Anti-POSCO leader Abhaya Sahu held in Orissa

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Jagatsinghpur, Oct 13 (UNI) POSCO Pratirodha Sangram Samiti(PPSS) president Abhaya Sahu, against whom several criminal cases were pending during the last three years, was arrested last night and sent to jail.

Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police R K Sharma said Sahu, who spearheaded the anti-POSCO agitation in the last three years, was arrested by the police for his involvement in as many as 26 cases.

A non-bailable warrant(NBW) was also pending against him and the police were investigating several other incidents that had occurred during the violent agitation to protest the setting up of a 12-million tonnes per annum (mtpa) steel plant by the South Korea steel major POSCO.

The SP said the PPSS president was produced before the Judicial Magistrate First class court at Kujanga which remanded him in custody after rejecting his bail application.

The PPSS had been very active since the Orissa government signed the MoU with the POSCO for the mega steel plant, considered to be the largest FDI in the country, and launched the anti-POSCO movement in Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gobindapur gram panchayats, the sites selected for the unit.

Sahu was arrested near Bhuttumundai on the Paradeep-Daitary Express Way under Paradeep police station when he was returning to his village Dhinkia from Bhubaneswar.

Mr Sharma said cases related to kidnapping, torching of houses, extortion, illegal detention and disruption of law and order were pending against Mr Sahu in the Kujanga police station.

Apprehending the law and order problem at the proposed POSCO site created by the PPSS supporters following the arrest of Sahu,the district authority had deployed eight platoons of police to avert any untoward incidents.

The situation in the three Gram Panchayats was described as tense but well under control.

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