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Tribal-police clash turns tense in Orissa

Source: PTI
January 03, 2006 14:24 IST
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The situation continued to be tense in Kalinga Nagar, an upcoming industrial hub, following the clash between tribals and police in which 13 persons were killed. Several hundred tribals, who had obstructed the Daitari- Paradip express highway with four bodies on Monday, continued the sit-in at Madhuban crossing, official sources said.

Confirming that 13 persons, including a police havildar were killed in Monday's incident, Jajpur district collector Saswat Mishra said the four bodies, which were still with the tribals, were of Gobinda Laguri of Damiagotha village, Sudam Barla of Belahuri village, Janga Jarika of Damiagotha village and Deogi Tiria of Champakoila village.

Mishra said though the administration tried to negotiate with the tribals, they had spurned all such offers. The clash on Monday between villagers opposing a steel project and the police had also left 17 others injured.

Stating that the situation continued to be tense, the district collector said, "The administration is maintaining a close watch on the situation." Curfew, which had been imposed in several parts of the town, had been lifted Tuesday morning, Mishra said.

The agitated tribals had also blocked the highway at Gobarghati village while opposition Congress activists had resorted to road blockades at four places - Jajpur Road, Tomka, Sukinda and Danagadi.

The tribals, while asserting that no one would be willing to part with homestead or agricultural land for industrialisation of the area, demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should come to the spot and discuss the issue with them.

The tribals were also demanding a compensation of at least Rs 10 lakh for the next of kin of the victims who were killed in Monday's police firing. They also demanded action against the district collector and Superintendent of Police, 'holding them responsible for the incident'.

Revenue Divisional Commissioner Nikunja Sundarray and Inspector General Police (Law and Order) B B Mishra were camping at the site of the incident.

Meanwhile, a team of Opposition leaders led by leader of Opposition J B Patnaik left Bhubaneswar for Kalinga Nagar for an on-the-spot study of the situation.

OGP chief Bijoy Mohapatra and several other opposition leaders had also left for Kalinga Nagar.

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