After the fatal gas leak in Visakhapatnam that claimed as many as 11 lives and left thousands exposed to the poisonous gas, hundreds of locals gathered outside LG Polymers India on Saturday demanding immediate closure of the plant. The villagers also demanded the arrest of those responsible in the deadly incident.
The locals entered the premises and shouted slogans demanding that the plant be moved to another location. Meanwhile, the ambulances ferrying the bodies of the victims from King George Hospital were passing by and the protesters stopped the ambulances and laid the bodies in front of the plant's gate.
#WATCH Andhra Pradesh: Locals protest at the chemical plant in R R Venkatapuram, Visakhapatnam where #VizagGasLeak happened. Protesters are demanding relocation of the factory from the area & arrest of those responsible for the incident. pic.twitter.com/KIbBL4I2Ne— ANI (@ANI) May 9, 2020
"We shall not allow the company to run under any circumstances," he said. The police in Andhra Pradesh had registered a case on Thursday against LG Polymers," a villager told Hindustan Times.
The protest took place when the Director General of Police Gautam Sawang visited the plant. He said the styrene gas leakage had been neutralised by Saturday evening.
"We are not here to protect anybody," Sawang said. "The investigation has begun and we shall take action based on the investigation. There is no need for the villagers to get agitated."
To take control of the situation, the police had to resort to lathi-charging to disperse the crowd. Several protestors were also detained and taken to Gopalapatnam police station.
The police then took the bodies to Venkatapuram village for cremation.
Tourism Minister M Srinivasa Rao and other YSR Congress party leaders tried to console the villagers. They assured that the government was making all necessary efforts to ensure the plant is moved out.
Rao also said that the government has appointed a high-powered committee to probe the accident and take stringent action against the company.