Bhubaneswar: Demanding immediate withdrawal
of police force from Posco`s proposed plant site near Paradip,
five political parties on Thursday launched a day-night dharna here
even as project-related works were stopped for the fifth
consecutive day due to Opposition from locals.
Leaders and activists of CPI, CPI-M, Forward Bloc, RJD
and Samajwadi Party held a demonstration before sitting on a
dharna on Mahatma Gandhi Marg near the state secretariat.
Accusing the Orissa government of terrorising anti-
project protesters by deploying armed police close to their
dharna site, CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak alleged "police
beat up people and forcibly acquired their betel vines."
The anti-Posco agitators including children and women
were sitting on dharna at Gobindpur, the entry point to
Dhinkia gram panchayat since June two. The human barricade by
villagers have prevented the entry of police into Dhinkia
area, the epicentre of anti-Posco agitation, he said.
"The state government`s efforts to use force in order to
break the peaceful and democratic protest could prove costly,"
said Samajwadi Party state leader Rabi Behera adding their
dharna would continue during the night also.
The five parties also criticised Chief Secretary B K
Patnaik who termed children`s participation in the anti-Posco
agitation as "illegal".
"The chief secretary should study history of freedom
struggle where children had also played a role," said CPI
leader Asish Kanungo.
Meanwhile, government officials were prevented by
villagers when they reached Nuagaon gram panchayat to fell
trees. A Congress delegation also visited the area and
extended support to the ongoing agitation saying the project
should not be allowed in fertile land.