Posco: Land acquisition resumes a day after 3 killed

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Bhubaneswar, March 4: The Odisha government on Sunday resumed its land acquisition drive for the proposed Posco steel plant in Jagatsinghpur. The resumption started just a day after three people were killed in a bomb blast in the project area. Official sources said government personnel demolished three betel vines at Gobindapur village before restarting the land takeover after about a month. About a dozen platoons of security personnel were stationed during the action.

Jagatsinghpur Collector SK Mallick said the villagers gave up their vines voluntarily, adding that the land acquisition process would continue.

The state government was forced to suspend the land acquisition drive early February after a section of villagers put up a stiff resistance. The ruling BJD decided to go slow on grabbing land for the $12 billion FDI project then as the assembly session was approaching. Later, they decided to revive the action since the House went in recess.

The government has so far taken over 2,000 acres and needs another 700 acres for Posco to start work on the first phase of the plant.

Meanwhile, tension prevailed in the area following the death of three people opposed to the plant at Patana village, about 200 km from the state capital, which is the epicentre of the entire agitation.

Police said the three deceased were possibly making crude bombs when they went off, killing them while injuring another. However, the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, which has been leading the agitation for seven years now, said the three were killed by hurling bombs by supporters of the project. The latter rubbished the charges and sought an inquiry, either by the CBI or the state crime branch.

The congress, which is in the Opposition in the party, asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to "end his slumber of ignorance and indifference" and show concern for the death of people.

OneIndia News

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