Protests by residents of Chunar area in Mirzapur district against the JP cement factory in the area took ugly turn on Tuesday after a mob of 300 protestors fought a pitched battle with police.
One PAC constable received serious head injuries and is currently admitted at a Varanasi hospital.
According to Chunar Circle Officer Radha Krishna,around 3 pm a mob of about 300 locals led by Rama Shanker overpowered dozens of the factory employees while they were on their way to join work after lunch.
The police force deployed in the area intervened and tried to rescue the employees. Annoyed by police action,locals started pelting stones and injured eight policemen.
The police then began to lathicharge and also fired in the air to disperse the mob.
The locals under the banner of Jan Samasya Nivaran Samiti are demanding closure of the cement factory.
On September 29,the group submitted a charter of demands to the SDO in which the locals alleged that the cement factory was causing pollution in the surrounding areas. They also accused the company authorities of illegally acquiring land of poor villagers.
Locals say the factory had caused water scarcity in the Chunar area.
Later in the day,the police arrested 23 protestors,including the groups leader Rama Shanker.