Clash at proposed Posco plant site in Orissa



Paradip: A clash between contract workers and opponents of the proposed Posco steel plant project occurred at Dhinkia in Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district on Monday, police said.

Inspector-in-charge, Kujanga, Gupteswar Bhoi said armed police force had been deployed at Sandhakuda, seven km from Mahal and police was keeping vigil as tension prevailed in the area.

While Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) leaders alleged assault by goons hired by the contractor engaged for construction of a coastal road to the project site the latter accused anti-Posco activists of attacking the workers.

"Goons and workers hired by the contractor launched an attack on innocent people," PPSS spokesman Abhay Sahu alleged.

Sahu claimed 28 persons sustained injuries after being attacked by lathi wielding people, who raided the area near Mahal under Dhinkia panchayat and attacked the villagers, including women and children.

Opposing construction of the 10 km long road along the coast from the Oil Refinery on the sea beach up to the proposed Posco site, PPSS supporters have been sitting on dharna at Mahal ever since the foundation stone for the same was laid in August, PPSS leaders said.

The contractor engaged by Ersama-Paradip Silpa Vikas Parishad had gone to the area with machines and workers and after being resisted from carrying out the work, allegedly applied force on the protesters, Sahu claimed.

However, the contractor Bapi Sarkar refuted the allegation levelled by PPSS leaders and charged the anti-Posco people with attacking the workers with brickbats and stones.

As news spread in the area, hundreds of people from nearby villages gathered. Sensing trouble, the contractor and his workers left the area with their machines and equipment, police said.

PTI