Guj: Tribal attempts self-immolation to oppose land fencing

Rajpipla (Guj), Jun 2 (PTI) A tribal from Kevadiya village in Narmada district, near the Statue of Unity in Gujarat, on Tuesday tried to set himself on fire in the presence of officials from Sardar Sarovar Narmada Nigam Limited and the police to oppose fencing of land for tourism projects in the area, police said.

Natvarbhai Tadvi (55) sprinkled kerosene on himself and tried to set himself on fire, but was quickly restrained by police personnel who were present at the scene, inspector P T Chaudhary of Kevadiya police inspector said.

The tribal claimed that the land being fenced in the area included his farm, which was his only source of livelihood, as another piece of land owned by him was acquired by the government for a railway project, the official said.

Tadvi and his nephew were taken to Kevadiya police station, Chaudhary said, adding that the fencing activity was suspended in the area for the day, after several villagers turned up to protest.

The SSNNL, a state government undertaking, has been fencing land in six villages near the Statue of Unity for development activities for the last one month.

The move came after the Gujarat High Court recently lifted its stay on land fencing after dismissing a PIL challenging land acquisition on the ground that the government needs to acquire the land afresh as per the provisions of the Land Acquisition Act, 2013.

The SSNNL had on Monday clarified that tribals were not being evicted from their homes and they will be offered compensation as per the announcement made before the high court, which includes relocation to an Adarsh Gram and financial package to construct their houses and source of livelihood, among other things. PTI KA PD ARU ARU