Kendrapada, Nov 23 (Odisha.in) Anti-POSCO villagers on Friday have let off seven employees Dharti Dredging Corporation Limited(DDCL) who were engaged by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) of Paradeep to dredge the river mouth at Jatadhari.
They were detained by the anti-POSCO villagers on Thursday evening while all the seven workers were trying to start dredging work after entering the Jatadhari river mouth under Dhinkia Gram Panchayat under Kujang block in Jagatasinghpur district of Orissa, said Anil Mishra the Officer-in-Charge of Kujang police station.
All the seven workers Bhupendra Sharma, E.V.R. Raja, E.S. Oswal, K. Dhanjay, Rajesh Barik, Saroj Prusti and Bhupendra Singh of (DDCL) were engaged by Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to start dredging works near the Jatadhari River mouth about 15 kilometers from the port town Paradeep.
They were lodged in a cyclone center on Thursday night after anti-POSCO villagers took then hostages in the village Dhinkia as anti-POSCO villagers suspected them as the employees of South Korean steel company POSCO.
Later on Friday morning they were released after giving a written undertaking not to enter the areas again, added the police officer.
Anti-POSCO villagers have also assaulted a priest of the Mahaver temple in village Nuagaon on Thursday as the priest, Raju Baba allowed all the seven workers of (DDCL) to offer a coconut in the temple as a good omen to start the dredging work.
Five villagers’ sustained injuries as anti-POSCO villagers assaulted them after they were trying to prevent the anti-POSCO villagers to attack the priest.
All the injured persons have been identified as Ramesh Swain (25) , Smitaranjan Swain (24), Prasanta Swain(27) and Banamali Nayak(26) of Nuagaon village. Two injured persons, Smruti Ranjan Swain and Ramesh Swain were shifted to SCB medical college and hospital at Cuttack after their conditions became serious, said the police officer.
“We directed the contractor of the DDCL to file an FIR against the villagers who kept them as hostages. We have also informed the police of Kujang police station about the incident”, said an official of IOCL in Paradeep to this paper.
Last month, ten workers of the Rural Development department had been kidnapped by the anti-POSCO villagers at Balitutha village while they were carrying wood logs in a truck to build the bridge.
“We released all the seven workers after they gave us an undertaking not to enter the three Gram Panchayats of Dhinkia, Gobindapur and Gadakujang at any point of time. We treated them well while they were in our custody. “, said Abhaya Sahoo an anti-POSCO leader of Dhinkia.
“It was a nightmare for us to spend a night in the village Dhinkia. We have no idea about the war among the South Korean POSCO steel company and the villagers. Anti-POSCO villagers provided food and water to us. We will never enter these areas in future for any work”, said Rajesh Barik one of the released workers.
“My family members were worried over our detention in the village Dhinkia”, said Prasanta Swain another worker who was also detained by the anti-POSCO villagers.
Last month, anti-POSCO villagers had also kidnapped four engineers including three South Korean when they were doing survey works near the Jatadhari river mouth.
“Police had registered as many as 40 cases under sections- 147, 148, 323, 294,341,342,427, 365, 395 and 506 of Indian Penal Code against Abhaya Sahoo an anti-POSCO leader of Dhinkia and others within two years. But, they were not arrested by the police in any case. “, said the police officer.