Man still perched atop eucalyptus tree in Punjab (Lead)

April 18th, 2011 - 6:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Zirakpur (Punjab), April 18 (IANS) While the drama surrounding his ‘elevated’ protest continues, Avtar Singh Nagla refuses to budge. Seated atop an eucalyptus tree for four days, 40 feet above the ground, Nagla says only Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal can bring him down.

Nagla, in his late 30s, is demanding a fresh probe into a nearly four decades old land dispute.

Local officials and police have been trying hard to persuade him to come down from his high perch but he is adamant. His supporters have erected a tent near the tree and are supplying him eatables. They are also offering tea and snacks to people flocking to see him.

His wife has joined the protest, placing herself near the tree.

“The government had given several acres of land here on lease to a paper mill company to provide employment to the villagers. But the mill owners sold the land to a property dealer at a high price. I want a fresh probe into this and want that land back,” Nagla said.

However, officials claimed the matter has been already resolved.

Police Sunday booked Nagla for hatching a conspiracy against a local businessman. Police have arrested four people including his brother Nirmal Singh, following a complaint from an official of the Zirakpur-based Shipra company.

“Yes, we have booked Nagla for hatching a conspiracy. We have also arrested four people in the same case,” Yogi Raj, station house officer of Zirakpur, told IANS.

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