Amidst allegations and recriminations over the death of three anti-Posco activists, land acquisition at Gobidnpur area resumed on Sunday. Three betel vines were dismantled as activists questioned the timing of the drive and called the administration insensitive.
The three bodies of the PPSS (Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti) activists, who died while allegedly making crude bombs, were recovered and sent for post-mortem.
With emotion running high, the district administration made elaborate arrangement to restart the land acquisition process in Gobindpur village from Sunday while other construction works for peripheral development in Nuagaon and Gadakujang panchayats had been started two days ago without deployment of police personnel.
Posco and IDCO officials moved to Posco transit office and waited till the disposal of bodies from Patana village. After disposal of the bodies, the officials began the dismantling work as shocked villagers looked on.
Villagers of three panchayats of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gadkujang blamed the administration for resuming the land work on Sunday itself as Gobindpur mourned the death.
PPSS leader Abhay Sahu alleged a conspiracy and said pro-Posco activists are being pampered and instigated by the company. The bombs, he claimed, were hurled at the activists who had gathered to chalk out their strategy. Arrival of police personnel at the spot after 15 hours of the incident only strengthens the suspicion that hired goons are behind the killing, Sahu said.
However SP Satyabrata Bhoi said bomb making material has been seized from the spot and sent for examination.
District Collector Satya Kumar Mallick said land acquisition resumed with the cooperation of the villagers and and no police force has been deployed.
First phase construction of the mega project requires 2,700 acres of land. Of this, the State Government has already acquired over 2,000 acres and has begun the move to acquire the rest from contentious area of Gobindpur, the epicentre of the anti-Posco agitation.