ATHAGARH:A public hearing on establishment of Aditya Birla’s proposed UltraTech cement plant at Khamarnuagaon in Athagarh block of Cuttack district turned into a battlefield after villagers clashed with each other on Thursday.
Sources said the district administration had organised the public hearing for the proposed cement plant at Khamarnuagaon. As per schedule, the meeting began at 11 am. While some villagers voiced their opinion in favour of the plant, a few others opposed it.
Those opposing displayed placards on the disadvantages of the proposed plant. Soon, a war of words broke out between the supporters and protestors which led to a scuffle. During the fracas, chairs and other furniture were vandalised by the irate public.
To disperse the mob, police resorted to lathicharge in which several people were injured. Gurudijhatia IIC Anadi Charan Sethi said 15 cops, including him and his Khuntuni counterpart Satyabrata Lenka, sustained injuries in stone pelting by the mob. Athagarh Tehsildar Binod Kumar Jena said the meeting was cancelled due to the clash. The next date of hearing would be finalised by the State Pollution Control Board in consultation with the district administration, Jena added.