A mob today held a mine owner and his bodyguard captive over a land dispute at Turi village under Potka police station, 20km from here.
D.C. Das, the owner of a mineral mine and a crusher unit, and his bodyguard, Sunil Singh, were rescued following police intervention.
Sources said Das, a resident of Turi village in Potka, had picked up a quarrel yesterday with the villagers over the approaching road to the mine.
While the villagers claimed that an area, which is the approaching road to the mine, belonged to the state administration, Das said it was part of the mining lease granted by the district mining office.
This morning, his staff found the approach road to the mine blocked with boulders when they tried to drive trucks to the mines. They informed Das who arrived at the village with his bodyguard around 11am. He asked a group of workers to remove the boulders.
While the road was being cleared, a mob of few hundred villagers arrived there armed with bows and arrows, and took Das and his bodyguard hostage. On the spur of the moment, the bodyguard fired in the air, but this only added fuel to protest fire.
The angry tribals tied Das and his bodyguard to a tree and beat them up. The duo were held captive for more than an hour.
A police team from Jamshedpur reached the spot when one of the company officials informed them.
East Singhbhum superintendent of police Naveen Kumar Singh said that an executive magistrate who had accompanied the police team to the troubled spot took stock of the situation.
He convinced the villagers that he would find out whether the disputed land belonged to the state or was a part of the mining lease area given to Das.
"The situation was prevented from spinning out of control in the nick of time and the mine owner and his bodyguard rescued," said Singh, adding that they were trying to solve the problem amicably.
Telegraph / June 16, 2009