The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Villagers attack survey team

Bhubaneswar, Jan. 17: Kalinga Nagar was on the boil again today when some villagers attacked a survey team engaged by Tata Steel and overturned the vehicle in which the officers were travelling.

Two members of the team were shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital, Cuttack, in critical condition. The rest, who received minor injuries, were released after being administered first aid. Some sources said “five-six” officers had been to Kalinga Nagar.

Thirteen villagers and one policeman were killed on January 2 in a clash between police and villagers.

Jajpur collector Arabinda Padhee said surveyors engaged by Tata Steel were conducting a study in Kalamathia this afternoon when some villagers from Chandia, Gadapur and Baligotha attacked them.

The incident took place around 1.30 pm, said the officer in-charge of Kalinga Nagar police station, Sarat Mohapatra. Around 50-60 people from the three villages rushed to the spot and asked the team why it was conducting the study. Some workers who were plastering the wall ran away fearing assault. The villagers then attacked the survey team with sticks and iron rods.

Police superintendent Asit Panigrahi told The Telegraph that the situation “was under control”. A case was registered under Sections 147,148, 341, 342 and 307 of the IPC and Sections 25 and 27 of the Arms Act. But no arrest had been made yet, he said.

Padhee said the survey team had gone to the spot without the knowledge of the administration. “We had advised the Tata officials to seek our approval before visiting the plant site,” he added.

The chief resident executive of Tata Steel, S. Patnaik, claimed the land on which the contour survey was being done did not belong to the company. “The survey team, engaged by several companies there, had gone there without our knowledge,” he said.

The land originally belonged to Maharashtra Seamless and was supposed to be allotted to Tata Steel after the former backed out, official sources said.

Chief minister Naveen Patnaik said: “We will certainly look into the matter and see what has to be done.”

Nata Angdei, a leader the manch, claimed they were not aware of the incident.

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