Paradip (Odisha): Rallies and dharnas continued at the proposed plant site villages of Posco project near here even as Odisha government suspended the controversial land acquisition activities for the third consecutive day on Saturday.
The anti-project activists under the banner of CPI-backed Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) held a massive rally which proceeded till Magala Chhak of Gobindpur village, the venue of police camp. The protestors demanded immediate withdrawal of police from the area.
"The district administration of Jagatsinghpur decided not to proceed with its land acquisition activities today due to different reasons," additional district magistrate (ADM), Paradip Surjit Das said.
The agitators, comprising mostly children and women, sat on dharna in front of the police camp making it impossible for the personnel to move out of their place. The agitation was intensified on Saturday as the PPSS president Abhay Sahu's hunger strike entered fifth day.
Sahu had been refusing food and water ever since the police allegedly beat up innocent people while entering into Gobindpur village for facilitating land acquisition for Posco project. "I will not call off hunger strike till force is completely withdrawn from the area," Sahu said.
The police on the other hand claimed that force was kept in the temporary camp at Gobindpur's Mangala Chhak as certain villagers fear attack on them.
"We are there to help certain people who feel threat from certain miscreants," said Jagatsinghpur SP Satyabrata Bhoi.
Meanwhile, the teachers of three schools in Dhinkia, Gobindpur and Patana villages today started a campaign to bring back students to classes. They met parents of each student and tried to convince them to send their kids to schools, an official said.
The children, however, refused to return to schools unless force was withdrawn from the area. Many of them were seen spending nights near Sahu who had been sitting on hunger strike at Patana village.