Angul collector to verify Jindal employments

Angul/Bhubaneswar: Tension still prevailed at the plant site of Jindal Steel and Power Limited(JSPL) at Angul today even as the chief secretary asked the district collector to inquire about the company following the rehabilitation and employment guidelines set by the state government.  Protesting attack on land oustees of JSPL by the company security guards, lawyers and activists of political parties today blocked National Highway-55 for hours. Hundreds of vehicles were stranded on either side of the National Highway for hours.

"The state government has asked the district collctor of Angul to ensure restoration of peace. The collector is also asked to verify whether the company denied jobs to the local people and land oustees," Chief Secretary B K Patnaik told reporters.

Patnaik was replying a to a query on Wednesday`s violence at JSPL plant site in Angul where 164 people including women were injured as agitators entered into the plant premises demanding removal of labourers from outside. JSPL`s Executive Director Rajesh Jha said "we are open to discussion. We are keen to resolve the issue through talks but the villagers should respond in a positive way."

Of the 50 villagers injured in the incident, seven were serious at SCB medical college hospital in Cuttack while about two dozen land oustees were admitted at the district headquarters hospital in Angul. Four injured security guards had been admitted at a hospital in Nalco Nagar.

"We have arrested two senior officials of security wing of the company based on an FIR filed by the villagers. The police have also received another FIR from the JSPL," said Angul SP Satyabrata Bhoi. Brigadier J K Chopra and Captain Ajit Singh, men in charge of company security have been remanded in judicial custody.

"The lawyers of Angul district demand a CBI probe into the matter as the police turned mute spectator when company officials mercilessly beat up the innocent villagers," President, Bar Association, Angul, Dilip Das said.
The land oustees alleged that the company defied the government`s direction and gave employment to outsiders ignoring interest of the local people who gave away their land for the industry.