MAC: Mines and Communities

Two Posco executives detained by villagers

Published by MAC on 2007-05-18

Two Posco executives detained by villagers

The Hindu

18th May 2007

BHUBANESWAR: Angry villagers detained two Indian executives from South Korea's Posco, the world's third-largest steel maker, and then released them unharmed — the second such incident within a week — police said on Thursday.

The executives had travelled to Nuagaon village in Orissa to start a free clinic and hand out medicine, part of Posco's efforts to win over villagers who will be displaced by the planned steel mill.

They were detained on Wednesday by a group of villagers, most of them women, and were released after two hours, police officer Jaswant Jathwa said.

The Posco plant will be the largest single foreign investment in India.

The Government approved it last year as a Special Economic Zone, making it eligible for tax breaks and was exempt from some government duties and labour rules.

Posco to go ahead

Posco had no immediate comment on Wednesday's detentions. But it has repeatedly said it will go ahead with plans to invest about $10.8 billion in the plant, despite repeated and occasionally violent protests.

Many residents strongly oppose the project because they say it will displace about 20,000 people.

Last Friday, three officials were abducted and detained for more than 10 hours in a nearby village.

They were also released unharmed. — AP

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