Land takeover for Posco resumes amid protests

Bhubaneswar, June 28 (IANS) After a break of about a fortnight, Odisha Friday resumed land takeover for South Korean Posco’s $12 billion steel project in Jagatsinghpur district amid protests by villagers, police said.

Officials accompanied by hundreds of policemen carried out the land takeover at Gobindpur area and demolished 18 betel vines.

“About 40-50 people tried to disrupt the work but were unsuccessful. The villagers also had a minor scuffle with cops at the site but no one was injured,” district Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi told IANS.

An anti-Posco leader said the administration forcibly demolished the betel vines of some villagers who were not willing to give up their lands. Police also beat up women, children and elderly villagers who were protesting at the site, he alleged.

Posco’s proposed 12 million tonnes per annum steel plant – the largest foreign investment in India – is to come up near the port town of Paradip, 120 km from here.

The local administration claimed it has already cleared more than 90 per cent of the land required for the company to start work.

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