Anti-Posco brigade seek force pullout
Bhubaneswar: With Odisha government all set to resume land acquisition for Posco`s mega steel project in Jagatsinghpur district, anti-displacement bodies and Left parties on Friday staged demonstrations demanding withdrawal of force from the proposed plant site area.
Demonstrations were held in various district headquarters in response to a call by CPI to observe All India Solidarity Day. Besides Odisha, demonstrations were held in other states, claimed CPI national executive member R K Panda.
While demanding withdrawal of force from Dhinkia area near Paradip, the agitators sought halt to "forcible" land acquisition by the state government. Holding placards saying "Posco Go Back" and "Stop Forcible Land Acquisition," members of Niyamgiri Surakshya Samiti, Western Odisha Krushak Sangathan and others under Posco Pratirodh Samanoya Samiti banner, staged demonstration here at Mahatma Gandhi Marg.
The agitation came a day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visited Balikuda area, a few kilometres from the proposed plant site area in Jagatsinghpur district.
Though Patnaik addressed a public meeting, he did not speak a word about Posco project, a report from Paradip said.
Meanwhile, sources in the state government said the district administration of Jagatsinghpur and Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) have been suggested to resume land acquisition at Gobindpur village.
With the Budget session of the state assembly having ended and Patnaik completed his tour of the area, officials are all set to resume activities in the proposed plant site.
The state government had stopped land acquisition operations for Posco after some women resorted to a semi-nude protest in Gobindapur village on March 7.
Though the administration has been doing other works like construction of a 4.5 km road from Patana to Balithuta to ensure connectivity to project site and enumeration of trees, it has refrained from demolishing betel vines and land acquisition since a month as assembly was in session and the bosses wanted to avoid controversy, an official said.
Meanwhile, the state owned IDCO has handed over 1700 acre of land to Posco which requires another 1,000 acre to start work for setting up 8 mtpa steel plant in stage-I.
While the state government has announced not to acquire any land from Dhinkia village, considered as the epi-centre of anti-Posco agitation, the officials said they would have to retrieve 1,000 acre of land from Gobindpur village.
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