Bhuabneswar,Dec.08.(Odisha.in)Former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray extended his support to the anti-POSCO movement.
He demanded that the South Korean steel producer should not be allowed to establish a mega steel plant,captive port and enjoy SEZ facilities near the proposed site.
Addressing a press conference here on Saturday, Ray warned both the Manmohan Singh Government at the Centre and Naveen Patnaik government in Orissa not to allow establishment of the steel project of the South Korean steel giant near Paradeep.
“Allowing POSCO to establish a steel plant with SEZ status would amount to allowing the coming up of a foreign territory within the country,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker remarked.
Ray extend his support to the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti move against government’s efforts to acquire land in the gram panchayats of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujang in Erasama Block of Jagatsinghpur district for the steel project.
Ray also condemned the attack on peaceful demonstrators at Balitutha on November 27 by hired anti-socials who had hurled bombs in presence of police. This was a clear instance of State sponsored terrorism to create panic among the villagers and facilitate land acquisition for POSCO.
” The police and POSCO goons have joined hands to deprive the farmers and agricultural labourers of their only source of livelihood – agriculture,” the former Lok Sabha Speaker alleged.
He also condemned the alleged attack on group of Satyagrahis led by prominent writer Sailej Rabi and disrespect to Mahatma Gandhi’s photograph by the POSCO goons at the instigation of police in the project area a few days ago.
Ray demanded that the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should apologise for the insult meted out to Gandhiji by the police personnel posted there.
The former Lok Sabha Speaker said , “I hope and trust that the Government would see the writing on the wall and fulfill all the demands of the people, which are genuine.”
Prafulla Samantara, president of the Orissa unit of Lok Shakti Abhijan who was also present at the media conference along with Ray, demanded that there should be end to the State sponsored terrorism and police should be withdrawn from the area, who were creating panic among the common men.
He alleged that the villagers in the area were harassed by the police in the pretext of blocking roads for entry of Maoists in the area, as a result they are unable to go out for marketing and treatment.
Samantara alleged that the Orissa Government is following the Nandigram pattern of suppressing people and terrorizing them with help of hired hoodlums who are no way concerned with the area.