The death of three anti-Posco activists in bomb explosion on Saturday has not only exposed the anti-social and violent activities of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) but also weakened its hold over villagers who have vowed to stay away from the movement against the steel company.
The agitated villagers have expressed their disillusion with PPSS which had pledged to continue the movement in democratic and peaceful manner. The three anti-Posco activists died in Patana village under Dhinkia panchyat while they were making crude bombs to be used against police personnel and villagers who have agreed to hand over their betel vines during land acquisition process on Sunday.
The PPSS movement for the last seven years has gradually turned violent with its active members indulging in criminal activities. They have resorted to harassing and torturing the people supporting the company, not sparing even women, the villagers said.
During the period, PPSS activists have ostracised 52 families, set fire to several houses and hurled bombs at police. As many as 500 criminal cases have been registered against the anti-Posco activists while 50 persons arrested more till date.
Besides, they have kept police, Posco and district officials as hostage and also assaulted them.
Ironically, no PPSS leader has been affected by the violence. It is the innocent, illiterate and poverty stricken people who have been victims of police firing or PPSS atrocities.
It may be recalled that Ashok Burdhan, Chandan Parida, Hemant Burdhan and hundreds of youths who were the members of PPSS left anti-Posco movement due to rise of criminal activities. The villagers are so dissatisfied with PPSS activities that most of them did not join the rally taken out on Sunday in protest against death of three persons and restart of land acquisition process.
Meanwhile, Collector Satya Kumar Mallick and SP Satyabrat Bhoi went to the spot and started investigation into the case on Sunday.
The three deceased anti-Posco activists were identified as Narahari Sahu, Mania Jena and Nabaghan Mandal. The injured person, Laxman Paramanik of Gobindpur village has been shifted to SCB Medical College and hospital, Cuttack in critical condition.
Police seized the bodies and sent those to Kujang hospital for post-mortem. Police also seized gun powder, phosphorous, pieces of blades, glass dust and cell phones from the spot. However, no family member of the victims have lodged FIR.