The ‘nude rally’ taken out on Thursday by women activists of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) at the instigation of the Samiti leaders to protest Posco project at Gobindpur evoked sharp criticism from different women organisations, elected representatives and women activists on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Friday.
The women organisations not only held the PPSS leaders responsible for the shameful act but also strongly criticised the women who stripped themselves on public places losing their self-respect.
The women activists said while they are fighting for the respect of women, the public show of nudity is a matter of serious concern.
The local women led by Susama Swain conducted meetings and took out rallies where they criticised the women who participated in Thursday’s ‘nude protest’.
They said the incident would send across a wrong message about the character of women. Though a few women stripped themselves as part of the protest, entire women sex would be blamed.
Stating that some women resorted to the act on the pressure of anti-Posco leaders, which is a violation of human rights, they demanded arrest of Pratirodh Sangram Samiti leader Abhay Sahu.On the other hand, women groups of Posco transit colony, who were ostracised by PPSS leaders in 2007, have strongly condemned the incident and demanded strong action against the anti-Posco leaders and the women protesters.
Former zilla parishad president Sabita Mohapatra flayed the Pratirodh Sangram Samiti leaders for using illiterate and poverty stricken women to strip in public places. “We have taken a pledge on the Women’s Day to protest this nasty act,” she said. Chairman of Paradip Municipality Manjulata Jena also demanded action against the errant women.
Stating that the Odia women have lost respect before the entire nation, President of the Pragati Mahila Samiti, Paradip Pravati Nayak advised the women especially in the Posco areas to stay away from such activities. Pratirodh Sangram Samiti leader Abhya Sahu said, “We had no intention to take out nude rally. But brutal attack on women forced them to strip in public places emotionally.”
Meanwhile, Sub-Inspector of police Madhabananda Nayak has lodged an FIR at Abhyachandpur police station on the incident and a case has been registered against 40 persons including Sahu and women who resorted to the act.
Jagatsinghpur SP Satyabrat Bhoi said the act of the women was not emotional. Rather, it was pre-planned. The three women stripped themselves in public places have been identified and action will be taken against them, he added.