Oppn demands judicial probe into Posco violence

Bhubaneswar: Opposition parties in Orissa on Thursday held the state government responsible for the death of a man during a clash in the Posco steel plant site near Paradip and demanded a judicial probe into the violence.

In separate statements, leaders of Congress, BJP, CPI, CPI-M, Forward Bloc, RJD and Samajwadi Party demanded complete halt to all project-related work including construction of coastal road to link the Posco site.

Hitting out at the ruling BJD over the incident, state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik said the state government, particularly Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, was responsible for the violent clash.

There should be an impartial investigation, if possible a judicial enquiry, into the incident, he said adding till completion of probe no project-related work should be allowed in proposed Posco plant site.

At a joint press conference, CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak, CPI-M's Janardan Pati, FB's Santosh Mishra, RJD's Harish Mohapatra and SP's Rabi Behera said despite Naveen Patnaik's claim about peaceful industrialisation, 'private militia' was being used to terrorise people opposing Posco project.

Demanding a judicial probe into the violence, they said till completion of the inquiry nobody associated with Posco work should be allowed to enter the area.

Attacking Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO) for awarding coastal road construction work to an agency without floating tender, the leaders said in the absence of any MoU or agreement with Posco at present, no project related work should be undertaken.

Senior BJP leader Ashok Sahu also slammed the state government for road construction work in the absence of MoU with the South Korean company.

BJP and Congress also sent two teams to the site of Wednesday's violence for a spot inquiry, while CPI organised demonstrations at Bhubaneswar, Puri, Ganjam and Gajapati.

A protest conclave was held by CPI, CPI-M, FB, RJD and SP at Patana in the proposed Posco project site against the violence.