Anti-displacement activists protest MoEF clearance to Posco

Bhubaneswar: Anti-displacement activists on Wednesday staged demonstrations at the Posco’s proposed plant site and in the state capital, in protest of environment clearance granted by the Centre and Odisha government’s recommendation of prospecting licence in favour of the South Korean company.

While CPI-backed Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) staged a protest meeting at Patana, one of the seven villages in the proposed plant site near Paradip, Anti-Posco Solidarity Forum activists observed a protest day in the state capital.

“Our protest was held here to signal the visiting South Korean President Park Geun-hye against the project. We will not allow the project to come up over our fertile and multi-crop land,” said PPSS president Abhaya Sahoo.

The villagers went round the village before gathering at Patana village, Sahoo said, adding the people are united and opposed to the project even as the state government tried to suppress the agitation by brute force.

Over hundreds of slogan-shouting agitators of the Forum congregated at the Master Canteen Square here protesting against the four-day visit of the South Korean president to India beginning today and demanded immediate cancellation of green clearance accorded by the Centre to Posco.

The Forum activists also burnt effigies of Park Geun-hye, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Union minister for Environment and Forest Virappa Moily and chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

“We oppose the Posco project in Odisha and the environment clearance by the MoEF. We also protest the decision of the state government to lease out Khandadhara mines. The South Korean steel company should not be allowed to explore mining in this region as it’s one of the most important bio-diversity zones in Odisha,” said Biswapriya Kanungo, an agitators.

Besides, convener of the Forum Narendra Mohanty, spokesman of PPSS Prasant Paikray, leaders of CPI-ML, CPI(M), CPI, RJD, CPI-ML (Liberation), Odisha Janmorcha, SP, RPI and other anti -displacement leaders participated in the protest.