Anti-Posco leader released on bail in Odisha
Bhubaneswar, May 18 (IANS) A former Odisha legislator who was arrested in connection with clashes near the Posco steel plant site in Jagatsinghpur district last year was released on bail Friday, an official said.
N. Narayan Reddy, a Communist Party of India leader who represented Chhatrapur assembly constituency from 2004 to 2009, was arrested Dec 24 for his alleged role in the Dec 14 clashes in which one person was killed.
The court of the Judicial Magistrate First Class at the block headquarters town of Kujanga, about 120 km from here, granted a conditional bail to Reddy on the basis of a direction from the Odisha High Court.
As soon as the news of his release spread, hundreds of anti-Posco villagers converged near the Kujanga jail premises and gave him a heroic welcome.
"Police had framed me in false case to weaken the anti-Posco agitation. We will continue our protest against the project," Reddy told reporters outside the jail after his release.
Reddy was arrested in connection with clashes between workers and local villagers that erupted after hundreds of villagers did not allow workers to carry out the construction of a road in the region.
The 10-km coastal road will help authorities speed up work for the South Korean steel major Posco's $12 billion project for a composite steel and power plant, the country's largest foreign direct investment.
Reddy was heading the villagers' anti-Posco movement after protest leader Abhaya Sahu was arrested in November on various charges.
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