Terming police action on anti-Posco agitators at Balitutha near Paradeep as "inhuman and undemocratic", the CPI on Saturday condemned arrest of party MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai.
"Police resorted to a lathicharge, lobbed tear gas shells and used rubber bullets on agitators sitting on a dharna in a democratic manner," party's state secretary Dibakar Nayak said.
Stating that people in Dhinkia panchayat near Paradip had been opposing the South Korean steel major's proposed plant for the last five years, he said local farmers were not ready to sacrifice their fertile land for industry.
He alleged that the government used force minutes after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked people to refrain from violence.
BJP and Congress too disapproved of the police crackdown on anti-Posco agitators. "The state government wants to set up industries against wishes of the local people," said senior BJP leader B B Harichandan.
Congress spokesman Arya Gyanenda also criticised the government for police "atrocities" on anti-project agitators.