Police act tough in Kalinganagar
The injured includes a woman
A videographer too sustains injuries
BHUBANESWAR: Four tribals and a videographer were injured when police resorted to lathicharge and fired rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse the agitating tribals who were opposing construction of a common corridor road in Kalinganagar industrial area of Jajpur district on Tuesday. The injured included a woman.
Trouble began when the tribal men and women came out to oppose the entry of policemen into their villages.
The tribals have been strongly opposing construction of the road as many of them were losing their land.
The police who outnumbered the agitating villagers swung into action to disperse the locals who allegedly threw stones at them from a distance.
A total of 25 platoons of policemen have been deployed in the area since Monday to help the administration construct the road.
President of the State unit of Lok Shakti Abhiyan Prafulla Samantara termed the police action “undemocratic” saying that the policemen attacked the villagers without provocation.
The policemen also entered the tribal villages and lathicharged the residents in their attempt to silence them as they were strongly against handing over their land for a proposed steel plant project of Tata Steel in their locality, Mr. Samantara alleged.
He also claimed that one of the activists of Bisthapan Birodhi Janamanch had sustained bullet injuries during the police action.
The Janamanch has been opposing displacement in Kalinganagar since 14 tribals were killed in police firing in the area four years ago.
Although police claimed that they fired rubber bullets and teargas shells to disperse the people, secretary of the Janamanch Rabindra Jarika said the administration was out to use force against them to take away their land in an undemocratic manner.
The administration was harassing the Janamanch activists and their supporters as they were opposing displacement, Mr. Jarika said.