They were made to sit inside their vehicle and hear speeches for four hours

A team of policemen was detained in Dhinkia area of Orissa's Jagatsinghpur district on Saturday by villagers opposing land acquisition for the proposed steel plant of Posco. The vehicle carrying eight policemen was surrounded by the agitating villagers on the road between Gobindapur and Dhinkia and detained from 10.30 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. The policemen were not harmed.

After stopping the police van, the villagers guided it to Patana hamlet where the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti organised a public meeting to intensify its agitation against the ongoing land acquisition for the Posco project.

The policemen were made to sit inside their vehicle and hear the speeches of the Sangram Samiti activists who reiterated their stand that they would continue their opposition and not leave the place even if the administration applied force to take possession of their land.

The policemen had entered the area apparently to gauge the mood of the villagers in Dhinkia panchayat and ‘create a panic situation' in the villages where people were strongly demanding shifting of the steel plant site to any other location, said Sangram Samiti president Abhay Sahu.

He also condemned the entry of policemen into the locality stating that it was against the assurance given by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik last year that force would not be used to acquire forest land for Posco.

Sen criticises project

Meanwhile, veteran human rights activist Binayak Sen criticised the Posco project saying that the South Korean steel giant would make profits to the tune of Rs. 3,00,000 crore just by processing the 600 million tonnes of iron ore that it had been assured to be allotted in the State.

Dr. Sen also faulted the State government for placing sarpanch of Dhinkia gram panchayat Sisir Mahapatra under suspension on the charge that he had misled the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests with regard to the Palli Sabha resolutions opposing acquisition of forest land for the steel venture.

  • Police van blocked, taken to hamlet

  • Entry of policemen, violation of CM's assurance