Indefinite fast by Sangram Samiti leader Abhay Sahu enters fifth day

Land acquisition for POSCO continued to remain suspended for the fourth day on Saturday as the agitating villagers continued their agitation demanding withdrawal of police from Gobindpur village in Jagatsinghpur district.

Although a majority of the armed police personnel had been withdrawn from the site outside Gobindpur where land was being acquired for POSCO by the State government by demolishing betel vineyards on Wednesday, two platoons of police were still camping in the village.

Meanwhile, the indefinite fast by Sangram Samiti leader Abhay Sahu entered into its fifth day on Saturday. He is on fast demanding complete withdrawal of police force from Gobindpur village.

The Sangram Samiti was continuing with its protest against police presence with leaders of different political parties and social activists visiting the area and expressing their solidarity with the agitating villagers since February 3 when 20 platoons of police entered Gobindpur at the break of dawn to facilitate land acquisition. Prominent among those who had visited the area so far include senior Communist Party of India leader D. Raja and social activist Swami Agnivesh. Both had condemned the use of police force in the land acquisition work and said the State government should refrain from acquiring land for POSCO by going against the wishes of the locals.

Prominent social activist B.D. Sharma was scheduled to visit Gobindpur on Sunday, according to Prashant Paikray, spokesperson of the Sangram Samiti.

Sources in the Jagatsinghpur district administration said some policemen were still camping at Gobindpur because the land acquisition work had been suspended temporarily.

The land acquisition will resume exercise as and when they receive instructions from the State government, an official said.