Administration plans to acquire more land

The villagers who have formed a human chain to prevent entry of officials to acquire land for the proposed steel plant project of Posco in Dhinkia area of Jagatsinghpur district on Friday passed a resolution that their children will stop participating in the agitation if the administration withdrew police from the locality.

About 300 children are taking part in the agitation by remaining in the forefront of the four-tier human chain since January 14.

The agitation was resumed after the Jagatsinghpur district administration announced that another 700 acres of land will be acquired for the steel plant project.

The authorities had earlier acquired about 2,000 acres of land in the area, and fresh attempts were being made to acquire another 700 acres of land to fulfil the company’s requirement of 2700 acres of land for establishment of an eight million tonne per annum capacity steel plant.

The resolution demanding withdrawal of police from the area to enable the children to go to school was passed at a meeting organised under the banner of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti at the dharna site at Batabelari on the border of Nuagaon and Gobindpur villages. Among others who addressed the meeting include former Minister Panchanan Kanungo, senior journalist Rabi Das and Sangram Samiti leader Abhay Sahu .

The students’ right to education was being curtailed by deployment of police in the locality for forcible eviction of the villagers to acquire land for the project, Mr. Das said.

As the children were not going to school, the villagers were teaching them different subjects at the dharna site.

Hundreds of children had taken part in the agitation against land acquisition for Posco in a similar manner in 2011, and they had stopped participating in the human chain after the withdrawal of policemen from the locality.

Spokesperson of the Sangram Samiti Prashant Paikray demanded that about 10 platoons of policemen camping at Badagabapur should be withdrawn without delay to restore normalcy in the area.

The peaceful human chain and dharna by the villagers will continue till police were withdrawn from the locality, Mr. Paikray said.

  • Withdrawal of police from the project site area demanded

  • Agitation to continue till policemen are withdrawn, says Sangram Samiti spokesperson