Rallies and dharnas continued at the proposed plant site villages of Posco
project near here even as Odisha government suspended the controversial land
acquisition activities for the third consecutive day today.
The anti-project activists under the banner of CPI-backed Posco Pratirodh
Sangram Samiti (PPSS) held a massive rally which proceeded till Magala Chhak of
Gobindpur village, the venue of police camp. The protestors demanded immediate
withdrawal of police from the area.
"The district administration of Jagatsinghpur decided not to proceed with its
land acquisition activities today due to different reasons," additional district
magistrate (ADM), Paradip Surjit Das said.
The agitators, comprising mostly children and women, sat on dharna in front of
the police camp making it impossible for the personnel to move out of their
place. The agitation was intensified today as the PPSS president Abhay Sahu's
hunger strike entered fifth day.
Sahu had been refusing food and water ever since the police allegedly beat up
innocent people while entering into Gobindpur village for facilitating land
acquisition for Posco project. "I will not call off hunger strike till force is
completely withdrawn from the area," Sahu said.
The police on the other hand claimed that force was kept in the temporary camp
at Gobindpur's Mangala Chhak as certain villagers fear attack on them.
"We are there to help certain people who feel threat from certain miscreants,"
said Jagatsinghpur SP Satyabrata Bhoi.
Meanwhile, the teachers of three schools in Dhinkia, Gobindpur and Patana
villages today started a campaign to bring back students to classes. They met
parents of each student and tried to convince them to send their kids to
schools, an official said.
The children, however, refused to return to schools unless force was withdrawn
from the area. Many of them were seen spending nights near Sahu who had been
sitting on hunger strike at Patana village.