Seven allegedly burnt alive in Ganjam
While six bodies burnt beyond recognition were found inside a room, another body was found lying in the premises of the unit.
According to reports, they were trapped in the factory as the doors were closed. Then burning tyres were put inside the room, which led to their death.
The deceased have been identified as Tushar Padhi, Shib Tripathy, Prasanna Patnaik – the three partners of the crusher unit, Kalia Padhi, a driver and a security guard.
There were also reports that bombs were hurled by a mob at the police and fire personnel.
"We suspect that the assailants used diesel or petrol to set the room on fire with the victims trapped inside," said DIG (Southern Range), R K Sharma.
Although fire tenders from neighbouring Aska and Hinjili rushed to the spot, none of the victims could be saved.
The dog squads and the scientific team reached the spot to investigate the incident.
There have been frequent altercations between locals and the crusher unit owners over the last two months after the former objected to blasting in the area, Sharma said.
A few employees of the unit seem to have huddled in the room to escape a mob that attacked them yesterday. The victims are believed to be owners, partners and employees of the crusher unit, Sharma said, adding that the identities of the assailants could be ascertained only after a thorough investigation.
The DIG said that around 200 policemen had been deployed in the area.
Meanwhile, the state Home Secretary sought report from DIG (Southern Range) and Ganjam SP on the incident.