A high-level fact-finding team consisting of civil liberties and democratic organisations, which visited Posco region on Saturday, has demanded that land acquisition for the steel plant should be stopped immediately.
The 12-member team visited Dhinkia and Govindpur villages of Jagatsinghpur district to assess the situation in the wake of the escalated violence since the land acquisition process resumed in the area in February, 2013.
The team demanded a high-level judicial probe into the bomb blast incident resulting in the death of three persons to ascertain the truth of the matter. Police camp from Jagatsinghpur village should be immediately withdrawn as it is contributing to tension in the area, the team said and demanded compensation on humanitarian grounds to the families of the deceased.
Following the bomb blast on March 2, the team alleged that the villagers are unable to move freely and are in constant fear of harassment and arrest by the police. The team members alleged that at least 105 betel vines have been destroyed in Govindpur village in the process of land acquisition.
On March 7, there was lathicharge on the villagers who were demanding the removal of police camp from the village. About 41 villagers, including 35 women and children, were injured in the lathicharge.
The team included Meher Engineer, former director, Bose Institute, Kolkata, Sumit Chakraborty, Editor, Mainstream and Dr Manoranjan Mohanty, retired professor, Delhi University.