23rd October, 2013
Farmers and fisherfolk today organised black flag demonstrations to coincide with a visit by investors interested in the Cheyyur 4000 MW coal-fired power plant in Kanchipuram district. True to form, masses of unemployed policemen were shipped to the sites of the port and the power plant to intimidate people into shutting up and not posing a hurdle to the free flow of capital. Police forcibly removed black flags from the boats. Investors landed up in a convoy of about 18 cars, according to local people who reported from the site. More than 40 boats were parked at the beach that was described as empty to justify acquisition for the port. Irate villagers blocked the convoy, and an argument ensued. After frayed tempers were soothed, the convoy was allowed to proceed to the power plant site, where more than 300 farmers were gathered with their black flags and their slogans. Markers planted by the Revenue Department to delineate the site had been uprooted by protesting farmers. However, the protestors were held at bay by another large mass of unemployed police that were mobilised to intimidate people into shutting up and not posing a hurdle to the free flow of capital. Power Finance Corporation remained consistent and continued to mislead investors. Investors were shown a patch of uncultivated land (less than 10 percent of the total lands to be acquired is uncultivated) and suggested that this was the nature of land for the project, effectively hiding the fact that more than 80 percent of the project site is agricultural.