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Sharmili Mallick

Tension erupted during the demarcation process of the newly-created Mahala revenue village under Dhinkia panchayat in Ersama block of Jagatasinghpur district, on Wednesday.

Protesting the alleged unilateral decision of the State government, hundreds of residents of Dhinkia and Mahala villages staged demonstration against the delimitation of the village.

A minor scuffle reportedly broke out between the police and protestors during the demarcation work, said reports.

Three magistrates, local tehsildar, 25 police officers, under the supervision of the Additional SP of Paradip, and 14 platoons of forces have been deployed during the delimitation process to maintain the law and order situation in the region.

The local residents have been alleging that by bifurcating the village the State government has adopted the ‘divide and rule’ policy in order to allow industries in the region.

“The district administration had sent notice for the demarcation just a day before. The process is being carried out in a hurried manner in order to allow companies to establish plants in the Panchayat. We will not allow any company to enter the Panchayat,” warned an agitating resident from Dhinkia Panchayat.

Worth mentioning here is that Jindal Steel Works Limited (JSW) is currently planning its project in Dhinkia. The villagers have been protesting the project.

Earlier, Posco had also proposed to establish its mega steel plant project in the region. However, the project ran into trouble following protests by the locals and stalled later.

Earlier on Tuesday, the demarcation of Patana revenue village was completed by the district administration amid heavy security while the delimitation of Mahala village was scheduled to be held today.

It may be noted that Mahala and Patana under Dhinkia Panchayat in the district were bifurcated into revenue villages by the State government. Mahala got the tag of revenue village in April while Patana was given the status on August 9.

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