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Several persons, including a magistrate, were injured in brick batting during a protest by villagers in Tinsukia district on Saturday demanding compensation for damage caused by the blowout of an Oil India-owned gas well at Baghjan, the police said.
Eighteen protestors were arrested in connection with the incident which took place at Natun Rangagora village, the police said.
Magistrate Jaideep Rajak, who was trying to persuade the protesters to lift their blockade, sustained injuries in his head due to stone-throwing by them, the police said.
He was rushed to Tinsukia Civil Hospital and released later after treatment.
According to Tinsukia Additional Superintendent of Police Ripunjay Kakoti, the force burst tear gas shells and wielded the baton to disperse the agitators, 18 of whom were arrested.
Villagers claimed that many men and women have received serious injuries in the police lathi-charge.
Officials said the villagers had blockaded the road near the oil well and sat in protest on it since Friday night demanding compensation.
Well no 5 at Baghjan spewed gas uncontrollably for 173 days since May 27 and it caught fire on June 9. The damaged well was ‘killed’ and the blaze was put out in a multi-agency effort on November 15. The well was abandoned on December 3.
OIL had said earlier that it had deposited the money estimated by the Tinsukia district administration and the National Green Tribunal after surveying 2,756 families. (PTI)