ASHIS SENAPATI, KENDRAPADA, DATE - 13. 10. 08
BATTLE CRY IN DHINKIA, NUAGAON AND GADAKUJANG AFTER POLICE ARRESTED ANTI-POSCO LEADER ABHAYA SAHOO
Seaside villages under Dhinkia, Nuagan and Gadakujang Gram Panchayats under Kujang block in Jagatsinghpur district are currently reverberating with war cries of thousands of villagers after the arrest of Abhaya Sahoo, an anti-land acquisition leader and the president POSCO Pratirodhak Sangram Samiti (PPSS) on Sunday evening at Bhutamundai near the port town Paradeep. The news about the arrest of the anti land acquisition leader spread like wildfire in Kujang areas on Sunday night. Many anti-POSCO villagers ringed the brass-bells in the villages on Sunday night to alert the villagers about the arrest of their leader.
Hundreds of villager including large numbers of women and children blocked the main road to enter Dhinkia , Nuagaon and Gadakujang by constructing six wooden gates and barricades to prevent the police and government officials to acquire their lands since more than three years. After the arrest of Sahoo, some villagers on Sunday night cut away the main road from Kujang to Dhinkia to prevent the entry of police into the village Dhinkia.
The arrest of Sahoo a leftist has sent shock waves in the seaside villages of Dhinkia, Nuagaon , Gadakujang and other nearby villagers as Sahoo was spearheading the anti-land acquisition movement since more then three years after the state government signed an MoU with South Korean steel company POSCO to build a steel plant on 4004 acres of land at the cost of Rs51,000 crores, the biggest FDI in the country.
Many anti-POSCO villagers anointed Sishir Mohapatra the secretary of PPSS as their leader on Monday to spearhead the anti- land acquisition movement in Kujang areas.'The arrest of Sahoo will not weakened the anti-land acquisition movement. Many villagers are hell-bent not to give an inch of their fertile land to POSCO at any cost', said Sishir Mohapatra the secretary of PPSS. "We will not allow anybody to enter our village without our permission. The state government has no right to take away our lands. Dhanna , Paan and Mina( Rice, Betel vines and Fish ) are our main source of income and the authorities are trying to take away our livelihoods for which we blocked the village roads at six places by erecting wooden barriers", said Manorama Khatua a woman of village Dhinka.
Villagers divided their times to guard the gates for 24 hours in a rotation basic. We thirty persons including 20 women guard the main gate at Dhinkia three days in a week", said Sanjukta Mantri a villager of Nugaon.Villagers screen all the persons including media persons before the entry in the village after the arrest of Abhaya Sahoo . Security has been tightened in all gates after the arrival of four platoon police on Monday at Kujang. "On Monday, villagers organized a meeting at Dhinkia to chalk out plans to prevent the entry of armed police into the village. All the village women and children will be at the front to face police bullet ", said Akshya Das an anti-POSCO leader of Dhinkia.
When contacted Anil Mishra the officer-in-charge of Kujang police station told this paper" Security has been beefed up in Kujang areas after the arrest of Abhaya Sahoo. Four platoon of police have been deployed to check any untoward incident. More than 25 cases are pending against Sahoo and other anti-land acquisition leader".
Prafulla Samantray, the national convener of National Alliance of Peoples Movement (NAPM) and the president of state unit of Lok Shakti Abhijan alleged that the police foisted false cases against Abhaya Sahoo and demanded immediate release of Sahoo. Pradipta Ram the district secretary of SUCI, Umesh Singh CPM leader , Pravat Adhikari CPI leader and leaders of sundry opposition parties have also demanded immediate release of Sahoo.(THE END) __._,_.___
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