Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: The leaders of the Bisthapan Birodhi Janamanch on Wednesday condemned the alleged police repression in Kalinganagar steel complex in Jajpur district of the State in the recent months and reiterated their opposition to displacement in the area.

The Janamanch leaders, who organised a protest meeting at Bamiagotha village, said that they would not part with their land, homes and livelihood sources at any cost to make space for the proposed steel plant of Tata Steel and the common corridor road in Kalinganagar.

A number of political leaders, social activists as well as representatives of various organisations opposing displacement in different parts of the State also attended the meeting to express their solidarity with the Janamanch leaders who have been opposing displacement in Kalinganagar with full force since January 2, 2006 when 14 tribal men and women were killed in police firing while opposing work in area earmarked for the Tata Steel project.

‘No faith in govt'

Addressing the meeting, Janamanch secretary Rabindra Jarika said that they had lost all faith in the local administration and the Naveen Patnaik Government as the police had attacked the local people and damaged many houses in Baligotha village in the area just two days after they had a discussion with the District Collector about their demands and grievances on March 30.

The administration was working overtime to protect the interests of the private companies and neglecting the cause of the poor who were opposing displacement, Mr. Jarika alleged.

Among others who addressed the protest meeting include K.N. Ramachandran, national general secretary of CPI(M-L), Prafulla Samantara of the Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Lingaraj of Samajwadi Jana Parishad, Prashant Paikray of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, Mahendra Parida of CPI(M-L)-Liberation, Bijay Parida of Odisha Jana Adhikar Parishad and local leaders of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and Bharatiya Janata Party.

Many of these leaders stressed the need for unity among the people who were opposing displacement due to proposed industries and Special Economic Zones to make the government take a pro-people stand.

Joint convention

They also called upon all those opposing displacement and acquisition of agricultural land for industries to join a joint convention on the issue in Bhubaneswar on May 16.