Armed protestors rally against POSCO steel plant in Orissa

December 2nd, 2007 - 10:51 pm ICT by admin  

Bhubaneswar, Dec 2 (ANI): Hundreds of villagers armed with weapons took out a rally at the proposed 12-billion-dollar steel plant site of South Korean steel major POSCO in Orissa on Sunday.
The area near Paradip became tensed as hundreds of men, women and children, under the banner of POSCO Pratirodh Sangam Samiti (PPSS), marched carrying bows, arrows and spears.
A tight security arrangement has already been made in Jagatsinghpur in view of the escalation of simmering protests against the project.
The plant in Orissa would be India’s single largest foreign investment project, but has been delayed by months of protests by villagers opposed to the plant.
On Thursday, small clashes broke out between villagers in favour of the plant and those protesting against it in Jagatsinghpur District of the state, where authorities are planning to acquire land for the project.
At least a dozen villagers were injured in the clash, forcing the government to deploy a large police force and intensify patrols.
At least five platoons of police are deployed to bring the total area under the control of the force.
The state government and POSCO have said they are serious about pushing ahead with the project.
But villagers have erected barricades in the form of huge gates at several entry points to stop government and company officials from visiting the site.
Last month, armed protesters abducted four senior POSCO officials, including three South Koreans, when they were inspecting the plant site.
They were later released following an assurance by the police that executives from the firm would not visit the area until the dispute was resolved. (ANI)

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