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Kalinga Nagar observes Saheed Divas peacefully

BS Reporter  |  Kolkata/ Bhubaneswar 

Industrial town Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district on Monday observed Saheed Divas, marking the sixth anniversary of the violent clash between the tribals opposing land acquisition and the police forces that claimed 14 lives.

The tribals were protesting the construction of boundary wall of the Tata Steel’s six million tonne steel project in the area when they clashed with the security forces. Those killed included 13 tribals and one police man.

Even as the district administration today sealed the area to avoid any unwarranted situation, several hundred people from nearby villagers gathered at Champakoili and marched towards Saheed Stambha, a column erected in the memory of 13 tribals killed during the clash on January 2, 2006. The tribal march was led by Bisthanpan Birodhi Mancha, an anti-displacement forum. The members of the forum shouted slogans for their solidarity and said they are still sticking to their demand not to let Tatas to build the steel plant there.

The protest was because the tribals felt that they were not being compensated enough for the project by Tata Steel on their traditional lands.

The Jajpur district administration stopped the work on the Tata Steel project to avoid any escalation of tension in the area.

There are more than a dozen steel and allied industries at different stages of construction at Kalinganagar. Of these, Nilachal Ispat Nigam and Mesco Steel have started production while JSL and VISA Steel have gone into partial production.

First Published: Tue, January 03 2012. 00:13 IST