Land acquisition continues for second day, activists keep low
Paradip (Odisha): Land acquisition for the Posco steel plant project continued for the second day today in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district as the anti-Posco brigade kept low with reports that many activists were hiding fearing arrest after three were killed while allegedly making bombs.
Land acquisition was continuing smoothly and the situation was normal, Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said.
Betel vine plantations and land of willing farmers were being acquired, he said.
"Two teams, led by tehsildars of Kujanga and Erasama, have been formed to carry out land acquisition expeditiously," District Collector S K Mallick said.
"The payments through cheque will be made to the land losers after proper valuation and calculation," Additional District Magistrate, Paradip, Surjit Das said as 22 betel vine plantations were demolished near Mangalapada area of Gobindpur village.
The district collector, SP and other officials were supervising the land acquisition which resumed yesterday after remaining suspended from February six.
On the other hand, encircled by armed policemen, an uneasy calm prevailed at Patna village under Dhinkia grampanchayat, considered the epi-centre of the anti-Posco agitation.
Many men had gone underground or fled fearing arrests following the death of three activists in an explosion on Saturday while allegedly making bombs, police sources said.
The relatives of those killed refused to take the bodies alleging that pro-Posco supporters were behind the blast and the police were trying to cover up by framing charges against the villagers.
"We will neither receive the bodies nor perform the last rites till the culprits are arrested," they said.
"We issued notice to the relatives of the three deceased requesting them to receive the bodies. But they are not willing to do so," Inspector In-Charge of Kujanga police station Gupteswar Bhoi said.
Over 2,500 cases have been registered against anti-Posco activists in the area in the last seven years in Kujanga police station, while 70 cases were filed against Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samittee chief Abhay Sahoo.