Police on Saturday arrested top anti-Posco leader Abhay Sahu in connection with an explosion that killed three anti-Posco activists in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district in March.
Sahu, president of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti which has been spearheading the agitation against Korean steel maker Posco’s $12 billion (Rs 54,000 crore) plant in the district, was arrested in Bhubaneswar while he was about to board a flight to Coimbatore.
“Though about 60 criminal cases were pending against him, he was arrested for his role in the explosion that killed three persons in Patana village on March 3,” Jagatsinghpur superintendent of police Satyabrata Bhoi told HT.
Patana, about 200 km east of Bhubaneswar, is an anti-Posco stronghold. PPSS has all along maintained that the three anti-Posco activists close to Sahu were killed when pro-Posco people hurled a bomb at them. Police said the victims died while making bombs.
Posco had signed an MoU with the Odisha government in June 2005 to set up the green field steel project touted as India’s single largest foreign direct investment.
People of eight villages under Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadakujanga gram panchayats have been opposing the plant under the leadership of PPSS.
The Odisha government has already acquired about 2500 acres in a phased manner amidst protest and needs to acquire another 200 acres for the commencement of the project.