Friday, October 18, 2019
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Bid to Preempt Protest Against Agara SEZ fails

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It was 9.30 am on Sunday only few residents were getting ready for the protest against Agara SEZ on Sarjapur Road awaiting for the larger crowd to join them. Only one police constable in uniform is seen in the picture there. But at a distance near the Aiyappa Temple a small group of residents are seen.
As minutes passed by, hundreds of residents from Koramangala, HSR layout, Bellandur and adjoining areas belonging to various RWAs (Residents’ Welfare Associations) arrive at the spot. Simultaeneously police presence in numbers too increase.
Soon residents take charge of the area earmarked for the protest. Holding placards like Save Bellandur Lake, Neeru Beku (we want water), Stop Agara SEZ and so on, peacefully draw the attention of motorists with their slogans airing the atmosphere.
Suddenly a group of people numbering about 25 emerge from the temple side holding placards and shouting slogans only to counter the protest of the residents. The counter protest group under the banner of Vidyarthi Jagruthi Samithi stated that they were local farmers and once the land belonged to them. But their intention was in favour of the SEZ project as it would create jobs and benefit their siblings. The counter protestors were squating on the road and were blocking one lane. Nearly one hour passed and the jurisdictional police did not prevent them doing anything even though they had not taken any permission from the police as well as the BBMP. This did’nt last long. ACP Madiwala Venkatesh and team arrived at the spot. So also Bommanahalli MLA Satish Reddy too arrived. Within no time the counter protestors disappeared into thin air. However by that time, they had mislead the media and others.
Later BJP MLA Satish Reddy, former Corporator Latha Narsimhamurthy, AAP leader Ravi Krishna Reddy, Congress leader Kavitha Reddy and others assured the residents full support irrespective of the political party they belonged.
Addressing the residents MLA Satish Reddy alleged that ministers and others are involved in the irregularity in giving the property about 100 acres between the two lakes – Agara and Bellandur to the builders. “I will raise the issue in the Assembly, let there be a thorough probe and book the culprits. At no cost it should not be given to the builders”, he said. “I am with you (residents)”, he added.
Likewise, Ravikrishna Reddy too said and cited examples what was happening to Bellandur Lake – pollution, encroachment etc. Latha Narasimhamurthy too vowed to support for the cause of the residents. The peacefull protest came to an end with the singing of the National Anthem.

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