BHUBANESWAR: With Orissa government mobilising forces to start forest survey and land acquisition at the proposed plant site of Posco-India near Paradip, the anti-displacement agitators are planning a rally to be addressed by CPI General Secretary A B Bardhan on May 19.
Jagatsinghpur district collector N C Jena and Superintendent of Police Debadutta Singh confirmed that mobilisation of forces were taking place. “We have mobilised forces in view of the law and order situation in the area. How can the agitators deny government servants and police entry to the area?” Jena told PTI.
About 25 platoons (750 personnel) of armed police have been deployed as well as ambulances and fire tenders in the area.
Activists of the CPI-backed Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) who have been on dharna since January 26 sought immediate withdrawal of forces from Balitutha, the entry point to the area.
“We have drawn up a ‘lakshman rekha’ at Balitutha to prevent police and government officials from entering the proposed plant site area,” said PPSS General Secretary and local sarpanch Sisir Mohapatra.
“Our party general secretary A B Bardhan will address a rally at the proposed site to demand scrapping of the MoU with the South Korean steel major,” CPI state secretary Dibakar Nayak said.
While all the major PPSS leaders have gone underground fearing arrest, the second level leaders are coordinating with those on sit-in at Balitutha.
CPI MLA Adikanda Sethi and others today rushed to the area to hold talks with the people opposing the Rs 52,000 crore mega project.