Irate tribals block road after attack on leader

March 14th, 2008 - 4:00 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, March 14 (IANS) Hundreds of tribals opposing the construction of a steel plant by the Tata Group in Orissa blocked a road after some unidentified men opened fire and injured one of their leaders, police said Friday. The men shot Jogendra Jamuda, a resident of Ambagadia village in the coastal Jajpur town when he was returning home from a weekly market on a two-wheeler Thursday evening.

Jamuda is one of the prominent leaders of the Visthapan Virodhi Jana Manch (VVJM), an umbrella outfit of tribal organisations that is spearheading the movement against the proposed Tata plant in the region.

Three motorcycle-borne assassins fired at Jamuda, said an eyewitness, Kanhu Badra. The victim fell off his motorcycle, along with two women who were riding pillion. The men beat him, Badra told IANS.

Local police officer K.C. Mund said the men had also assaulted the two women.

“Jamuda was rushed to the nearby hospital where his condition was said to be stable. He is out of danger,” Mund said.

When the news spread in the area, hundred of tribals, including women and children carrying their traditional weapons, blocked the road at Ambagadia demanding immediate arrest of the culprits.

“The incident took place in front of the Kalinga Nagar police station and the police failed to nab the culprit,” general secretary of the VVJM Rabindra Jarika said.

“Our blockade will continue till the attackers are arrested.”

The Kalinga Nagar area, located 120 km from the state capital Bhubaneswar, has seen repeated bouts of unrest after 13 tribals were killed and several injured in police firing Jan 2, 2006, when they gathered to protest the construction of a boundary wall of a proposed Tata Steel plant.

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