POSCO updates

Rally against Posco steel project – April 1, 2008. A The Hindu report

Hundreds of people defied police and participated in a rally on Tuesday to reiterate their opposition to the setting up of a mega steel plant by Posco-India in Jagatsinghpur district of Orissa.Armed with traditional weapons, the locals and their sympathisers from other parts of the State reached the rally venue at Balitutha, close to the area earmarked for the project.Although the administration restrained groups of protesters at some points, others marched to the venue from all directions, violating prohibitory orders. At some places protesters broke the police cordon.It was at Balitutha that a large number of activists of the Posco

Pratirodh Sangram Samiti were attacked by locals supporting the steel project on November 29.
Addressing the rally, president of the Sangram Samiti, Abhay Sahu, criticised the Naveen Patnaik government for dancing to the tunes of the South Korean steel company.Mr. Sahu reiterated that the villagers opposing the project would continue their agitation and oppose acquisition of land.Two legislators, Narayan Reddy of the CPI and Sambhunath Nayak of SUCI, and several prominent social activists, including B.D. Sharma, participated in the rally and expressed their opposition to the project.It should not come up in the locality at the cost of people’s land and livelihood sources, they said.Earlier in the day, police detained over 100 anti-Posco activists. But they were released in the afternoon.

Jagatsinghpur District Superintendent of Police R.K. Sharma told The Hindu that the rally passed off peacefully without any clash between the police and protesters or the locals opposing and supporting the project.The Sangram Samiti, opposing the steel project from the beginning, organised the rally in the wake of the company’s announcement to hold the groundbreaking ceremony on April 1.However, the company recently said that it would organise the function at a later stage after obtaining all sanctions required for the project.

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Anti-POSCO activists capture entry point, 1000 arrested – April 1, 2008. The Economic Times.

PARADIP (ORISSA): Protesters, opposing a project here by South Korean steel major POSCO on Tuesday violated prohibitory orders and held siege a crucial entry point to the proposed plant site, as police detained nearly 1000 activists.

The rallyists, who outnumbered the police personnel deployed in the area, captured the Balitutha area, where a key bridge over a small river functions as a link to the plant site.The entry point at Balitutha had been under the control of anti-POSCO activists for a long time last year before they were driven away from the place by supporters of the project in November last.Though police detained nearly 1000 anti-posco activists, more protesters joined the rally at Balia women’s college near here and a large number of agitators surged to Balitutha area despite prohibitory orders under section 144 CRPC.’A large number of activists proceeding for the rally were stopped at various points and detained at Balia college to prevent any untoward incident,’ Jagatsinghpur district Superintendent of Police R K Sharma said.Those detained included more than 300 from nearby areas and the rest from Orissa’s steel hub of Kalinga Nagar in Jajpur district, Bhubaneswar, Ganjam and Rayagada, police said.