Three anti-Posco activists were killed while allegedly making bombs at Patana village in Jagatsinghpur district on Saturday leaving the strife-torn region tense once again.
Jagatsinghpur SP Satyabrata Bhoi said, “We have information regarding death of two persons while making bombs behind the house of one Sura Das in Patana village.”
The incident is believed to have occurred when four supporters of the outfit opposed to the Posco Steel Project were busy making bombs in anticipation of a crackdown by the State Government, which had temporarily suspended land acquisition in the proposed site just before the Budget Session of the Assembly.
While three died on the spot when the bombs exploded, one more person is stated to be in a critical condition. The SP, however, said he was yet to ascertain the names of the victims as the police could not reach the place. Patana is considered a stronghold of the anti-Posco agitators and locals are opposing the entry of police in that area.
However, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), which is spearheading the protest, refuted the charge that the victims were involved in making bombs and claimed that three of its members were killed in an attack by project supporters.
Denying preparation of bombs by anti-Posco agitators as claimed by police, PPSS president Abhay Sahu said, “Three of our activists were killed in the attack by project supporters. Our people were attacked as they opposed construction of a road from Patana to Balitutha,” he said.
CPI leader Rama Krushna Panda said the three PPSS activists were killed when the project supporters hurled bombs at them. “We have already informed the police about the incident and sought ambulance to carry the injured to hospital. But, ambulance was yet to reach the village,” Panda alleged.