Staff Reporter

Leaders to announce action plan

Police firing on innocent tribals brutal: PCC chiefJudicial inquiry by sitting HC judge demanded ''Ruling alliance favouring industrial houses"

BHUBANESWAR: The Opposition has condemned Monday's police firing on tribals at Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district and demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who holds the Home portfolio.

Six tribals and one policeman were killed in a clash at Kalinga Nagar, police said. Unconfirmed reports put the toll at 13. The incident took place around 11 a.m. when nearly 800 tribals from nearby villages reached the spot to protest against the construction of a boundary wall for a proposed six-million tonne Tata Steel plant.

Leaders of Opposition parties will visit Kalinga Nagar on Tuesday and announce their course of action on their return here.

Pradesh Congress Committee chief Jayadev Jena, who reached there late in theevening, said the police had brutally killed innocent people in the name of industrialisation. "The Chief Minister should resign. He cannot wash his hands of the issue by announcing an ex gratia of Rs. 1 lakh each for the families of those killed," Mr. Jena said over phone.

The State Government should order a judicial inquiry by a sitting judge of the High Court.

Moral responsibility

"Orissa had never witnessed such a large number of deaths in police firing since Independence. Mr. Patnaik should immediately step down owning moral responsibility for the failure of the law and order machinery," said Orissa Gana Parishad president Bijay Mohapatra.

Janardan Pati, secretary, State unit of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), said the Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance Government was favouring industrial houses without bothering about the tribals, who were hit by industrial projects.

"The Naveen Patnaik Government is out to carry on industrialisation at gunpoint," said Mayadhar Nayak, trade unionist and leader of the Communist Party of India.