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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: A day after agitators ransacked machinery, lights and CCTV cameras at the front gate of Therubali plant of Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd (IMFA) in Rayagada district, BJP leader Jayaram Pangi on Thursday indicated ‘outsiders’ interference’ behind such unrest.

Pangi categorically stated that it seems such kind of vandalism is being carried out either at the behest of 3rd floor or Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s private secretary VK Pandian, otherwise police and administration would not have remained silent over such violence at the plant site.

“It seems like a conspiracy to defame tribals and they are getting instructions from 3rd floor or Pandian to carry out such protests” said Pangi.

The BJP leader further said that people of Odisha are witnessing such acts and they cannot be fooled all the time. People will give a befitting reply one day, Pangi said.

“If Biju Patnaik were alive, he would have not allowed such kind of acts,” he added.

On the other hand, Tribal leader Jitu Jakasika, who is spearheading the agitation, said, “The allegation that the rally is a part of Pandian’s conspiracy is false. We don’t know about any Pandian, Naveen Patnaik or Rahul Gandhi, it is a local issue of the tribals.”

Nonetheless, BJP leader’s statements have further fueled speculations of sponsored protests at IMFA’s plant at Therubali as the ongoing agitation in front of the plant entered its fourth day today.

Rayagada BDO and SDPO along with Kolnara Additional Tehsildar and BDO reached the spot to meet the agitators and persuade them to hold discussion with IMFA authorities, but were not able to find a solution.

“We have been regularly inviting both the parties for discussion to restore normalcy. The district administration is concerned towards the issue,” said Kolnara Additional Tehsildar, Gurucharan Mallha.

“The agitators have promised to withdraw their agitation if the discussions with district administration and IMFA authorities are successful. However, we have deployed police force in the area to prevent any untoward incident,” said Rayagada SDPO, Rajkishore Das.

Earlier yesterday, over a hundred agitators ransacked machinery, lights and CCTV cameras and also hurled stones at the gate attempting to break it open.

Tribals of seven panchayats are staging a demonstration in front of the factory since the last three days demanding fulfillment of their 9-point charter of demands.

However, plant authorities have declined to have received any kind of memorandum from the agitators.

As the protestors have locked up the main gate of the factory and are staging road blockades which has adversely affected the operations of the plant.

Moreover, the agitators have also locked up the hospital and nearby school adding to the woes of plant employees and locals.

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