Altogether 18 persons, including four security personnel and three cops were injured in a clash between local labourers and security personnel at an iron ore mine operated by a private steel company at Suleipat in Odisha's Mayurbhanj district on Friday.
Police said the entire area turned into a battlefield as the angry labourers started pelting stones at the security personnel of the iron ore mine of Adhunik Metaliks Limited in Badampahad area protesting the company’s decision to use machines instead of labourers for stone crushing activities.
The security personnel resorted to blank firing to disperse the crowd. Cops who rushed to the spot to control the angry locals also were injured in the attack. The injured cops included officer-in-charge of Badampahad police station Birendra Kumar Senapati.
Sub-divisional police officer (SDPO) Santosh Das said four security personnel, two constables and the OIC were injured in the stone pelting. “They were provided treatment in the Badampahad hospital and discharged in the evening. Now the situation is under control. Armed police forces have been deployed to avoid any untoward incident,” he added.
The incident took place when the labourers attempted to stop use of machine to crush iron ore at the mining site, about 105 kms from Baripada. They alleged they were not getting jobs regularly as the company deployed machines for crushing iron ore stones. The situation reportedly turned violent when police intervened and tried to chase the crowd.
Locals alleged 11 labourers were injured in the attack by the security personnel and police. “While four seriously injured persons have been admitted in the district headquarters hospital, others were undergoing treatment in Badampahad hospital,” they informed.
Police however said they have no information about the injuries of the local labourers. The SDPO informed a case had been registered against the labourers following a complaint by the security officer of the iron ore mine. “We did not receive any complaint from the labourers till the evening. Further investigation is on,” he added.