Bhubaneswar: Two tribal workers were killed and 50 injured at Vedanta’s alumina refinery unit ib Lanjigarh, situated in Odisha’s Kalahandi district on March 18, 2019.
The deceased have been identified as Dani Batra (45), a displaced person of Chatarapur village and Sujit Kumar Minj (32), a worker of the company. The deaths happened after Odisha Industrial Security Force (OISF) personnel mercilessly used batons on displaced tribals demanding jobs.
Tension gripped the entire region and prohibitory orders under Section 144 of CrPC have been clamped. Residents of Rengopali village who will be displaced due to Vedanta’s expansion project were demonstrating in front of the main gate of the plant demanding free admission of their children in DAV School run by the company and regular jobs for them.
Later, people from displaced villages also joined the agitation making similar demands. Meanwhile, some agitating villagers tried to forcibly enter into the plant through the main gate and a tussle with the OISF personnel ensued.
Lingaraj Azad, vice-president of Samajabadi Jana Parisada and one of the leaders of Niyamagiri Surakhya Samiti, said,
The officials of the company are giving priority to outsiders in the matter of jobs, depriving local youths, who have the requisite degrees and diplomas in different streams. Those who have lost land have also accused the company authorities of adopting anti-local policies in all the appointments in their project, in violation of the decisions of the Rehabilitation and Peripheral Development Advisory Committee.
Azad added that company officials have been reluctant to admit children of the displaced tribals on the pretext of shortage of seats.