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regular-article-logo Saturday, 15 June 2024

Blockade for jobs at steel plant, five police personnel attacked in Purulia district

The police said they had arrested 13 persons and cleared the plant gate on Tuesday afternoon

Abhijeet Chatterjee Durgapur Published 24.01.24, 06:55 AM
Police personnel during the operation to clear the agitators in front of the under-construction steel plant in Raghunathpur on Tuesday.

Police personnel during the operation to clear the agitators in front of the under-construction steel plant in Raghunathpur on Tuesday. Biswanath Roy

Five police personnel, including the inspector-in-charge of Raghunathpur police station in Purulia district, were injured from brickbats thrown at them on Tuesday when the law enforcers had gone to remove villagers who had been putting up a blockade in front of an under-construction steel plant since Monday.

IC Argha Mondal suffered head injuries and was admitted to a private hospital in Durgapur. He was also beaten up with bamboo sticks by the villagers when he slumped to the ground. He received 16 stitches.

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The police said they had arrested 13 persons and cleared the plant gate on Tuesday afternoon.

“Some villagers were creating disturbance in front of the factory gate and obstructing work. We arrived at the spot after receiving information from the factory and dispersed them. Some policemen, including the IC, were injured,” said Abhijit Banerjee, superintendent of police, Purulia.

Sources said the police were able to clear the blockade from the factory gate initially but later, a large number of villagers came rushing following a rumour that some local youths had been arrested. They hurled bricks at the police. They also beat up policemen with bamboo sticks.

Later, reinforcements chased away the mob and rescued injured policemen.

Over 1,000 villagers claiming to be land losers put up blockades in front of the Rs 4,500 crore plant since Monday. They were picketing in front of the factory gate and preventing management officials from entering the plant.

The villagers claimed that they had parted with their land to set up the steel plant and demanded jobs as labourers at the under-construction factory.

Bipul Panigrahi, senior general manager of the Shyam Steelworks Pvt Ltd, said: “They were not land losers. There was no prior intimation of such movement to us. They were creating trouble at a time when the construction was in full swing to meet the deadline of its completion by next month. We have already invested Rs 1,500 crore here. There will be a direct employment of 8,000 after the completion of the factory.”

The steel plant of 2.75 MTPA capacity is coming up on 600 acres of land.

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