Terming semi-nude protest by some women during anti-Posco agitation as ‘unfortunate’, the Odisha government on Friday expressed concern over support from certain political parties and NGOs to such activities.

Health and Family Welfare Minister Damodar Rout told the Assembly that it was unfortunate that some women stripped while protesting against work in the Posco site on Thursday.

He regretted that some political parties and NGOs were supporting such agitation without understanding the ground reality.

Mr. Rout, who also holds small and medium enterprises portfolio, hails from Posco’s proposed plant site in Jagatsinghpur district and has been an MLA for about 20 years.

He told PTI outside the Assembly, “Innocent women were instigated by certain vested interest groups to strip during the protest yesterday.”

Mr. Rout held five political parties CPI, CPI-M, Forward Bloc, RJD and Samajwadi Party responsible for the anti-Posco agitation since 2005.

“The government is acquiring its own land in illegal possession of certain villagers and not an inch of private land is being acquired,” he pointed out.

When contacted, Jagatsinghpur Collector S.K. Mallick said that some mischief-mongers were behind the incident, but the women were chased away before they could stage nude protest.

Police sources in Jagatsinghpur district said a handful of elderly women while being chased away from the prohibited area tried to disrobe in public.

While POSCO heat was felt inside the Assembly, a report from Paradip said there was no activity at the plant site. Neither was there land acquisition, nor protestors staged any demonstration, official sources said.