Rayagada: Indian Metals & Ferro Alloys Ltd (IMFA) officials on Tuesday stated that 'outsiders' are instigating locals and threatening their employees to join agitation at its plant in Therubali of Rayagada district.
The plant employees and their families are now in a state of worry and scared as agitators have locked up the nearby school and hospital.
"Till now we have not received any memorandum from the agitators and under such circumstances, been forced to close the unit. Unfortunately, the school and hospital outside the campus have been closed," said IMFA's corporate affairs vice president and legal head, Ashok Behera.
"Had it been about the nearby people, then locals would have been there in the protests. We don't understand from where these protestors have come and for whose interests they are launching a stir," said contract labourer, Nirmal Kantha.
The production at the plant has been hit following the ongoing strike which entered its second day today.
The agitators have locked all the gates of the plant and are staging demonstration in front of the main gate.
Tribals of seven panchayats have now joined the ongoing agitation by youths who are staging a demonstration over fulfilment of a 9-point charter of demands which include basic amenities and jobs and training to unemployed youths.
Tribal leader Jitu Jakasika has also been seen at the dharna spot.
"Till the time our 8-9 demands are not met, the collector and senior officials of IMFA come here and hold discussions with us, we will not withdraw our protests," said Jitu Jakasika.
The agitators are also demanding construction of roads, development of the region, compensation to the displaced families and regularization of jobs of contractual employees.
As the demonstrators have also locked a nearby school and ITI, it has created problems for others, informed sources.
Adequate measures have been undertaken by police to maintain law and order keeping in view the ongoing agitation, added sources.