Anti POSCO agitators organise ''Bikalpa Bikas Samabesh''

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Jagatsinghpur, Apr 1 (UNI) In a clear violation of the prohibitory orders, the anti-POSCO activists today organised a ''Bikalpa Bikas Samabesh'' at Balitutha to lodge protest against the proposed 12 MTPA capacity steel plant by the South Korea steel major POSCO.

Thousands of anti-POSCO activists from across the state, including women, children and a couple of national level social activists along with South Korean Human Rights activists, attended the rally under the banner of POSCO Pratirodha Sangram Samiti(PPSS).

The district authority anticipating trouble in the area had promulgated prohibitory orders under section 144 of the CrPc at Balithutha and deployed police forces.

Several social activists and anti-industrialisation activists from Jharsuguda, Kalinga Nagar and western Orissa besides Jharkhand participated in the meeting.

They included Bharat Jana Andolana leader B D Sharma, farmer leader of the western Orissa Lingaraj, Bharat Jana Andolan activist Nikunja Bhutia, Orissa Banchao Andolan leader Dibakar Kanudia, a tribal leader of Kalinga Nagar and CPI MLA Narayan Reddy who opposed the setting up of the steel plant on the fertile area.

PPSS leader Abhaya Sahu said their agitation against the project would continue till the government and the POSCO withdrew the project from their land.

Police have also detained about 300 protestors of POSCO from Badabandha railway station while they were on the way to attend the anti-POSCO rally.They were later taken to Balia Women's college.

Tension prevailed at the POSCO transit colony when some people of the area pelted stone to the vehicle of POSCO protestors while they were returning after attending the rally at Balitutha. The police however, diffused the tension.

District Magistrate Pramod Meherda said since POSCO had decided to lay foundation stone of the proposed steel plant at the site and the anti-POSCO agitators called for a massive rally, the administration had imposed the prohibitory orders apprehending breach of peace.

But the POSCO deferred the stone breaking ceremony stating that some procedural sanction were yet to be obtained for the project.

The Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police said cases would be filed against the anti-POSCO activists for violating section 144 of CrPC clamped at Balitutha.

UNI XC DP ADG SYU DB2141

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