Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 6:
The Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) today said it would continue its fight against the Korean steel giant despite reports in a section of the media about the purported decision of the company to withdraw from its proposed mega steel project in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district.
“We are not willing to buy the story that Posco is withdrawing from its Odisha project as there has been no confirmation by the company while the Central and the state governments are silent on the reported withdrawal decision. Rather, the Prime Minister is aggressively advocating all FDI projects, including Posco. We would like to declare once again that our fight will go on till Posco is completely driven out and the land acquired on pen and paper is officially returned to the people and all cases registered against our innocent people are completely withdrawn. We have nothing to do with the news circulated in the media about the reported withdrawal of Posco. We agree with all those who say that it is a pressure tactics employed to generate middle class sympathy for the project though we are also aware of the fact that Posco is facing problems on all fronts and the situation has been like this for the last few years,” PPSS spokespersons Prashant Paikray said in a release.
He also said PPSS has also expressed its solidarity with the Paudi Bhuyan community and other forest dwellers of Keonjhar and Sundhargarh districts, who have come under the banner of ‘Khandadhar Surakhya Sangram Samiti’ and have been continuing their struggle to protect the biodiversity of their region to sustain their livelihood as efforts have been made by the state government to allow Posco to mine iron ore in Khanadadhar Hill.
Referring to the Land Acquisition Ordinance promulgated by the Centre, Paikray said the PPSS has also joined hands with other peoples’ movements including the National Alliance for People’s Movements (NAPM) to intensify the historic struggle against the ‘black’ ordinance against which PPSS had staged a massive rally in Bhubaneswar on February 14 this year.
“We had also urged the state government not to implement the Land Ordinance in Odisha,” he added.