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Plant protesters 'burn 7 to death'

Police in eastern India are investigating reports that villagers protesting against a stone-crushing plant burned to death seven people who defended the project.

District police superintendent Nitinjit Singh said a clash broke out in Orissa state after the victims rallied to support the plant's owner against a demonstration in remote Bandaguda village.

Police suspect the villagers locked the seven in a break room near the crusher before midnight and set them on fire.

Post-mortem examinations are being carried out on the charred bodies, which have not been identified. No suspects have been arrested.

Since the crusher was built outside the village a year ago, some have complained about dust and noise pollution. Others who work there say they are often not paid on time.

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