Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Dhinkia village under Ersama block in Jagatsinghpur district has been converted into a virtual fortress with the deployment of a large contingent of security personnel on Saturday.

The development came in the backdrop of Friday’s violent clashes between villagers and the police which resorted to lathi charge on the former who were protesting against the proposed JSW project in the area. Several villagers, including some women, were badly injured in the scuffle with the police.

As per reports, tension is running high in the village following the arrest of some villagers who had confronted the police during the eviction of betel vine plantations. Most of the villagers are staying indoors fearing arrest. They are up in arms against the police atrocities.

"The demolition drive was undertaken without consultations and consideration of our demands. The move was arbitrary and part of the administration’s ploy to expedite land acquisition for the project. When we protested against the damage suffered to our source of sustenance, the police beat us up black and blue. Even elderly women were not spared," said a villager.

Another villagers said since the residents of the village ran out of options to save themselves from imminent arrest, most of them have confined themselves to their houses with a bid to save them from coming in the sight of the police.

Police have mounted strict vigil on the persons coming in out of the village to prevent any further flare up.

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 for the proposed JSW project.