BHUBANESWAR: A few thousand people, including women and children, continued their protest against South Korean major Posco’s proposed steel plant in a village in Orissa’s Jagatsinghpur district Monday while in another nearby village supporters of the mega project demonstrated to get their demands met.
The protests in Govindpur village, continuing for the past two weeks, and in Polang village were a study in contrast.
The administration Monday re-deployed hundreds of policemen near Govindpur where thousands of villagers have formed a human barricade against land acquisition for the project.
In Polang village, hundreds of villagers protested construction of a boundary wall that was started last week on the land the administration had acquired.
The people, supporting the project, rushed to the site and prevented officials from continuing work, saying the government has to meet their demands first.
Tamil Pradhan, a pro-Posco leader, said his group had asked the government to meet six demands on their charter
.He said work at the site was being carried out by those who do not belong to the area.”The work has been stopped temporarily.
We are speaking to them,” Additional District Magistrate S.K. Choudhuri told IANS.
He said the work of cutting trees and levelling the land in other parts of the acquired site was unaffected.
In Govindpur, the police force was withdrawn from the area later in the day after protests by villagers.
The people got a moral boost when Jual Oram, state unit chief of the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP), visited the protest site and extended his solidarity to them.”It is unfortunate that the government has been trying to destroy a sustainable agrarian economy at the cost of a steel project,” Oram said (IANS)