Three people have died in a bomb explosion in Patana village near the proposed POSCO area in Odisha on Saturday evening.
Bombs are suspected to have been hurled in Patana village under Dhinkia Panchayat – the proposed POSCO area under Jagatsingpur district of Odisha. Narahari Sahoo, Mania Jena and Nabuna Mandal lost their lives in the incident, while Nakhia Mandal has been critically injured. However, the Tahsildar of Ersama block SK Poruhit confirmed that three people have died.
While the anti-POSCO group POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) claims that bombs were thrown targeting its leader Abhaya Sahoo, government sources suggest that bomb exploded when it was being prepared by the anti-POSCO villagers.
Prashant Paikray, the spokesperson of PPSS said, “Bombs were hurled by the goons of POSCO and government on our people in which one person died on the spot. Our people called up the police and asked for ambulance, but as the ambulance did not reach, two others also lost their lives.”
On the other hand, Tahsildar Purohit said, “As per my information, the bomb exploded while it was prepared by the people themselves.” Though the incidence took place at around 6.30 pm, ambulance had not reached the village even four hours later.
The situation was tensed in the area after construction of a road between Patana and Gobindpur villages began on 1 March. On Saturday, seven more platoons of police arrived near POSCO transit colony, which is two kilometres from Gobindpur village. Police forces have been deployed in Gobindpur village since land acquisition process took place between 3 February and 6 February.
The government was planning to resume the acquisition process after the state assembly had been adjourned post the state budget presentation on 19 February. The acquisition process was stopped following the protest from the local people. Various political parties had also opposed the land acquisition.