A mob of 200-250 unidentified persons was on Tuesday booked for attempt to murder and other offences a day after a protest against a proposed zinc smelter plant in Doswada in Gujarat's Tapi district turned violent, leaving 14 policemen injured, two of whom are in serious condition, officials said.
After the protest by people from almost two dozen tribal villages turned violent at a public hearing organised by the Gujarat Pollution Control Board in connection with the plant on Monday, police had to fire 118 teargas shells and hurl two hand grenades to bring the situation under control, officials said.
"A mob of 200-250 unidentified persons has been booked under IPC sections related to attempt to murder (307), voluntarily causing hurt (332), assault (353), unlawful assembly (143), rioting (147), along with provisions of the Damage to Public Property Act and Disaster Management Act. No arrest has been made so far," Sub Inspector Rajesh Vasava of Songadh police station said.
According to officials, after the public hearing was cancelled by the collector on Monday, some of those dispersing from the site blocked a road seeking written assurance on their demands from the collector.
The impasse turned violent as some protesters pelted stones on police personnel who had arrived to clear the area.
It left 14 policemen, among them a deputy superintendent and inspector, and homeguards injured, out of which two constables, including a woman, have sustained serious head injuries, they said.
Police said ten of their vehicles were damaged, after which two hand grenades were hurled and 118 teargas shells fired to bring the situation under control.
The Gujarat government and Vedanta Group firm Hindustan Zinc had signed an MoU to set up a 300 kilo ton per annum zince smelter plant on a 415-acre plot in Doswada with an investment of Rs 10,000 crore, with the company claiming it would be the largest such facility in the world.
Meanwhile, in a statement, Neelam Rani, managing director of Industrial Extension Bureau (iNDEXTb), said, "We are committed to creating a conducive environment for industry to grow and will extend support to ensure ease of business. As a responsible government body, the welfare of our communities and focus on environment will always remain a top priority and we will ensure that best standards are followed."
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