Stir on even as JSPL accepts 13 demands

Angul: Though Jindal Steel and Power Limited (JSPL) claimed to have accepted 13 of the 20 demands of the land losers at the much-awaited tripartite talk, the land losers continued agitation at the plant site seeking concrete step to meet all their demands.

While JSPL officials said 13 demands made by land losers were accepted at the tripartite talk held today in a bid to resolve the 10-day long deadlock at plant site, the oustees maintained that the stalemate still continued.

The meeting had been convened by Angul district administration with land losers and JSPL to resolve the crisis arising out of the January 25 clash between the oustees and company security guards in which over 160 people were injured.

While land losers demanded Rs one lakh for each injured and Rs two lakh for each seriously injured person, the company agreed to bear their medical expenses.

"The company is ready to bear all expenses for the treatment of the injured persons. They will be given treatment wherever necessary," a JSPL spokesman said.

The remaining seven demands would be sorted out through discussion after February 19 once the Panchayat polls in the state are over, he said.

However, not happy with the outcome of the talks, Sanatam Sahu, secretary of Birankeswar Khyatigrastha Praja Samiti – an organisation of the land losers, said "the stalemate is still continuing. No concrete solution was found in the meeting though all our demands were discussed."

District collector Siba Prasad Mishra said talks discussion would resume after completion of the panchayat elections on February 19.

Out of the 20 demands made working solution could be reached in 13 and the discussion on the rest would be taken up after the panchayat polls, he said adding JSPL had assured to give priority to engage local people in different stages of the steel plant construction.

"The company will issue jobs cards to land oustees who are entitled to get jobs on priority basis," Mishra said adding he was optimistic that the people would stop agitation and remove blockades soon.