Anti-Posco activist Abhay Sahu today ended his five-day-old hunger strike to demand removal of police force from the proposed steel plant site though personnel deployed there were yet to be withdrawn.
As Sahu, leader of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), put an end to his indefinite strike in the presence of senior CPI leaders and social activists, a rally was taken out near proposed project area in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district.
Shouting slogans against the Rs 52,000 crore mega project proposed to be set up by the South Korean steel major near here, anti-Posco activists vowed to oppose tooth and nail the greenfield steel plant.
“I decided to end the hunger strike as the administration has stopped land acquisition process including dismantling of betel vines in Gobindpur village,” Sahu said.
Though Sahu claimed that his decision followed withdrawal of force from the site, district officials said police personnel were still camping in the area including Mangala Mandir locality at entry point to Gobindpur.
Two platoons of police (about 65 personnel) are camping at Mangala Mandir to protect villagers wanting to hand over betel vines but face threat from anti-Posco elements, additional district magistrate (Paradip) Surjit Das said.
Similarly, 12 platoons of police (about 390 personnel) are deployed at Balitutha and Kujanga near here, Das said adding the police force would remain in the area as land acquisition process is likely to resume soon.
Rallies and dharnas are being held in the proposed Posco project site as land acquisition activities remained suspended for the fourth day today.
[Source — Outlook]