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Odishatv Bureau

Cuttack: Amid ongoing protests at Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys' (IMFA) plant at Therubali of Rayagada district, members of Tangi-Choudwar Sachetan Nagarik Manch staged mass demonstration in front of the company's plant at Choudwar in Cuttack today.

The forum alleged that IMFA is conspiring to shut down the Kalinga Public School situated on its premises. It had been established by former Chief Minister, Biju Patnaik for the benefit of local residents and while few classes of the school have already been closed, the company is establishing another school in the area, the agitators said.

"The land, on which the Ajit Patnaik School came up, was donated by Biju Patnaik. Presently, there is one more Kalinga Public School situated within the same 13.07 acre land. Even though there are two schools, IMFA is planning to forcefully takeover the school management and establish its own school in the place," alleged a member of the forum, Bijan Singh.

"The plant authorities have declared that they are constructing a school with a budget of Rs 2 crore. The school will function in the name of the IMFA management and none of our people will be employed there. The management has employed its own people to look after the school," said Vice President of the forum, Bijaya Behera.

On the other hand, the Senior Manager (Public Relation) of IMFA’s Choudwar plant, Dhruba Charan Rout, refuted the allegations. He said the management of the company has no intention of closing down the schools. He alleged that the protest is being led by some people with vested interests.

"IMFA management has no intention of closing down the schools and establishing another school in its place. The Kalinga Public School will remain in its place while one more school is being constructed for the benefit of Choudwar residents," said Rout.

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