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Mrunal Manmay Dash

After a brief halt of two days that followed the brutal Police lathi charge on protesting villagers at Dhinkia last week, the Jagatsinghpur district administration and the Police the resumed eviction work at several betel vines in the area on Monday.

As per reports, three beetle vines were razed by the administration from the side of Mahal revenue village on Monday which will continue in the coming days.

The demolitions have re-started at a time when a majority of the men in the villages have fled their homes in fear of Police action. A handful of residents who are still staying in the village have locked themselves in their homes.

Sources said the SP, Jagatsinghpur, Akhileswar Singh, conducted a flag march in Dhinkia on Sunday night before resuming the demolition drive on Monday morning and appealed the fleeing locals to return.

Speaking to OTV over phone, Singh said, “I went there to request people to not believe in rumours about police excess and unwarranted arrest. My job is to maintain law and order and I will do that.”

It is pertinent to mention here that tension ran high at the proposed JSW project site at Dhinkia during eviction of betel vine plantations on Friday after he villagers confronted the police to save their crops. Subsequently, police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the protesting villagers.

The villagers alleged that the demolition drive was undertaken without consultations or fulfillment of their demands. They said that demolition was arbitrary and part of the administration’s ploy to expedite land acquisition for the project.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Samajwadi Party (SP) met the Governor, Professor Ganeshi Lal, on Monday and submitted a memorandum demanding to stop the demolitions at Dhinkia after withdrawing all the troops. They also demanded stern action against the police officials who resorted to lathi charge injuring many protesters on Friday.

Speaking to reporters, State President of SP, Ravi Behera said, “The government should immediately release the protesters arrested by the police on false charges.”

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