With the pull-out of police forces from the proposed Posco steel plant site in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, the situation today returned to normal in the area where tension had prevailed due to protest by anti-project activists using school children as human shield.

Only one platoon of police force deployed at Mangalachak near Gobindpur to maintain law and order. Of the 14 platoon of police deployed in Dhinkia panchayat for land acquisition purpose, 12 platoons were withdrawn yesterday and now another was pulled out apparently in an effort to pacify some villagers opposing establishment of the Rs 52,000 crore mega steel plant in the area.

The police camp at Mangalachak is only a formality as there was no magistrate on-duty from today, Superintendent of Police Satyabrat Bhoi said.

Land acquisition, which had resumed on February 3 after a gap of more than one year, continued for three days but was stalled from February 6 following clashes between anti-Posco protesters and police. Finally, the government yesterday decided to put on hold land acquisition for the time being and withdrew police force from the area.

Meanwhile, people in Dhinkia, one of the three gram panchayats where the proposed steel plant is to come up, today went to their work instead of assembling at nearby Patna to protest under the banner of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti.

(This article was published on February 12, 2013)
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