Entry point to proposed Posco plant cleared of agitators | india | Hindustan Times
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Entry point to proposed Posco plant cleared of agitators

india Updated: May 15, 2010 17:55 IST

The police on Saturday cleared the entry point to the proposed Posco mega steel plant at Balitutha, of protesters resisting land acquisition since January 26, using rubber bullets, teargas and batons, leaving at least 30 people injured.

"The people on dharna at Balitutha defying prohibitory orders have been evicted," Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police Debadutta Singh said.

The police which ordered the 1000-odd protesters, mostly women and children, to leave immediately cracked down when 50 crude bombs were thrown at them, he said.

He did not reply to allegations that the temporary camps of protesters were set ablaze by the police.

Police used baton, teargas shells and rubber bullets to disperse the anti-Posco agitators, Inspector General of Police, Central Range, S K Upadhaya said.

Some people received minor injuries in the police action, he said, adding, 11 others were also arrested.

"Our next target is obviously Dhinkia village, epicentre of the anti-Posco agitation," Upadhaya said.

The police will remain in the area till officials surveyed the forest area and land was acquired for the proposed mega steel plant, he said.

"We have been successful in restoring law and order at Balitutha being held by anti-project activists since January 26," Jagastsinghpur district collector N C Jena told newsmen.

Earlier, local CPI MP Bibhu Prasad Tarai, Congress leader Umesh Swain and Jayant Biswal were arrested as a preventive measure, though former CPI MLA Narayan Reddy joined the agitators at Balitutha.

The administration had deployed 1500 security personnel, six magistrates, four ambulances and two fire tenders at Balitutha prior to the operation, police added.