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Four SECL Officials Held Hostage, Assaulted by Villagers in Chhattisgarh's Korba

Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)

Representative Image. (Image: Reuters)

The incident occurred on July 23 night when the officials were visiting Malgaon village for carrying out pre-mining activities in the area acquired by the company for expansion of its Dipka coalfield.

Four officials of the South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) were allegedly held hostage and assaulted by villagers in Chhattisgarh's Korba district, police said on Saturday.

The incident occurred on July 23 night when the officials were visiting Malgaon village for carrying out pre-mining activities in the area acquired by the company for expansion of its Dipka coalfield, a police official said.

A case was registered against over two dozen villagers on Friday on a complaint lodged by SK Dewangan, General Manager (mining), Dipka project, he said.

Dewangan and other officials had gone to Malgaon for levelling work of a pond in the acquired land area when one Dilraj Singh, his brother and mother, and some locals reached the spot and tried to obstruct the work, the police official said quoting the complaint.

Villagers allegedly held them hostage for about two hours and thrashed Dewangan, Mine Manager Manoj Kumar, Mine Security Officer DK Meshram and security in-charge Ugrasen with sticks before releasing them, he added.

Singh and others have been booked under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 186 (obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 506B (criminal intimidation), 323 (voluntarily causing hurt), and 342 (wrongful confinement) of the Indian Penal Code, the official said.

No arrest is made so far.

Villagers had alleged that proper rehabilitation was not granted to the project-affected persons.

However, Dewangan said land was acquired in Malgaon, Reki, Haldibazar and Suwamudi villages in 1986 and full compensation was provided to villagers by the SECL.