17 detained for clash over ownership of coal washery unit in Odisha

Sources said the clash took place between two armed groups at the coal washery unit of Bhatia Energy & Minerals (Sundargarh) Pvt Ltd (BEMSPL) at Garjanbahal of Hemgir block
Image used for representational purposes only.
Image used for representational purposes only. (Express Illustrations)

ROURKELA: Police on Friday detained at least 17 persons for their alleged involvement in a group clash over ownership claim on a coal washery unit at Hemgir block of Sundargarh district on Thursday evening.

Sources said the clash took place between two armed groups at the coal washery unit of Bhatia Energy & Minerals (Sundargarh) Pvt Ltd (BEMSPL) at Garjanbahal of Hemgir block. Goons owing allegiance to Chhattisgarh businessman Bharat Agarwal ferried to the spot in over 15 vehicles attacked a group supported by another businessman Ravi Gupta of the neighbouring state with sticks, iron rods and other weapons to take possession of the unit.

At least eight persons from both sides were injured and property including four vehicles and office premises damaged in the clash, police said, adding 17 miscreants from Chhattisgarh were detained while several others escaped.

Sundargarh SDPO Himanshu Behera said investigation revealed BEMSPL with its registered office in Chhattisgarh was formed more than five years back with Bharat claiming he was the majority shareholder. He had been accusing Rabi of becoming the majority shareholder of the unit by forging documents. The SDPO said amid claims and counter-claims from both sides, Hemgir police on Thursday had advised the businessmen to take legal route. But the issue became complicated after Rabi gave lease of the coal washery unit for five years to one Rahul Parmania.

Behera said the lessee recently took control of the unit. He said ignoring police advice, goons deployed by Bharat tried to forcibly take control of the unit leading to the clash. While police personnel reached the spot on foot, at least six IICs from nearby localities along with reinforcement took control of the situation and detained 17 persons.

Behera said two members of Rabi’s group forcibly taken to Raigarh were rescued from a hospital. He said efforts are underway to nab other absconding culprits.

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