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Land Acquisition for POSCO Plant Resumes amid Clashes

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TNI Bureau: After being halted for more than a year, The Odisha government resumed land acquisition for the proposed Posco steel plant in Jagatsinghpur district on Sunday amid clashes between police and the protesters.

In the past, the state administration had already acquired about 2,000 acres of land for the proposed 52 thousand crore rupees steel project by South Korean Company, POSCO.

However, the fresh tension began yesterday in Gobindpur area when the administration started to acquire betel-vines and land of another 700 acres of land to fulfill the company’s requirement of 2700 acres of land.

The operation was initially resisted by several anti-Posco agitators who tried to block the acquisition team and police from entering into the village. But, The protesters were chased away after a brief scuffle and following a lathichage.

Anti-Posco protesters also indulged in stone throwing, damaging at least five vehicles of the police and administration.

They also sealed the Gobindapur-Dhinkia road. Protesters from nearby areas like Ersama, Kujang and Jagatsinghpur were gathering in order to chalk out their strategy.

However, Leaders of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) Abhay Sahu alleged that police launched a crackdown on villagers trying to resist entry of acquisition team into Gobindpur injuring more than a dozen of people including women in lathicharge.

Accusing the administration of forcibly acquiring land and demolishing betel-vines, CPI leader and MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai, his supporters and other anti-Posco activists staged a dharna at nearby Patna Chhak.

Since the villagers were protesting in a peaceful manner but the barbaric attack by the police speaks the volumes of the state government’s attitude towards democratic movements, alleged other opponent political parties.

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