No untoward incident reported
BHUBANESWAR: Several opposition political parties on Tuesday came out protesting arrest of Abhaya Sahoo, who was spearheading anti-land acquisition movement against setting up of 12 million tonne per annum capacity steel plant by South Korean steel major POSCO.
Protest continued for the second consecutive day in the capital city with some human rights activists and non-Leftist parties joining the chorus for immediate release of the leader.
Mr. Sahoo, who had mobilised villagers under the banner of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), was arrested by Jagatsinghpur police on Sunday evening.
Though there was palpable tension in the Dhinkia and Gobindpur gram panchayats, the proposed project area for the steel plant, no untoward incident was reported from the district.
In the morning activists of the Communist Party of India, Communist Party of India (Marxist), Socialist Unity Centre of India (SUCI), Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), CPI (ML) and newly floated Samruddha Odisha took out a rally.
They blocked the vehicular movement on the busy Master Canteen square for an hour.
Addressing the gathering CPI’s State general secretary Dibakar Nayak said the leader was democratically leading a movement against displacement while Naveen Patnaik-led government tried to throttle people’s agitation using the force.
Leaders accused that a “motivated” police force arrested the PPSS leader although he was ill. “Mr. Sahoo should be released from jail without any prior condition. Those responsible for arrest of CPI leader should be brought to book,” Mr. Nayak said.
Mr. Sahoo, who rarely came out from Dhinkia village, fell into police net while returning to his place.
He was later sent to Choudwar Jail after his bail plea was rejected.
There were a number of cases ranging from attacking police persons to kidnapping piled against him.
Left parties and human rights activists resolved to intensify their agitation further until he was released from the jail.
On Tuesday, a few Congress and CPI leaders went to Dhinkia village calling upon villagers to continue their agitation against acquisition of land for the steel project.