PARADIP: Abhayachandpur police have started an investigation into the funding routes of anti-JSW protestors who were involved in creating unrest in Dhinkia panchayat. The probe was launched after many villagers alleged that they received funds from various organisations to oppose the proposed JSW steel plant in Dhinkia.
Sources said villagers of Dhinkia had formed Jindal Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (JPSS) to oppose the JSW project. After the arrest of anti-JSW leader Debendra Swain, the protests against the steel plant lost steam. Many villagers opposing the project joined hands with pro-JSW leaders and subsequently revealed that they received the money in their bank accounts from several organisations to intensify stir against the steel plant. They claimed that funds were transferred to nearly 200 protestors on various occasions last year when the protests were at its peak.
One Subash Chandra Nayak of Dhinkia alleged that he received `1,250 in his UCO bank account in the last 12-13 months. Similarly, Kabindra Gochhayat also received `1,250 in his account on April 29 last year from an anonymous organisation. Both Nayak and Gochhayat have lodged complaints in the local police station in this regard.
Villagers Nirupama Nayak, Prasant Lenka and Bibekanada Mohapatra also made similar allegations. They claimed that an organisation named Environics Trust was sending money to their bank accounts to trigger anti-JSW protests in Dhinkia. The villagers demanded strong action against the people trying to disrupt the peaceful atmosphere in Dhinkia. Notably, Environics Trust is a non-profit research and community development organisation based in New Delhi.
Abhayachandpur IIC Jibanananda Jena said police have received allegations from villagers regarding the illegal transfer of money to their bank accounts. “We have approached the bank authorities to provide details of the persons and organisations involved in the transfer of the funds. The investigation is underway and police will register a case after obtaining the necessary details from the bank.
Meanwhile, villagers on Tuesday decided to oppose the entry of outsiders into Dhinkia to maintain peace in the area. President of Maa Phulkhai Surakhya Committee Nrusingha Rout said some outsiders are scheduled to visit Dhinkia on Wednesday to mobilise villagers against the JSW project. “We will not allow them to enter the village,” Rout added.