Nipped in the bud

  • 14/02/2006

Thousands of villagers destroyed a coke unit that was under construction in Assam. The people were protesting against the health hazards to their villages from the Shwastik Coke and Mineral and the Chati Coke Industry, in Rani block in West Guwahati.

The January 6, 2006, incident was an unprecedented show of solidarity as thousands of people, including the elderly, from villages near the unit gathered at a local school. They then marched to the coke plant, where they went on a rampage. They faced some resistance from the police force but were able to penetrate the work site and demolish everything including a huge stretch of the unit's boundary.

The labourers at the site ran helter-skelter to escape the fury of the protesters, according to reports. After a one-hour demonstration, the agitators set a deadline for the plant authorities to bring the construction work to a halt.

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