A hostage crisis in the eastern State of Orissa, sparked
off by the capture of three executives of Posco India,
came to an end late Friday night as protesting villagers
of Gobindpur set all of them free, TV channels reported
from the scene. Protesting villagers had detained the
three employees after they had gone there this afternoon
to canvass for land acquisition for a 12-million tonne
steel plant at Paradip.
in the day villagers had released one of the three detainees,
a lady executive, and the driver of the vehicle. According
to reports, all three employees are locals from the company''s
office in Kujanga, about 20 km from Paradip.
India is the Indian subsidiary of the South Korean steel
According to police sources, the people who had detained
the Posco employees were supporters of the Posco Pratirodh
Sangram Samiti, an anti-Posco forum that is spearheading
agitation in the area against land acquisition by the
The captors had demanded a written statement from the
company assuring them that none of its employees would
enter the gram panchayats of Dhinkia, Gada Kujanga and
Nuagaon to canvass for land acquisition if the captives
were to be released.
Posco had recently started direct negotiations with the
buy their land in the area earmarked for them, following
government advice to this effect. The steel major has
been facing resistance from local people on the issue
of land acquisition for its project.
the 4,004 acres land required for the project, 3,566 acres
is government owned while 438 acres are private land.