Chhattisgarh environmentalist chained to hospital bed
A noted environmentalist of Chhattisgarh's industrial town Raigarh has been paying heavily for blowing whistle against Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL).
Environmentalist Ramesh Agarwal was chained to a hospital bed after he was picked up by police for campaigning against an upcoming power project, his family alleged Thursday.
Police had arrested Ramesh Agrawal late last month on a complaint filed by Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL), which has a steel plant in Raigarh town and is building a 2,400 MW thermal plant at Tamnar in Raigarh district.
Agrawal's family members claim that JSPL has been targeting him since last year when the environment ministry cancelled terms of reference (ToR) to the Tamnar project on a complaint by Agrawal.
Raman Agrawal, eldest son of the environmentalist, told reporters that some 40 policemen stormed into his house on the morning of May 28 in connection with an old police complaint and put him in jail.
"My father has blood pressure and other serious health problems and he was brought to district hospital today after his health condition deteriorated due to harassment by police. He was chained in his bed at the district hospital. He is actually paying for raising environment-related issues against companies such as JSPL," Raman said.
Raigarh police chief Rahul Sharma said: "I heard that Agrawal has been handcuffed and chained to a hospital bed when he was brought there by jail authorities. I am looking into the matter seriously."
Adding up the statement Sharma said thathandcuffing him was a mistake because Agrawal is not a hard-core criminal he has given instructions that he should not be handcuffed. "I have ordered an inquiry and we will take strict action against the culprits.
Sources say that JSPL was gunning for Agrawal for years for his consistent campaign on environmental pollution in Raigarh.