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Anti-posco Groups Begin Relay Hunger Strike

Published by MAC on 2006-09-26
Source: Asia Pulse Data Source ()

Anti-POSCO groups begin relay hunger strike

Bhubaneswar, (Asia Pulse Data Source via COMTEX)

26th September 2006

A group of activists, including villagers from the proposed site of South Korean steel major POSCO's proposed 12 million tonne mega steel project, today launched relay hunger strike against the setting up of the project here today.

For a week now, the group had been staging demonstrations against the state government as well as the Centre's cooperation for the POSCO project near the port town of Paradip.

"POSCO is out to plunder all natural resource of the state. Hundreds of villagers will lose their source of livelihood due to the project," Akshya Kumar, national convenor of Naba Nirman Samiti, said.

Kumar is the only person who is on indefinite hunger strike while others are giving him moral support by launching relay hunger strike.

"When villagers displaced by a refinery project by Indian Oil Corporation have not received any compensation though it was taken up eight years ago, will the state government give any gaurantee for the huge displacement to be caused by the POSCO project?," he asked.

The villagers of the area are economically very strong due to betel cultivation, fishing and horticulture, Kumar said adding the project would force them to lead a beggar's life.

Activists associated with Naba Nirman Samiti and Rashtriya Yuva Sangathan from eight states also sat in dharna to support the cause.

The activists sought explanation from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for promoting the project. "He should come to an open forum and explain the wisdom of allowing a foreign company to set up the project on fertile land here."

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