Keeping dead bodies on road, protestors demand closure of Vizag LG Polymers mount

South India

Keeping dead bodies on the road, hundreds of protestors in Visakhapatanam demanded closure of the LG Polymers, the company behind the gas leak that killed 12 people. 

The demand for the closure of LG Polymers, the company behind the gas leak tragedy that has killed 12 people and left several ill, at Visakhapatanam in Andhra Pradesh is mounting.

On Saturday, hundreds of people belonging to RR Venkatapuram and adjoining villages gathered in front of the company pressing the demand for the closure of the unit. The police resorted to lathi-charge to disperse the protestors.

According to Hindustan Times, tension prevailed at the plant in the morning as agitated people, returning to their villages after two days, stormed the plant and tried to barge into the premises raising slogans demanding that it be shut immediately and moved elsewhere.

The angry villagers also stopped ambulances carrying the bodies of some of the victims from King George Hospital mortuary to the villages for cremation and kept the bodies on the road in front of the company gate to stage a dharna.

Visakhapatnam police commissioner RK Meena quickly intervened and, with the help of additional forces, managed to shift the bodies from the spot to Venkatapuram village for cremation.

The police had a tough time controlling the protesters even as the force was mobilised in large numbers in view of Director General of Police Gautam Sawang’s visit to the plant.

A woman protester fell on the feet of the DGP demanding justice for the people by taking immediate action against the company. However, she was taken away by the women constables posted at the spot. The DGP was escorted out of the premises with heavy police security.

“It has been two days since the cases were booked against the management of LG Polymers. But no action was taken against any of the company officials till date. We shall not allow the company to run under any circumstances,” an angry villager was quoted by the HT.

The government has appointed a high-powered committee to probe the accident. The DGP told reporters that the Styrene gas leakage was under complete control and it would be neutralised by evening.

“We are not here to protect anybody. The investigation has begun and we shall take action based on the investigation. There is no need for the villagers to get agitated,” he said.

Meanwhile LG Polymers management has tendered an apology for the gas leak. "We assure you that we are doing our best to extend all the possible support to ensure people and their families who have been affected by the incident are taken care off,” a statement released by the company said.

“Our teams are working day and night with the government to assess the impact of the damage caused and create concrete measures to deliver an effective package that can be implemented immediately,” it read.

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Friday fined interim penalty of Rs 50 crore to the LG Polymers company saying “there appears to be a failure to comply with the safety Rules and other statutory provisions” and it ordered the company to deposit the initial amount Rs 50 crore at the Visakhapatnam District collector's office (with inputs from agencies).

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