Bhubaneswar: Describing the participation of children in the anti-Posco agitation as "risky", the NCPCR Monday asked the Orissa government to withdraw police force from educational institutions in order to ensure their return to school without fear.
"We feel that the children cannot be put in such a risky situation as in the fore front of the anti-Posco agitation. The commission appeals to the state government, parents, anti-Posco leaders and others to stop children`s participation in the agitation," National Commission for Protection of Child Rights member Yogesh Dube told PTI after visiting the agitation site.
The state government should take measures to ensure that peace returned to the proposed plant site villages so that the children could return to schools without any fear, Dube, who heads the three-member NCPCR team, said.
He said the team found police force kept in reserve, were occupying the educational institutions. "We found members of police force at a school at Balitutha."
Most of the schools witnessed thin attendance as students joined the agitation, he said.
The team members interacted with children, their parents, anti-Posco leaders, district officials and police besides visiting different schools in the proposed plant site villages. The team would meet the chief secretary tomorrow and would submit its report to the Commission soon, he said.
Meanwhile, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti president Abhay Sahu, accused of using children as a shield to prevent forceful land acquisition, said "We have been agitating against Posco for the past six years. But this was the first time that children took part in it. This is because the children feel they can prevent forcible land acquisition."