Dhinkina and neighbouring areas in Odisha, where the proposed Posco steel project in Jagatsinghpur district is sited were in the grip of tension following an attack on anti-land acquisition villagers yesterday, allegedly by criminals.
At least 30 protestors sustained injuries when hundreds of hired goons, said to be employed by the contractors, hurled bombs and stones on members of Posco Pratirodhak Sangram Samiti (PPSS), the outfit spearheading the opposition to the steel project.
A TV reporter covering the incident was seriously injured while the condition of Satrughan Swain, Baban Nayak, Ranjit Swain, Babaji Swain, Samir Swain, Mangli Jena, Baishnava Swain and Sachitra Das, the supporters of PPSS, is reported to be serious.
According to PPSS president Abhaya Sahoo, they were protesting peacefully against the construction of a coastal road near Dhinkia yesterday when they were attacked by at least 700 hired goons of a construction company. He added the goons arrived in 10 trucks and other vehicles.
As the contractors and workers were proceeding to the site during the day, PPSS activists protested and tried chasing them away, but the contractors and workers, in collusion with local ruling party leaders and anti-socials, hurled bombs at them, according to sources.
According to Sahoo, the district administration and police were hand in glove with the contractors and police were not present to protect the people at the time of the attack.