78 persons arrested for vandalising factory, assaulting cops

Berhampur: A total of 78 people have been arrested for allegedly vandalising an industrial unit in Ganjam district and also assaulting cops, police said on Wednesday.

Police said that most of the accused, who were arrested on Tuesday night, are workers of the ferro chrome unit in the plant.

They were displaced during construction of the factory near Chamakhandi and were agitating for permanent jobs, a police officer said.

“Most of the agitators have been arrested for damaging plant properties after forcibly entering its premises on June 27. They had also attacked fellow workers,” Utkal Keshari Das, Sub Divisional Police Officer (SDPO), Chhatrapur, said.

Das said that the agitators had staged a demonstration again on Tuesday morning and prevented other workers from entering the plant.

“When police tried to convince the agitators to call off the stir, they attacked them, injuring a few cops. Four cases have been registered against them,” the SDPO said.

The agitators have also lodged a case against the cops accusing them of harassment, which is being investigated, a police officer said.

Meanwhile, parents of the arrested persons have threatened to stage a demonstration and prevent employees from entering the plant.

“We are keeping a close watch on the situation.

Adequate police force has been deployed in the area,” the SDPO said.