Bhubaneswar: At least three anti-Posco activists were killed and another critically injured in explosions Saturday in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district, police said. The activists said it was an attack by the project's supporters but police termed it accidental.
The explosions occured in Patna village, considered an anti-Posco bastion.
"The three deceased were probably making the bombs which exploded," Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi said..
However Prashant Paikray, spokesman of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samittee, which has been spear-heading the agitation against Posco's $12 billon steel project in the area, said the three were killed after some supporters of the project hurled crude bombs on them.
The police also claimed the activists were killed while making a bomb.
Jagatsinghpur SP Satyabrata Bhoi said, "We have information regarding death of two persons while making bombs behind the house of one Sura Das in Patana village."
The SP, however, said that he was yet to ascertain names of the victims as the police could not reach the place. Patana is considered the stronghold of the anti-Posco agitators and local people were opposed to entry of police in that area.
Denying preparation of bombs by anti-Posco agitators as claimed by police, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) president Abhay Sahy said, "Three of our men are killed in the attack by project supporters. Our people were attacked as they opposed construction of a road from Patana to Balitutha."
CPI leader Rama Krushna Panda, however, claimed that three PPSS activists were killed and another sustained injured when the project supporters hurled bomb at them.
"We have already informed the police about the incident and sought ambulance to carry the injured persons to hospital. But, ambulance was yet to reach the village," Panda alleged.