Bhubaneswar, Jan 18 (PTI) At least 13 political parties Tuesday demanded immediate withdrawal of police force from Dhinkia village, close to the proposed JSW steel plant in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district, which witnessed a clash between local residents and security personnel over destruction of betel vines for the project.

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Villagers had claimed that at least 45 protestors, including children and elderly people, were injured as the police baton-charged them on January 14.

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The parties comprising Congress, CPI, CPM, CPI-ML, Forward Block, CPIML (Red Star), CPIML(New Democracy), CPI(ML), Samajwadi Party, AAP, RJD, and the NCP at a joint meeting strongly condemned the alleged police excess on the villagers while acquiring betel vineyards.

In a joint resolution, the parties demanded immediate withdrawal of the force, stop forcible land acquisition for JSW, and proper treatment for the injured.

“Several people of the village have not yet returned to their houses fearing arrest. They are either hiding in the nearby jungle or have left the area out of fear,” CPI(M) leader Suresh Panigrahi said.

The parties also decided to undertake a visit to Dhinkia village, the epi-centre of the anti-steel plant movement, on January 21 and draw the attention of Governor Ganeshi Lal.

They also supported the Sanjukta Kissan Morcha's call to observe “Dhinkia Day” on January 20 to express solidarity with the people of the village.

Alleging that there has been a gross violation of human rights and fundamental rights of the people, the 13 parties also demanded a High Court-monitored SIT to probe into the police lathi-charge at Dhikia village.

Meanwhile, the Odisha unit of the BJP alleged that the police resorted to lathi-charge on unarmed villagers without any provocation.

“The clash is a reflection of the fight between Water Resources Minister Raghunandan Das and Jagatsinghpur district president of BJD and MLA Prasanta Muduli,” alleged BJP leader Bibhu Prasad Tarai.

He claimed that the clash was politically motivated to pave the way for the collection of more donations from JSW Steel.

“After the lathi charge on January 14, police forces are still deployed at the village till date. This is a violation of human rights. We have submitted a memorandum to the Odisha Human Rights Commission (OHRC) in this regard today,” Tarai added.

In a related development, two separate public interest litigations (PILs) were filed in the Orissa High Court on Tuesday in connection with the lathi charge on the protestors at Dhinkia village.

The petitioners prayed to the court to restrain the police from ‘terrorising' the villagers and not to evict them from the land by using force, provide proper compensation to victims, and treatment to the injured persons.

(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from Syndicated News feed, LatestLY Staff may not have modified or edited the content body)