An iron ore mine at Suleipat area in Mayurbhanj district turned into a battlefield on Friday as angry labourers pelted stones at the security personnel of the mine protesting the company’s decision to use machines instead of labourers.
Eighteen persons, including four security personnel and three cops, were injured in the clash.
The security personnel of the mine run by Adhunik Metaliks Limited resorted to blank firing to disperse the crowd.
Police men, who rushed to the spot to control the angry locals, were also injured in the attack. The injured include officer-in-charge of Badampahad police station Birendra Kumar Senapati.
SDPO Santosh Das said four security personnel, two constables and OIC were injured in stone pelting.
“They were admitted to Badampahad hospital and discharged a few hours later. 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 machines to crush iron ore at the site, about 105 km from Baripada. They alleged that they were not getting jobs regularly as the company deployed machines for crushing ore. The situation turned violent when police intervened.
Locals alleged that 11 labourers were injured in the attack. “While four seriously injured persons have been admitted to district headquarters hospital, others were undergoing treatment in Badampahad hospital,” they informed. Police, however, said they have no information on the injured locals.
The Sub-divisional Police Officer informed that a case had been registered against the labourers following a complaint by the security officer of the iron ore mine. No complaint has been filed by the labourers till evening, he added.