Land acquisition for the proposed mega steel plant of Posco is likely to resume tomorrow despite a day-long opposition by local residents, officials said.
Odisha government halted land acquisition activities for Posco’s proposed Rs 52,000 crore mega steel plant project for a day today in view of stiff opposition from locals.
“The process is on though we have halted the land acquisition activities for one day,” Jagatsinghpur district collector S K Mallick told PTI after CPI National Secretary D Raja returned from Gobindpur village.
Asked whether the state government would resume land acquisition activities, he said it depended on different factors.
“Our priority is to win confidence of local people. Whatever the administration will do, the government will take people along with it,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Raja led a demonstration by anti-Posco agitators, mostly children and women, demanding complete withdrawal of police force from the proposed plant site areas.
Raja, who flayed “midnight entry by the police” into Gobindpur village to facilitate acquiring of land for Posco, himself led the demonstration and gheroed a police camp demanding complete withdrawn of police force from the area.
“Though the district administration yesterday announced withdrawal of force from Posco’s proposed plant site area, the personnel are still lodged at the temporary camp here,” Raja told the gathering of anti-displacement activists.
On presence of security personnel despite government’s announcement of force withdrawal, Jagatsinghpur SP Satyabrata Bhoi, maintained the police force had to rush to the temporary camp today for maintaining law and order in the area in view of the rally being attended by senior leaders.
A large number of activists from CPI, CPI(M), Forward Bloc, Samajwadi Party, RJD and members from different NGOs also participated in the demonstration. The supporters and activists of opposition Congress and BJP also joined the agitation led by Raja.
“We will continue the stir till the police force is completely withdrawn,” Raja said.
Meanwhile, social activist Swami Agnivesh was scheduled to visit Gobindpur village tomorrow to express solidarity with the agitating people.
The CPI backed Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) leader Abhay Sahu’s fast entered the third day today.
“I will continue fast till complete withdrawal of forces from the area,” Sahu said raising question on the legal status of the land acquisition for a foreign company sans “a valid MoU.”
The state had begun land acquisition for Posco on Sunday.
[Source — Outlook]