OPGC protest: 8 arrested for torching govt vehicle

Jharsuguda: Eight persons of Lakhanpur village under Tilia panchayat in the district were arrested on Saturday on charges of torching OPGC inspecting team’s vehicle. They were forwarded to court, police said.

On the other hand, the villagers gheraoed Banaharpali police station protesting the arrest of local residents.

The villagers, who have been protesting the land acquisition process for construction of ash pond for of Odisha Power Generation’s (OPGC) two power units at Banharpali, on Friday set inspecting team’s vehicle on fire and held captive three officials following which tension prevailed in the area. One platoon of force has been deployed there.

The incident occurred in the afternoon when a three-member Central team including Ministry of Environment and Forests Director VP Upadhyay visited the village for a field inspection. The locals who have been opposing the government move, blocked the road and didn’t allow the team to proceed, sources said.

Even the officials’ effort to convince the proposal of the power plant expansion went in vain. The villagers dragged the officials out of the vehicle and held captive in a nearby area.

After being informed Banharpali police reached the spot and freed the officials.

It was the fourth such incident in the recent years in which the locals showed resistance to the expansion plans of OPGC, Banherpali.