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Rally to protest against the proposed Posco plant


A rally to protest against the proposed Posco plant. File pictur

Bhubaneswar, March 17: Hundreds of stick-wielding villagers, including women, today marched through three gram panchayats in Jagatsinghpur district protesting against the proposed construction of a 12-million-tonne steel plant by Posco.


Even as the march was supposed to be "symbolic", the 500-odd protesters chanting anti-Posco slogans managed to bring down a pro-Posco poster.


Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, spearheading the agitation, had announced that it would organise a thenga (stick) rally today in Dhinkia, Gadakujang and Nuagaon villages against the possible loss of livelihood if the plant comes up.


Tension gripped Nuagaon after pro-Posco villagers stopped the rally there. They objected to the march saying the rally would be allowed to proceed only if the protesters lay down sticks.


Abhay Sahoo, the leader of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, said the rally was a show of strength by poor farmers who are likely to lose traditional livelihood of betel and paddy cultivation. "We will not leave the land at any cost," he added, claiming that today's rally was a success as they could enter all the villages without any major opposition.


Tamil Pradhan, the leader of Posco Suraksha Samiti, a pro-Posco outfit, said: "They insisted that a poster welcoming Posco-India must be taken off if they have to lay down the sticks." Finally, the poster was removed and the rallyists proceeded towards other villages.


Jagatsinghpur police superintendent Y.K. Jethwa said: "About 500 demonstrators participated in the rally around the villages. There has been no violence and we did not take any action." The telegraph

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posted by Resistance 3/18/2007 03:26:00 PM,

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