CPI leader held for Posco violence in Odisha

CPI leader held for Posco violence in Odisha

The local police in Odisha’s coastal Jagatsinghpur district on Saturday arrested senior CPI leader and former MLA Narayan Reddy in connection with the recent violence in the Posco area.

Reddy who is also a prominent leader of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PP­SS), currently spearheading the villagers’ agitation against the South Korean mega steel project, has been sent to 15 days’ judicial custody after a local court rejected his bail application.

The December 14 clash between pro- and anti-Posco villagers had left one dead and several others injured.

Subsequently, the local police had registered cases against persons belonging to both sides.
The anti-Posco groups have strongly condemned Reddy’s arrest alleging that the police had registered false charges against him.

 They are planning to move to a higher court for his immediate release.

Earlier on Friday, the Jagatsinghpur police had arrested Bapi Sharkhel, a local civil contractor, at Raipur in neighbouring Chhattisgarh in connection with the violence. He had been charged with assisting pro-Posco villagers during the clash. Some of his employees had also allegedly taken part in the violence.

Many local people, including pro-Posco villagers, staged a demonstration in front of the residence office of a local judge late on Friday evening when the controversial contractor was produced before him.

Sharkhel has also been sent to 15 days’  judicial custody after the judge rejected his bail plea.

Gupteswar Bhoi, a police official attached to local Kujang police station, said more people from both sides will be taken into custody very soon in connection with the December 14 incident.
Apart from Reddy, a local Congress leader Jayant Biswal has also been arrested in connection with the violence.

He was taken into custody immediately after the incident.

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