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US national detained near Kalinga Nagar

A US national on tourist visa is detained by the police near the steel hub of Kalinga Nagar on suspicion of being an anti-government activist.

india Updated: Aug 13, 2008 22:46 IST

A US national on tourist visa was detained by the police near the steel hub of Kalinga Nagar on suspicion of being an anti-government activist.

David Pugh (60) was detained last night and allowed to return to his hotel here after questioning at Jajpur, police said on Wednesday.

"He has been asked not to leave the city without police approval," they said.

Orissa Director General of Police Gopal Nanda said Pugh was expected to visit places like Puri and Konark as he had come on a tourist visa but went to POSCO project site and Kalinga Nagar where he had no work.

He was therefore stopped for questioning and would be allowed to leave after verification of his antecedents, he said.

Pugh said he was a teacher and had come to the country on a tourist visa. He visited Kalinga Nagar industrial area yesterday and met anti-displacement activists to 'study' their problems as he was doing a research on social issues and displacement problem.

He also claimed to have visited the proposed plant site of POSCO near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district.

He said he was returning to his hotel, when police intercepted his vehicle. "Though I asked the driver to stop, he sped away as he had no driving licence," Pugh claimed and added the police finally caught them.

Pugh alleged that he was subjected to "undue harassment" by the police who interrogated him for over 7 hours at Jajpur.

"The police suspected me to be an anti-government activist which I am not," he said.