CPI condemns arrest of Anti POSCO leader

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Bhubaneswar, Oct 17 (UNI) CPI's Orissa unit secretary Dibakar Nayak today condemned the arrest of anti - POSCO leader Abhaya Sahu.

He said the arrest was motivated to weaken the anti-POSCO movement and defame the party.

Mr Nayak told newspersons that both POSCO and the Orissa government have conspired to suppress the three - year long agitation against the project by the local people and arrested Sahu implicating him in several ''false charges.'' He said the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samittee(PPSS) would soon chalkout its future action plan to counter the ''oppressive measures'' launched by the government against Sahu.

A defence committee has been formed comprising party leaders and advocates to defend Sahu, who was spearheading the anti - POSCO agitation.

Mr Nayak alleged the government had hired goons to unleash a reign of terror at Dhinkia village, the centre of anti - POSCO agitation. Besides intimidation, the villagers were denied medical facilities and power supply for protesting POSCO project for the three years.

Mr Sahu had gone to Hyderabad for treatment and was arrested while returning to Dhinkia village on flimsy grounds, linking him with the Maoists of Nepal and amassing huge wealth, Mr Nayak alleged.

''Let there be an independent inquiry as to how much property Mr Sahu had acquired during the last three years and who are the real beneficiaries of POSCO,'' Mr Nayak said.

Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police R K Sharma said Mr Sahu was arrested on October 12 for his involvement in as many as 26 cases.

A non-bailable warrant 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 MTPA steel plant by the South Korean steel major, POSCO.

The SP said cases relating to kidnapping, house burning, extortion, illegal detention and creating law and order problem were pending against Sahu in the Kujanga police station.

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


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