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Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The Odisha Police on Friday resorted to lathi charge to disperse villagers who were protesting against the proposed JSW project at Dhinkia village under Ersama block in Jagatsinghpur district.

Several villagers, including some women, have been badly injured in the scuffle with the police.

As per reports, tension ran high at the proposed JSW project site at Dhinkia during eviction of betel vine plantations by the police. The villagers confronted the police to save their crops. Subsequently, police resorted to lathi charge to disperse the protesting villagers.

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

“I had joined the protest against the demolition drive of our betel vine plantations. But, police beat us up mercilessly. I am badly injured and unable to move,” said an old woman.

“Our only source of livelihood has been destroyed. It has become impossible for us to earn our bread now. We are completely helpless,” said another protestor.

Earlier on December 20 last year, tension prevailed in the village following a violent face-off between the villagers and the police. The villagers had opposed the administration’s move to demarcate the boundary of the village. The villagers were angry over the arrests of two residents who were leading the agitation against the JSW project.

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