Bhubaneswar: It is `force versus
children` in the battle for land to set up Posco`s proposed
mega steel project in Orissa`s Jagatsinghpur district where
the anti-displacement stir has entered the decisive phase.
While a determined state government have accused the
Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), a body spearheading
agitation against the South Korean steel major, of using the
children as a "shield", the villagers sought to differ.
"We involve children in the agitation to counter the
state`s brute force which is trying to forcibly acquire land
without consent of the farmers." PPSS President Abhay Sahu
About 300 children are leading the anti-Posco
agitation for last 12 days as the state government deployed
more than 600 armed security personnel to enter into Dhinkia
gram panchayat, considered as epicentre of the six-year-old
"I believe the children should never be used in
agitation. The persons, be it their parents, should be held
responsible for using them in this manner," Orissa`s Women and
Child Development (WCD) minister Anjali Behera said.
The WCD minister said she would like to initiate
action against the persons involved in the practice. "It is
cruel to make children agitate under scorching sun and
heavy downpour," the minister remarked.