporation.

The villagers say they were promised jobs for every family in lieu of the land they gave up, but so far, no jobs have been provided.

[Ramranjan Mishra, Land Donor]:
"Till now, 90 percent of the work has been completed, but none of our demands have been met. And our main demand is for a job. They were about to give it earlier, but they said they would meet the Sub-Divisional Officer. But they have not decided on anything yet. The plant will start in February, but we have not received anything. If our demands are not met, we will continue our strike for an unlimited time."

Protesters gathered near the construction site, shouting slogans demanding jobs.

Such protests reflect a larger standoff between India's industry and its farmers who are unwilling to part with land in a country where two-thirds of the population depends on agriculture.