Angul Official: Resolve Jindal issue through talks

Protesting attack on land oustees of JSPL by security guards, lawyers and activists of political parties blocked National Highway-55 for hours.

Angul: Protesting attack on land
oustees of Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) by security
guards, lawyers and activists of political parties on Friday
blocked National Highway-55 for hours.

"The state government has asked the district collector
of Angul to ensure restoration of peace. The collector is also
asked to verify whether the company denied jobs to the local
people and land oustees," Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told
reporters in Bhubaneswar.

Patnaik was replying a to a query on Wednesday`s
violence at JSPL plant site in Angul where 164 people
including women were injured as agitators entered into the
plant premises demanding removal of labourers from outside.

JSPL`s Executive Director Rajesh Jha said "we are open
to discussion. We are keen to resolve the issue through talks
but the villagers should respond in a positive way."

Of the 160 villagers injured in the incident, seven
were serious at SCB medical college hospital in Cuttack while
about two dozen land oustees were admitted at the district
headquarters hospital here. Four injured security guards had
been admitted at a hospital in Nalco Nagar.

"We have arrested two senior officials of security
wing of the company based on an FIR filed by the villagers.
The police have also received another FIR from the JSPL," said
Angul SP Satyabrata Bhoi.

The land oustees alleged that the company defied the
government`s direction and gave employment to outsiders
ignoring interest of the local people who gave away their
land for the industry.

"The lawyers of Angul district demand a CBI probe into
the matter as the police turned mute spectator when company
officials mercilessly beat up the innocent villagers," Bar
Association, Angul, President, Dilip Das said. Hundreds of
vehicles were standard on both sides of the NH.