Widow of Posco project area threatens to commit suicide

Paradip: With the Odisha government continuing its demolition drive of betel vines here to acquire land for the Posco steel project, a 35-year-old widow on Wednesday threatened to commit suicide in protest.

Jharana Jena's betel vine was among the two demolished by Jagatsinghpur district administration yesterday.

The administration when contacted said it demolished betel vines and acquired land of only those who willingly offered their land for Posco project.

Paradip additional district magistrate Surjit Das said the betel vine owned by Jharna was a new one which had come up illegally on government land.

"There is no point in living as they (govt) forcibly demolished my betel vines. This betel vine was feeding my family," Jharana, whose lost her husband in a bomb blast at Patana village in the project site in March this year, said.

Her family earned an average of Rs 10,000 per month from the betel vine, she said adding "Neither me nor any member of my family had ever offered our betel vines for Posco."

Her husband Mania Jena was among the three killed in the blast on March 2. While the police said he died in the blast while making bombs to be thrown at them, the anti-Posco supporters said he was killed in the blast caused by pro-Posco supporters.