The Orissa government on Monday again deployed police force near the Gobindpur-Nuagaon village border, the site of a strident anti-Posco agitation, but withdrew it following widespread protests.
Declaring the “use of children” in the protests “illegal”, the government moved in to pave the way for resuming land acquisition for the Korean steel major's $12 billion (R54,000 crore) project. However, the protesters stood firm.
Since June 8, villagers have been agitating at the site – about 200 km east of capital Bhubaneswar — against the Jagatsinghpur district administration’s land acquisition for Posco. The administration had started land acquisition on May 18, but faced resistance from protesters — including children — when it tried to enter Gobindpur. On June 21, the government withdrew police force from the area and suspended land acquisition. Meanwhile, villagers in nearby Polang have stopped construction of a boundary wall for the Posco project.