Clash at POSCO site engineered by Naveen - Gurudas

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Bhubaneswar, Dec 15 (UNI) CPI National Secretary Gurudas Dasgupta today alleged that the clash between the POSCO supporters and opponents in November last was engineered at the behest of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The CPI leader, who visited the Dhinkia panchayat, the proposed site for the POSCO steel plant, was not ready to buy the government stand that police were deployed in the villages after the November clash to maintain law and order and restore peace.

Mr Dasgupta also allegd that the government had deployed armed police and engaged hired hooligans to suppress the peaceful and democratic movement of people against the POSCO project.

The CPI leader said a war-like situation prevailed in Dhinkia Gram pachayat as the armed police and hooligans, backed by "state apparatus", had encircled the villages from all sides and were trying to "suppress" the peaceful resistance.

The movement of people, goods and even foodstuffs were not allowed, he stated.

He described the action of the government as ''unconstitutional, outrageous, illegal, against the law of constitutional governance and violation of human rights''.

The villagers, the CPI leader said, were anticipating attack by police and the ruffians at any moment and warned that the consequence would be serious if any such attack was made on the villagers.

He appealed to the villagers of Dhinkia to continue their peaceful struggle against the POSCO plant whatever might be the consequences.

Mr Dasgupta said he would apprise the Prime Minister and raise the issue in Parliament.

The CPI leader said he would also meet Congress leader J B Patnaik to chalk out the possibility of launching a joint solidarity campaign in support of the people of Dhinkia.

Mr Dasgupta said he was not opposed to the steel plant but the site should be shifted to a non-cultivable area. POSCO, he further said, should not be given a captive mine, permission to set up a captive port and allowed to draw water from the jobra barrage.

The captive mine and port would give a free hand to the company to "loot" the mineral wealth of the state, he said adding the supply of water from the jobra barrage would adversely affect the farmers of undivided Cuttack district.

UNI

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