Court rejects bail plea of anti-Posco activist

November 4th, 2008 - 11:33 pm ICT by IANS  

Jagatsinghpur (Orissa), Nov 4 (IANS) An Orissa court Tuesday rejected the bail plea of an anti-Posco activist arrested last month for his alleged involvement in over 20 criminal cases, a police official said.Arun Kumar Mishra, the additional district session judge at Jagatsinghpur, rejected the bail application of the accused, Abhaya Kumar Sahu, the police official told IANS.

Sahu, arrested Oct 12, is the chairman of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) - one of the frontal organisations spearheading agitation against the proposed project by South Korean steel major Posco in Orissa.

The company plans to build $12-billion steel plant in the district - the largest foreign direct investment in India.

The world’s fourth largest steel maker signed a deal with the state government in June 2005 to build the plant by 2016 near Paradeep port, some 100 km from the state capital Bhubhaneswar.

However, over 20,000 people from around 15 nearby villages have been protesting the project, saying it would take away their homes and livelihoods.

Posco says the plant would affect only 500 families but would create thousands of jobs.

Sahu has been charged under sections 506, 436, 427, 395, 349, 323, 307,149, 148, 147, of Indian Penal Code, section 3 of SC & ST Act, and sections 25 and 27 Indian Arms Act.

The offences include rioting, violence, attacking people belonging to the Scheduled castes and the Scheduled Tribes, kidnapping and attempting to kill people in the locality and possessing illegal weapons.

Sahu’s lawyers Subir Palit and Gatikrushna Satpathy had filed writ petition against 10 cases seeking his release on bail but the judge rejected the petition, the official said.

“Police have registered false cases against Sahu for protesting against Posco,” PPSS spokesperson Prasant Paikray told IANS.

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