People of 40 affected villages continue their agitaion against the Jindal Steel and Power Limited plant in Angul in Odisha under the banner of Birankeswar Khyatigrastha Praja Samiti.
A samiti official said that the JSPL had filed a case against BKPR in the Orissa High Court on the false accusation of restricting the movement of people living in the steel plant premises by blocking the company gates.
"Angul district administration and police officials on February 6 destroyed the tents set up by the protesters and forcefully dispersed them from the gates," the samiti official said.
"They also threw away the food and other necessary commodities of the protesters," he further added.
The samiti official also informed that police had arrested 18 viillagers who were part of the peaceful agitation. Fifteen of them were released on bail on that evening itself while rest were set free later on February 9.
Meanwhile, Birankeswara Silapanchala Kshyatigrasta Praja Sangha called Angul bandh on February 7 demanding fulfillment of their 23-point charter of demands, including compensation for their land, permanent job to each affected family, appropriate compensation for those who were seriously injured in the grievous attack by JSPL security personnel on January 25.
The bandh was supported by several other social organisations, activists and representatives of various political parties.
All the offices,banks,educational institutions,markets and road transportation systems remained closed for the day.
The BKPR in a mass meeting also decided that the affetcted villagers wouls boycott the upcoming Panchayat Raj elections.
The indefinite protest is still going on peacefully in front of the main gate of the plant in Angul.
The agitation by villagers affected by the JSPL plant began about a fortnight back, when they demanded proper compensation for their land, permanent jobs and other rehabilitation measures. The agitation, however, turned violent when JSPL security men attacked the villagers on the plant premises on January 25 while they were demonstrating peacefully.
Over 100 villagers, including women and children, were injured in the attack.
Meanwhile, the member-secretary of National Commission for Women Anita Agnihotri and the chairperson of the State Commission for Women Jyoti Panigrahi visited the area and spoke to the women injured in the January 25 clash.
"I found women seriously beaten up in the incident. The SCW will certainly suggest the state government to take action against the persons responsible for attack on women," Panigrahi said.