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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 78

Tribal blockade of highway in Orissa sparks a political row

[b]Tribal blockade of highway in Orissa sparks a political row [/b]

By M Rama Rao - in New Delhi

[b]New Delhi, 12 January, ([/b] On India's east coast, a six-million tonne steel plant planned by Corporate House, the Tatas, has brought the tribals on to the street and they have been blocking the Highway passing through their area and also the access to the plant site.

The protest blockade is already ten days old and there is no sign of it being lifted though a judicial inquiry has been ordered into the cause of the tribal’ ire, namely police firing on tribal demonstrators against their displacement. The firing took place on January 2 and at least 12 tribal were killed.

The police firing and the tribal protest have since become a political issue.

Sonia Gandhi, the Congress party chief, visited the protest site at Kalinga Nagar on Wednesday met the families of the firing victims and announced a compensation of Rs 5 lakh to the next of kin of each of the victims.

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