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Swami warns of fallout

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 23: Human rights activist Swami Agnivesh today warned the Orissa government to not “repeat the mistakes of Nandigram and Kalinga Nagar” by using police force to set up the proposed Posco plant in Jagatsinghpur.

He was addressing the newspersons today.

Yesterday, the swami visited Dhinkia, where he interacted with the people. He stressed that there he saw no signs of “Maoist activities” at the village — an allegation being made by the government, constantly.

If the state uses force on the pretext that Maoist elements are inciting violence in the proposed plant site, it would be a mistake on their part, he said.

Agnivesh added that Posco was being provided 4,000 acres, which included fertile farmland producing rich cash crops. “That is not acceptable to the people. When the Supreme Court and the UPA believe that farmlands cannot be acquired for special economic zones or industrialisation. Why doesn’t the state agree?” he asked. Stating that no industry should be allowed at the cost of the masses, the human rights activist suggested that Posco be allotted alternative land, available in Paradip, some 10km from the proposed site. “At that site there are some 19,000 acres, which may be used for the plant,” he claimed.

The swami also disapproved plans for a captive port on the Jatadhari mouth and said it would create a security threat. “The Mahanadi water is meant for irrigation and should not be provided to Posco sacrificing farmers’ interests,” he added.

The swami, who heads Arya Samaj, said the International Arya Maha Sammelan, scheduled to be held from January 3 to 6, would adopt a resolution expressing solidarity with the peoples’ struggles here.

The president of Arya Samaj also supported Iskcon’s demand to allow all Hindus to enter the Jagannath Temple at Puri. “All Hindus have the right to enter into the temple, irrespective of their caste, creed and birth,” said Agnivesh while talking to reporters here today. He said the Arya Samaj would launch a nation-wide campaign demanding the right to entry for all Hindu devotees.

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