Tension in Posco area; boundary wall demolished

 Tension prevailed in Posco plant area in Odisha’s coastal Jagatsinghpur district on Sunday morning after a group of people demolished parts of an under construction boundary wall of the proposed South Korean mega steel project.

Significantly, these people were not members of the anti-Posco outfit that had been agitating in the area since long but reportedly belonged to a pro-project group whose activists are up in arms against the company and the state government for the last few days accusing both of not keeping their promises to the villagers during the land acquisition process for the eight million tonne per annum capacity steel mill.

According to sources in Jagatsinghpur, apart from demolishing the under construction wall, the protesters also set on fire two make shift camp offices of Posco as well as Industrial development Corporation, a state run public sector undertaking which was in charge of land acquisition.

The land acquisition for the steel plant is already over and parts of that had also been handed over to Posco a few months back.

The pro-Posco villagers who have been pressing for implementation of their 14 point charter of demands had recently organised a protest for fifteen days in front of the local Tehsil office in the Posco area.

“We are not against the project. But before implementing it the state government and the South Korean company should keep their promises to us during the land acquisition process,” pro-Posco villagers said. When asked, a Posco official who did not want to be quoted said several rounds of discussions had already been held with the villagers and that many of their demands had been accepted.

“Their other demands will be looked into during the coming rounds of discussions,” he said.

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