all the opposition parties including Congress and BJP have started opposing proposed POSCO Steel plant in Pradep-Earesems area of the state.
Opposition parties have charged Naveen Patnaik government for trying to convert Dhinkia into another Kalinganagar (where 13 tribals were killed by police during anti-Tata Project movement in 2006) through deploying 22 platoons of police to frighten villagers.
Newly appointed PCC President Niranjan Patnaik who was also former Industry Minister questioned, “when 7000 acrers of barren land available on the other side of the river, why government is interested in acquiring such fertile land, during Congress government in 80s OSWAL and Indian Oil Corporation also shown interest to take over this area but ‘we have opposed as this area is very fertile and livelihood of people attached to it.”
Similarly, NCP who is also an alliance partner of ruling BJD has strongly objected the land acquisition process; the party leaders have also joined the protest in Dhinkia. Senior Party leader Arun Dey asked the government to be transparent in saying, “while government has till today have destroyed 500 betel vines but have produced no records for 300 vines, it points figure to illegal land acquisition,” he wondered.
Interestingly, Local MP Bibhu Tarai (CPI) along with leaders of five political parties CPI, CPIM, SP, RJD and Forward Block sat on dharana in Dhinkia-Govindpur on 11 to express solidarity with struggling people. Both CPI and CPIM are the alliance partners of ruling BJD.On the other hand SUCI, CPIML, CPIML New Democracy have threatened to call an Odisha Bandh.
With Odisha government is all set to renew the MoU with POSCO any time this month which was void (GoI had entered with a MOU with POSCO on 22nd June 2005) last month and PPSS mobilizing activists and national leaders of major political parties to join them from 17th and their human barricade is still guarding the villages of Govindpur and Dhinkia the battle for Dhinkia seems to be more confronting and imminent.
Meanwhile, a team of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) has visited POSCO area to Inquiry on petitions received by the Commission of using Children as human shield by anti POSCO activists besides the allegation of Police occupation of School buildings. Not only these PPSS leader Abhoya Sahu and State Government both have been served with a notice by High Court to comply on the ouster of 50 families who have been ostracized from their villages are residing in the POSCO rehabilitation Colony.
District administration which was still maintain stoic silence came in collision course with anti POSCO agitation by entering the epicenter of the movement at Govindpur on 10th of this month armed with the forest clearance given by MOEF on 2nd May, with 22 platoons of armed police and had gone in flag march which has brought attention from people around the world. The land acquisition process was stopped by the Union government seven months ago was restarted on May 18 again. A case is also pending in Odisha High Court to prohibit the land acquisition filed by locals.