July 7, 2021 2:27:55 am
A day after hundreds of agitated protesters from villages in Songadh taluka of Tapi allegedly attacked policemen and vandalised vehicles during a public hearing on setting up of a zinc smelter plant at Doswada village by the Hindustan Zinc Limited Company of the Vedanta group, police lodged an FIR against a mob of 250 persons for attempt to murder and rioting.
As per an FIR filed at Songadh police station on Tuesday, “A group of 200-250 unknown persons assembled illegally with a common intention to suspend the public hearing, blocked National Highway 53, stopped police personnel on duty, pelted stones and assaulted them with the intention to kill them and vandalized government vehicles.”
People from several villages under Songadh taluka have been protesting the plan to set up the zinc smelter plant, amid pollution concerns.
According to police, 14 police personnel, including a deputy superintendent of police in Tapi, suffered injuries in the protest that began around noon on Monday.
A public hearing by officials of the Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and Tapi collector HK Vadhvaniya was organised at Doswada village at 11 am on Monday to hear the grievances of villagers who are against the setting up of the zinc plant. Around 800 persons attended the hearing where over 250 protesters allegedly targeted police and government officials.
Speaking to The Indian Express, Tapi Superintendent of Police Sujata Majumdar said that no one has detained or arrested yet and an investigation is on.