Bhubaneswar, Nov.29 ( Odisha.in) In Orissa, battles continue to rage on between pro-POSCO and anti-POSCO activists.
The latest clashes on Thursday when the pro-POSCO activists allegedly hurled bombs on the anti-POSCO activists have left over 25 persons injured .
The attackers have destroyed the camps of the anti-POSCO activists at Balitutha and have destroyed almost all their belongings. Many of the injured persons have been shifted to Balitutha hospital for treatment.
According to available information a group of pro-PPOSCO activists who are allegedly patronized by Dr. Damodar Rout,M.L.A. representing Kujang constituency approached the anti-POSCOagitators to make a compromise and to lift the blockade for the common people.
The anti-POSCO activists reportedly agreed to the proposal saying that they would lift the road blockade for everybody except the police and POSCO employees.
While the talks were on, all on a sudden at least five bombs were hurled upon the anti-POSCO activists and their camp, injuring many and destroying their camp and belongings.
The intellectuals fail to understand the reason behind the State Government’s silence despite frequent incidents of violence and kidnapping of POSCO employees.
Instead of maintaining law and order through the official machinery and give possession of land to POSCO, Dr. Damodar Rout, who was once opposing the POSCO tooth and nail has taken up the lead of the pro-POSCO elements.
This has lead many to believe that instead of using police to pave way for POSCO, the Government has virtually decided to use the pro-POSCO elements against the anti-POSCO
activists in Nandigram style.
The State Government which was highly demoralized after the Kalinga Nagar incident of January 02, 2006, when 12 tribals were brutally killed by police firing to give possession of land to the Tatas , seems to be shy of using the police force for POSCO. Rather it may prefer to creat a situation like Nandigram so that the pro and anti would fight among themselves paving way for the police to interfere .
Talking to Odisha.in POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti Chairman Abhaya Sahoo said, “I warn the government to stop initiating this indirect war by using local anti social elements against us. Otherwise it will soon take the turn of another Kalinganagar and Nandigram like violence.”
Villagers against the POSCO’s mega steel plant say the Orissa Government has been instigating villagers through its local political leaders and touts for a month now urging them to speak out for the Rs 51,000 crore project.
Police have not entered the disputed site for over two years.Moreover it is evident from the activities of many BJD-BJP politicians as well as Government officials that while a group is keen for establishment of POSCO’s plant, captive port and SEZ near Paradeep.
Anti-POSCO activists allege that the POSCO have paid heavy amounts to some politicians and their hench men to create divisions among the people . But the anti-POSCO activists seem to be determined not to leave an inch of land for the South Korean Steel project, at the cost of their ” dhana ( paddy ) pana ( betel ) and mina ( fish) ” on which they were
surviving for past several generations and their future generations would also survive on them.