24 August 2019
Kalahandi: An undertrial prisoner’s death in VIMSAR Burla hospital on Friday caused severe unrest around Lanjigarh. Following this, Section 144 has been clamped near Vedanta Plant's main gate and the Township area till further notice.
The deceased, Pattnaik Harijan (45) was amongst the 19 people who were arrested on the basis of CCTV footage for clashing with Vedanta’s security personnel on March 18. The clash had resulted in death of an OSF Major in charge of Vedanta’s security and a worker Dani Patra.
Three days ago Pattnaik had complained of being ill, prison officials informed. He was taken to Bhawanipatna District Hospital for treatment. After two days of treatment, he was shifted to VIMSAR, Burla as his condition worsened. However, during treatment the undertrial prisoner passed away on Friday.
As soon as the news of Pattnaik’s death spread, there were reports of unrest at several places. Section 144 was immediately clamped in the two kilometer perimeter of Vedanta campus. An announcement was made for the same in the nearby areas. Hence, as per the rules, no more than five people can be at same place, and rally or meetings cannot be conducted.
The local police have kept the ambulance carrying Pattnaik’s body in the custody while it was about to reach Lanjigarh at about 1 pm.
The family members of Pattnaik and Rengapalli locals are demanding compensation for deceased’s family. They are demanding Rs 5 lakh for each of his five daughters and a job for wife Manorama. Talks are underway in between locals and Vedanta officials and management.