Entry point to proposed Posco plant cleared of agitators

The police on Saturday cleared the entry point to the proposed Posco mega steel plant at Balitutha, of protesters resisting land acquisition since January 26, using rubber bullets, teargas and batons, leaving at least 30 injured.

Last Updated: May 15, 2010, 19:29 PM IST

Paradip (Orissa): The police on Saturday cleared
the entry point to the proposed Posco mega steel plant at
Balitutha, of protesters resisting land acquisition since
January 26, using rubber bullets, teargas and batons, leaving
at least 30 people injured.

"The people on dharna at Balitutha defying prohibitory
orders have been evicted," Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of
Police Debadutta Singh said.
The police which ordered the 1000-odd protesters, mostly
women and children, to leave immediately cracked down when 50
crude bombs were thrown at them, he said.

He did not reply to allegations that the temporary camps
of protesters were set ablaze by the police.

Police used baton, teargas shells and rubber bullets to
disperse the anti-Posco agitators, Inspector General of
Police, Central Range, S K Upadhaya said.

Some people received minor injuries in the police action,
he said, adding, 11 others were also arrested.

"Our next target is obviously Dhinkia village, epicentre
of the anti-Posco agitation," Upadhaya said.

The police will remain in the area till officials
surveyed the forest area and land was acquired for the
proposed mega steel plant, he said.
"We have been successful in restoring law and order at
Balitutha being held by anti-project activists since January
26," Jagastsinghpur district collector N C Jena told newsmen.

Earlier, local CPI MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai, Congress
leader Umesh Swain and Jayant Biswal were arrested as a
preventive measure, though former CPI MLA Narayan Reddy joined
the agitators at Balitutha.

The administration had deployed 1500 security personnel,
six magistrates, four ambulances and two fire tenders at
Balitutha prior to the operation, police added.

PTI