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Odisha: Anti-Posco leader Abhay Sahu and two other activists arrested

abhaysahooAnti-land acquisition leader arrested

TNN | Apr 28,

Kendrapada: Tension prevailed in Paradip and its nearby areas on Wednesday after police arrested Abhaya Sahoo, the adviser to Jamihara Chasi Sangh, a body fighting for rights of land losers, and other leaders on Tuesday night.

Abhaya is also the president of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which spearheaded a movement against establishment of Posco steel mill in Jagatsinghpur district. The project is on hold.

The sangh launched an indefinite dharna in front of the main gate of the oil refinery of the IOCL at Paradip on Monday demanding permanent jobs to the land losers.

Displaced persons on Wednesday blocked the main road at Paradip and sat in dharna in front of the main gate of the oil refinery to protest against the arrest of Abhaya and other leaders. Some agitators gheraoed Abhayachandapur police station and demanded the release of the leaders.

Around 3,300 acres of 1,752 families had been acquired by the government for the Rs 35,000-crore oil refinery project, said Prahallad Biswal of Trolochanapur village.

We have arrested Abhaya Sahoo, Sarada Jena and Bipin Moharana. All were produced in the court of the judicial magistrate first class at Kujang. The court rejected their bail applications and remanded them in jail custody,” said Madhaba Chandra Sahoo, additional superintendent of police (Paradip).

Senior manager (public relations) of the IOCL project Manjushree Singh said, “State government run Idco had acquired land for the oil refinery project 14 years back by paying proper compensation to the land losers. There was no condition to provide jobs to the persons who gave their agricultural land in lieu of compensation.”

Singh added, “The oil refinery is committed to provide employment to only 143 displaced families who lost their homestead lands and houses for the project. We will provide engagements to 49 displaced persons in the first phase within a reasonable time. During the second phase, we will provide jobs to the rest 94 displaced persons.”

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