Land acquisition for Posco halted

Land acquisition for Posco halted

Police forces withdrawn temporally from Gobindapur

The Jagatsinghpur district administration in Odisha on Wednesday halted the land acquisition process for the multi-crore South Korean Posco steel firm project following a discussion with agitating local villagers.

The administration has also decided to withdraw police forces temporarily from Gobindapur, the spot where the land acquisition was going on since last Sunday.

“We have stopped the land acquisition process for the time being after a discussion with the agitating villagers. The decision will be conveyed to the state government. The government will decide whether the land acquisition work will start again or not. We have also decided to withdraw police forces from Gobindapur temporarily,” Jagatsinghpur district collector S C Mallick said.

According to reports reaching the state headquarters from Jagatsinghpur, like the previous three days the administration had begun the land acquisition process around 8 am in the morning.

Around 12 noon, villagers, including schoolchildren and women, arrived on the spot and staged a demonstration.

They were accompanied by a few Left leaders and leaders of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti(PPSS) which is spearheading the anti-Posco movement in the area.

Subsequently, a meeting took place between the agitators and the Collector and Superintendent of Police (SP), Satyabrat Bhoi.

The leader of the PPSS, Abhay Sahu had begun a hunger strike at nearby Patana from Tuesday demanding immediate withdrawal of forces from the area.

However, it is not yet known if he had called off his strike or not following the district administration’s announcement.

Earlier, the state government had acquired 2,000 acres for the project. The current process was on to acquire 700 acres.

If sources in the Jagatsinghpur district administration are to be believed, during the last three and a half days, the administration managed to acquire around 250 acres.

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