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POSCO-India chairman's visit to project site triggers protest

india Updated: Sep 01, 2007 04:54 IST

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POSCO-India chairman Soung Sik Cho on Friday visited the proposed site of the Rs 52,000-crore steel plant by the South Korean steelmaker POSCO near Paradip, triggering protest from activists opposing the project.

Cho, along with five senior company officials, visited Gada Kujang village and spoke to the local people near the site of the proposed 12 million tonne steel plant, POSCO-India sources said in Bhubaneswar.

He offered prayers at Jagannath temple at Gada Kujang and at Mahavir temple at Nolia Sahi, they said.

He was taken to the site in a procession by the local people and had friendly talks with them, the company's chief public relation officer Sashank Patnaik told PTI.

Cho and his firm officials preferred not to venture into other areas of the plant site in the face of stiff opposition from anti-project groups, sources said, adding that a demonstration was staged by several activists in protest against Cho's visit shortly after his departure.

The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, which has been opposing the project since the steel major signed an MoU with Orissa government in 2005, alleged that four of its supporters were attacked by hired musclemen during the visit.

PPSS president Abhaya Sahu alleged four persons - Sudhir Parida, Duryodhan Pradhan, Bansidhar Sethi and N Behera - were attacked and injured when they opposed Cho's visit.

Denying the charge, Jagatsinghpur police superintendent YK Jethwa said there was no violence and no such complaint was received.