Land acquisition for the Posco steel plant continued for the third day on in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district as anti-Posco as protestors took out a rally defying prohibitory orders carrying bodies of three activists.
A large number of people, including women, children and leaders of five political parties took the three bodies, allegedly killed during making of bombs, in a procession through Patana area where prohibitory orders under section 144 of CrPC had been clamped.
Superintendent of Police Satyabrat Bhoi said police force deployed in the area refrained from stopping the rally as a mark of respect to the sentiments of the villagers as they were carrying the bodies for cremation.
“However, the police personnel kept a vigil in order to prevent any law and order breakdown,” said a police officer.
While police maintained that the three anti-Posco activists died during preparation of bombs on Saturday, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti and its sympathisers alleged that bomb attack by project supporters claimed their lives.
After cremating the bodies, the anti-Posco brigade held a meeting which was addressed by leaders of left parties, Samajwadi Party and PPSS leader Abhay Sahu who demanded immediate halt to land acquisition for the steel plant.
They also demanded at least Rs 20 lakh compensation to families of each deceased and thorough probe into the blast.
Meanwhile, land acquisition was carried out and 11 betel vine plantations were razed to ground at Gobindpur village with the cooperation of villagers, Jagatsinghpur District Collector S K Mallick said.
“Acquisition of betel vine plantations and farm land will continue tomorrow as villagers are coming forward voluntarily to hand over land,” he said adding cheques worth Rs 16 lakh were handed over to land losers.
Betel vines and farm land of willing farmers are being acquired peacefully, said the SP, who along with the Collector and other officials supervised land acquisition which resumed on Sunday after remaining suspended from February six.
With government deciding to continue land acquisition process, over 430 policemen camped in the area to ensure smooth and trouble-free operation.
Patna village under Dhinkia grampanchayat, considered the epicentre of the anti-Posco agitation, continued to remain cordoned off by armed policemen.
[Source — PTI]