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In a show of strength, six political parties led by CPI national secretary D Raja gheraoed the Jagatsinghpur district administration and police officials at Gobindpur, reiterating the demand for total withdrawal of police forces from the site.
While the district administration on Wednesday withdrew 10 platoons of police forces, acceding to the demands of agitators, two platoons of police were still camping at Gobindpur to offer security to the land losers.
The project opponents led by Raja took out a rally from Patanahat to Gobindpur. They gheraoed the block development officer and tahsildar-Erasama. The protesters also demanded action against the land officer of Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Idco).
“Our party has been giving support to Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti- PPSS (anti-Posco outfit) in its stir against Posco project for seven years. Our movement will be intensified, if the state government does not desist from its undemocratic and illegal action,” he said.
“Why the Naveen Patnaik government is acting as an agent of the South Korean company instead of acting as the agent of villagers,” he questioned.
The Jagatsinghpur district administration is understood to have suspended land acquisition process for on Thursday as leaders of national stature like Raja and human rights activists held a rally at the Posco site.
Surjit Das, additional district magistrate of Paradip said, “Today’s land acquisition process has been suspended as officials and other employees are taking rest. We will start our process from tomorrow. Within four days, we have demolished 55 betel vines and paying Rs 1.09 crore as compensation.”
In another development, Abhaychandpur police have registered a case against anti-Posco activists including leader of PPSS, Abhaya Sahu, for engaging school children in riots and snatching uniform materials of police personnel during land acquisition drive at Gobindpur.
Sahu had formed a human shield to block the entry of officials and police into Gobindpur by using about 400 school students and women since 14th January. These women and kids are alleged to have manhandled police personnel including SP, Satyabrat Bhoi during the scuffle between the protestors and police.