PARADIP: Members of Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti (PPSS) joined the agitation by oustees outside the IOCL’s Paradip Refinery on Friday. Hundreds of land losers have been on an indefinite agitation outside the refinery since Monday demanding jobs. Two of them were taken ill on Friday morning and admitted to hospital. Their condition is stable.
The agitation has affected production and official works at the refinery and on Tuesday, three persons, including anti-displacement leader Abhaya Sahu, were arrested on charges of creating disturbance at the site. PPSS leader Prasant Paikray and Lok Shakti Abhiyan president Prafulla Samantaray said the arrests were illegal and urged the agitators to continue their demonstration till fulfilment of all their demands. They said the IOCL, while acquiring 3,330 acres of land for oil refinery project in 1998, had assured people of compensation along with housing facility and employment in the project. The IOCL had acquired land in 17 villages under Kujang tehsil of Jagatsinghpur district and 1,752 families were affected. At least `49 crore was given to the families as compensation against the land acquired but jobs were not provided.
Collector Bijay Kumar Upadhaya said the administration has invited leaders of the agitators for a discussion on Saturday over the issue.