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Soumya Ranjan lashes out at IMFA

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Choudwar, Mar 10:

Expressing resentment over the highhanded attitude of the Indian Metals and Ferro Alloys (IMFA) Ltd that has been “exploiting the people of Choudwar with false assurance, bribe and threat,” former MP and president of Ama Odisha Party (AOP) Soumya Ranjan Patnaik said the company owner would one day land where the Sahara chief is now.

Soumya Ranjan addressing the protest rally at Choudwar
AOP president Soumya Ranjan Patnaik addressing the protest rally at Choudwar

“Let the people of Choudwar have the patience to wait for that day”, Patnaik said while addressing a mass dharna organized by the Shramik Parivar Yuvak Sangh in front of the company’s main gate here on Sunday.

The IMFA authorities had made elaborate security arrangements by putting on red flags at the six gates of the plant with deployment of armed police forces around the plant premises.

Besides, to foil the agitation, prohibitory order under section-144 was clamped around the plant.

Ridiculing the anti-people stance of the company, Patnaik said let the company recruit more policemen and deploy one platoon of armed police force in each of its gates to ensure its growth.

He also alleged that the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government has shown undue favour to IMFA that has encroached on government land and a private school land in this industrial town, in gross violation of rules.

Assuring that the ongoing agitation by the Shramik Parivar Yuvak Sangh would be rewarded in the long run, Patnaik called on the mothers of each family to pray for its success.

Earlier in the day, over a thousand women and youth took out a massive rally from Mangala temple at Nuasahi and went round the town protesting against the IMFA authorities for not taking measures to curb pollution.

Later, they staged a mass dharna in front of the main gate of the plant in the presence of working president of the Sangh Kanhu Charan Mohanty, vice president Rahas Bihari Rath, general secretary Ramakant Parida, treasurer Sk Abdul Rashid, vice-president of Kalinga Public School Guardians’ Committee Jayaprakash Singh, secretary Bijan Singh, social activist Satyabrata Das, Dhiren Choudhury and president of Odisha Nari Sachetan Samiti Madhumita Rath.

The dharna was withdrawn after eight hours following a written assurance by the IIC of Choudwar police station Ajay Kumar Das and ACP Trinath Mishra to look into the demands at a meeting – before March 14- in which the Cuttack district collector, DCP, IIC of Choudwar police station, senior IMFA officials and the members of the Sangh would remain present.

Besides, the company officials also assured the Sangh members that they would not hand over the plant’s waste materials to any broker during the period.