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Displaced people demanding repatriation of 600 Chinese workers from Jharkhand

The district administration has urged the state headquarters to despatch two companies of Jharkhand Armed Police (JAP) for maintaining peace in and around the Bokaro Steel Limited (BSL) and the Electrosteel Integrated Limited (EIL).


While the BSL faces demonstrations by locals, who claim to be the heirs of displaced people, on a regular basis, the EIL recently witnessed a clash between its Chinese and local personnel at Bandhdih village under the Chandankyari block of the district.


According to sources, Bokaro DC S Singh has sent a detailed report to the home secretary seeking deployment of adequate police force at EIL and BSL to avert incidents of clashes and demonstrations.


In his report, Singh informed the government that local villagers residing in the surrounding areas of EIL do not want Chinese personnel to stay here and are demanding that they be repatriated to their own country. Currently, around 600 Chinese personnel are working in the EIL's under-construction steel plant.


On May 12, around four persons, including a Chinese citizen, were injured in a clash that occurred between the Chinese personnel and the local labourers at an under-construction site of EIL at Bandhdih.


Soon after the incident, locals took to streets demanding repatriation of EIL's Chinese personnel. They also blocked road and damaged vehicles. A team of police personnel and a magistrate had to be deployed at the spot after the incident.


On Wednesday, police arrested 14 so-called displaced persons for trying to disrupt the ongoing construction work of an upcoming power plant near the BSL's gate number 3 at Chitahi village under the limits of the Harla police station. The agitators claimed to be the heirs of displaced families and demanded jobs against the construction work going on their lands.


Chief of communications, BSL, Sanjay Tiwari, however, said that the BSL has provided jobs to as many as 16,000 displaced persons. Refuting the so-called displaced persons' claim that they have not been given jobs, he said that the company is ready to offer them jobs if they show valid papers of their land from where they had been evicted. Meanwhile, Chas subdivisional officer Manoj Kumar has imposed Section 144 in the area.


28 May 2009, TNN

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