Talcher: Police today conducted preventive arrest of the the local MLA Braja Kishor Pradhan and 48 contractual workers for opposing the resumption of two railway sidings of Bhubaneaswari coal mine here.
Contractual workers who were working in these two sidings for several years were retrenched by the new contractors evoking the protests. The aggrieved workers led by MLA stopped the sidings since last two months. Coal transportation remained paralyzed during the period.
Today ,when the new contractors went to the spot with help of police force to resume the loading of coal on rakes ,the workers and MLA opposed.
Sensing trouble, the police arrested MLA Pradhan and took him to the colliery police station while others were taken to the Deulbera institute by police.
Describing his arrest as arbitrary, Pradhan said he was fighting for the cause of poor labouers who were deprived of bread and butter by the new contractors. He condemned the police action.
Police sources said they had picked up Pradhan and his supporters to avert a clash between new workers and those who had been retrenched. The stalemate prevailed when workers demanded to continue the job there and the contractors refused to take them.
Meanwhile supporters of MLA Pradhan paralysed work in the entire Talcher coalfield area protesting against the arrest. Production and dispatch of coal was affected. Stray cases of violence was reported from nearby Bharatpur and Laingaj coal mine areas.