Hundreds protest Vedanta University project in Orissa

November 4th, 2008 - 6:35 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, Nov 4 (IANS) More than 500 people Tuesday blocked roads and clashed with police in Orissa’s Puri district to protest the construction of the Vedanta University in the region, police said.Members of the mob, some of them carrying sticks, shouted slogans against the proposed university and rushed to the site near Bhimpur village near the Puri-Konark marine drive, around 60 km from here, officials said.

Villagers are opposed to the construction of the university as, they say, they will lose their farm land.

One of the protesters, Umaballav Ratha, told IANS that they rushed to the construction site and the workers engaged there escaped with the help of the police.

He alleged that the police beat up the protesters with batons.

“There was a minor scuffle between policemen and protesters for a brief period, but no one was injured,” a district police official said.

The university coming up on 600 acres near the Puri-Konarka marine drive is being set up by the Anil Agarwal foundation, promoted by industrialist Anil Agarwal, who is also chairman of Vedanta Resources.

Once built, the proposed university will accommodate over 100,000 students.

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