Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Maoist threat to project sites

Bhubaneswar, December 06, 2007
First Published: 01:32 IST(6/12/2007)
Last Updated: 01:38 IST(6/12/2007)

The whiff of Maoists getting involved in the land tussle over the industry zones in Kalinga Nagar and Jagatsinghpur district has alerted Orissa police.

Kalinga Nagar became news in January 2006 after 13 tribals were killed in police firing while protesting the erection of a boundary wall at a Tata Steel project site.

Jajpur superintendent of police D.S. Kuttey told Hindustan Times that "the CPI (ML) Janashakti is active in the Kalinga Nagar area”.

“Already, two leaders of the Visthapan Virodhi Jana Manch are supporting the radical viewpoint of the Janashakti to wage an armed struggle. The police are keeping a watch on the situation and we are taking the necessary steps,” he said. The Jana Manch is leading the tribal struggle against the Tata Steel project at Kalinga Nagar.

There are also reports that the Maoists have become active at the project site of South Korean steel major Posco in Jagatsinghpur district.

Anil Mishra, the inspector-in-charge of the project site, said: “Reports on the presence of outsiders in the area are being verified. Thirteen platoons of the police force have now been deployed in Nuagaon, Gadakujnga and Govindpur in Dhinkia panchayats. The situation is under control.” DGP Gopal C. Nanda said: “We are keeping a close watch. The law and order situation will be maintained at any cost.”

According to an intelligence official, Maoist ideologues have started speaking to residents in the area about the need for an armed struggle against Posco. "Normally, the ideologues arrive first, followed by their armed cadres," the intelligence official said.

The unsettling news has prompted the police to start random checks on vehicles entering the Posco zone. However, activists of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti claimed the talk of Maoist presence in the area was an excuse to launch an attack on them.

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