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Land acquisition for Posco continues 'peacefully', police excess alleged

The land acquisition for the Rs 52,000-crore Posco steel project, which resumed amidst tight security at Gobindpur village in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district, continued peacefully.

twitter-logoPTI | February 5, 2013 | Updated 18:13 IST

The land acquisition for the Rs 52,000-crore Posco steel project, which resumed amidst tight security at Gobindpur village in Odisha's Jagatsinghpur district, continued peacefully on Tuesday.

"Land acquisition for the steel project is continuing in a smooth and peaceful manner. Betel-vine plantations of only those who are willing are being demolished," District Collector S K Mallick said.

On-the-spot payment was being made to villagers for their betel-vines, Mallick said adding over 30 betel-vine plantations have been dismantled since Monday and Rs 32 lakh paid by cheque.

Land acquisition had been halted for more than a year following violence during construction of a coastal road near the proposed project site in December 2011.

The fresh operation, which began on Monday, was to acquire an additional 700 acre for Posco's mega project with 2,000 acre having been acquired earlier, Additional District Magistrate Surjit Das said.

A section of the villagers, however, claimed they were beaten up by the police.

"At least 22 persons including 10 women and five children sustained injuries due to police excess," Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) president Abhay Sahu alleged.

Chief Secretary B K Patnaik claimed people were offering their land and betel vines on their own.

"There is no violence during the land acquisition. The district administration of Jagatsinghpur and the local police have been instructed to undertake land acquisition work peacefully," he said.

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