Tribals on Friday took out separate rallies in Orissa's Kalinganagar area, both in support of the Tata Steel project and against it, to mark the third anniversary of killing of 14 tribals in police firing.
According to official sources, over 2,200 tribals staged demonstration against the displacement of people because of the projects of Tata Steel as well as other industrial houses at Kalinganagar.
Braving arrest threat by the district administration, the tribals from Orissa and other states participated in the rally from the firing spot in Champakoila village to the Veer Bhumi in Ambagadia, where the 14 firing victims had been cremated.
The agitators represented groups like CPI (ML)-New, All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, CPI ML (Liberation), CPI (M), Adivasi Ekata Manch and some frontline organisations of the Naxalites. After reaching the Veer Bhumi, the participants of the rally offered tributes to the victims. Earlier in the day, the family members and relatives of the firing victims offered flowers and oil in a ritual on the 14 memory pillars erected at the mass cremation ground two years back.
The rally ended with a protest meeting in which a declaration was adopted, pledging support to the agitation in Kalinganagar. The representatives of various organisations who were opposing Posco's steel plant and captive port project in Jagatsinghpur district, Vedanta alumina's refinery project at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district and Arcelor-Mittal's steel project in Keonjhar participated in the meeting.
About 15 platoons of armed police were deployed to maintain law and order, but they mostly kept themselves away from the meeting venue.
In a parallel development, about 1,200 displaced tribals held a meeting at the Tata rehabilitation site at Sansailo and organised a motorcycle rally in favour of industrialisation.