Two Posco activists held

Police have arrested two persons in connection with pending cases related to the anti-Posco movement, eliciting sharp reaction among the people living in the erstwhile steel project area.

By Our Correspondent
  • Published 3.01.18
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File picture of the anti-Posco protest

Paradip: Police have arrested two persons in connection with pending cases related to the anti-Posco movement, eliciting sharp reaction among the people living in the erstwhile steel project area.

Local people have stepped up demand for the dropping of criminal proceedings linked with resistance movement against the South Korean steel-maker. Posco has already withdrawn from its project to set up a steel plant in the area.

"We arrested Judhistira Jena, 60, and Babula Samal, 45, from Dhinkia village and produced them in court as arrest warrants were pending against them," said a police officer.

"The resistance movement was replete with violence triggered by villagers. Activists had breached law and committed crimes. The offences perpetrated by them included attempts to murder, arson, rioting, criminal intimidation and beating up government officials on duty. These are all non-bailable offences. The sole option left before them is either to surrender before the police or the court," said Paradip additional superintendent of police Bishnu Charan Mishra.

Villagers, however, cried foul. "The civil administration is maintaining double standard. It had earlier assured the people of dropping cases against the Posco protesters," said Gobindpur villager Ranjan Bardhan.

More than 1,500 people, who had taken part in the movement, are wanted with arrest warrant executed against them. All of them are almost living the life of fugitives.

"The police are duty bound to execute pending warrants against those who are evading arrest. We find no difference in those, who committed offence by taking part in Posco resistance movement or committing any other crimes," said Jagatsinghpur superintendent of police Jai Narayan Pankaj.