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Anti-Posco agitators relent; agree for survey

In a blow to the five-year anti-Posco agitation, villagers earlier opposed to the mega steel plant project on Tuesday approached the authorities and asked them to take up survey work in their area.



Bhubaneswar: In a blow to the five-year
anti-Posco agitation, villagers earlier opposed to the mega
steel plant project of the South Korean company in Orissa`s
Jagatsinghpur district on Tuesday approached the authorities and
asked them to take up survey work in their area.

"Residents of Gobindpur village came to my office and
submitted a written memorandum urging us to start the survey
work as the villagers supported the project," Jagatsinghpur
district collector N C Jena told agency over phone.

Some of the villagers claimed they were terrorised by
the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), Jena added.
People in Gobindpur invited police officials to their
village during the day, defying a PPSS diktat against entry of
police and government officials into Dhinkia gram panchayat
area.

Dhinkia gram panchayat has so far been considered a
bastion of anti-Posco movement.

According to sources, a section of people of Dhinkia
village were also planning to allow survey activities in their
area.

"We have so far completed survey work in five of the
seven villages identified for the Rs 52,000 crore 12 mtpa mega
steel plant," Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), central
division, P K Mohapatra, said.

The administration is yet to decide when to start
survey at Gobindpur village.

Meanwhile, six parties -- CPI(M), CPI, Forward Bloc,
RJD, SJP and JMM -- appealed to Orissa Chief Minister Naveen
Patnaik for a discussion before beginning the socio-economic
and forest land survey at the project site.

"We have urged the Chief Minister through a letter to
intervene and invite us for talks on displacement of people
from the project area," CPI(M) state general secretary
Janardan Pati said after a meeting of the six parties.

CPI leader Abani Boral said, "Naveen (Patnaik) should
resolve the issue though political dialogue and not by using
force."
CPI state assistant secretary Asish Kanungo alleged that
people faced police action when they opposed the survey at
Nuagaon village on June 4. "Video clippings of police
brutality are enough evidence to prove use of force."

Patnaik, however, said he was yet to receive any proposal
from the six parties. "I will certainly consider the proposal,
if any."

The district administration, which began survey work at
the project site on May 25, has surveyed five of the seven
villages. Only two villages -- Gobindpur and Dhinkia -- are
yet to be covered.

Meanwhile, about eight platoons (240 men) of police
staged a flag march at the Nuagauon-Gobindpur village border.

"We are not terrorising anyone, but protecting people
who feel insecure in their villages," said a senior police
officer.

Many people have complained that they were facing the
wrath of the PPSS, he added.

PTI

From Zee News

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