Rayagada Impasse Continues: Tribals’ Protest Against IMFA Reaches 7th Day

**Rayagada:** Even as tribals of seven panchayats around IMFA’s Therubali factory in Rayagada district have issued a deadline for meeting their 9-point demands, the company authorities are in no mood to budge. The protestors, most of them belonging to Kolnara block alleged that minimum wage laws have not been implemented for contract workers.

The locals claimed that their families have been affected due to the apathy rendered by IMFA and accused the company of defaulting on its promises towards the genuine demands of stake holders. The manner in which demands of the land-losers, educated youths, skilled workers has been ignored is woeful, they said.

Two women, who have been camping at the protest site said that their sons have passed Diploma in Mechanical Engineering but failed to get a temporary job at the Therubali plant. “I am a widow and my only son, despite of being a talented student was not even allowed to sit for an interview in the company,” one of them said.

Source said, recently, more than 120 local residents who were engaged as Security Guards at IMFA were laid off by the company. They were replaced by personnel of a private security agency. “We have lost our patience to exploitation. This will not be tolerated further,” tribal leader Jeetu Jakesika said.

Jeetu, who has been spearheading the protest, rubbished allegations that the protest was being orchestrated. “This is an ongoing agitation of the people who have been directly impacted by the capitalist exploitation,” he added.

On the other hand, several rounds of discussion by the district administration with the IMFA authorities to have a tripartite negotiation yielded no result. As attempts for a negotiation to end the impasse have failed, the situation is getting worse with each passing day. Concerted efforts by this News Portal to contact IMFA officials here were futile.