When the dismantling of betel vines and land acquisition is going on for the third consecutive day in Govindpur village of Jagatsingpur district –the proposed area for the POSCO project- the chairman of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) sits on an indefinite fast in the nearby Patana village till the withdrawal of police force from the area. In a parallel development ,school children from Dhinkia village (Dhinkia, Patana and Govindpur are under Dhinkia Panchayat, the stronghold of anti-POSCO body) marched toward Govindpur and surrounded the two police camps existing there. Later on however the Police sent the children back after persuasion. Abhay Sahoo said “The police should show minimum respect to the democratic movement and withdraw police force. If they do not go then we will democratically fight out the police.” Sahu claims that 80 percent of Govindpur have given in writing that they do not want their land to be acquired.
Ashok Sahu, the leader of opposition from the BJP, visited the spot with other leaders and expressed solidarity with the people. During his meet with the district administration the latter has assured to withdraw force. But the Collector S K Mallick says “Land acquisition process will go on as usual.” The administration has dismantled about 20 betel vines till 5th February.
In fact for the last three days the district administration has been promising to withdraw police but it never happened.
Congress delegation led by Niranjan Patnaik and Narashinga Mishra submitted memorandum to the Governor protesting against the use of force to acquire land. The five party delegation consisting CPI, CPI (M), Forward Block, SP, RJD also met the Governor and gave memorandum.
The CPI central leadership A B Bardhan and D Raja will visit the Govindpur village tomorrow.