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ASIA & OCEANIA / India: Halt Attack On Protesters At POSCO Project Area
Date of publication at Tlaxcala: 11/06/2011
Translations available: Deutsch 

India: Halt Attack On Protesters At POSCO Project Area

Various Authors - Versch. Autoren -Muhtelif Yazarlar-مؤلفون مُتنوِّعون - نویسندگان مختلف

 

To: Dr. Manmohan Singh

Prime Minister of India

New Delhi 110 001

Sub: Demand immediate action to halt attack on peaceful protesters of proposed POSCO project area


Orissa/Odisha

 

Dear Dr. Manmohan Singh

We condemn the outrageous and illegal attempt by the Odisha* government, with the connivance and support of the Centre, to attack and seize the land of the villagers affected by the proposed POSCO project. We understand that on June 3rd, 17 people - including five children - were arrested and beaten by the police because they refused to allow the destruction of their farms. We also understand that the administration has been announcing through loudspeakers that they will use force against anyone who does not submit to the takeover of their land within the next 24 hours. Thousands of people are peacefully protesting while 24 platoons of police have been deployed in the area, probably for use in a brute force attempt at taking the land of the villages of Dhinkia and Gobindpur TODAY - Monday, June 6th - or in the coming days. This is occurring even as court cases by the villagers are pending in the Orissa High Court and are due to be heard shortly.

Nonviolent demonstration in Orissa

This attack on the lives and livelihoods of thousands is doubly outrageous because it has been repeatedly shown, and accepted by three different official committees, that the takeover of this land is illegal and in violation of the Forest Rights Act. The Environment Ministry has violated the law and its own orders and stated as much when giving the clearance. We note that in February of this year the National Advisory Council had specifically asked you to ensure that the practice of handing over forest land to companies in gross violation of this "landmark law", as you yourself described it, should be halted and action taken against the officials responsible.

Further, the project is proceeding despite the fact that an official committee said it had "potentially disastrous impacts" on the environment that could "cause loss of life"; and after an independent study showed that it would lead to a net loss of employment, destitution and impoverishment of around 50,000 people while producing no benefits for the local economy. Indeed, there is such a pattern of illegality around this project that five prominent anti-corruption activists have recently called for an investigation into "criminal collusion" between government officials and the company.

The mineral wealth of Orissa

We call upon you to immediately ask the Odisha government to halt this illegal attack, to withdraw all clearances given in violation of law, and to take an impartial position in the court cases filed by the people. Failure to stop this attack will show that the UPA** government's much vaunted concern over issues of displacement, forest rights and "inclusive growth" is simply an eyewash.

Sincerely,

Deep Joshi, PRADHAN and Member, National Advisory Council

Aruna Roy, Mazdoor Kisan Sangharsh Samiti and Member, National Advisory Council

Kavita Srivastava, People's Union for Civil Liberties

Harsh Mander, Aman Biradari and Member, National Advisory Council

Dr. Madhav Gadgil, Ecological Scientist and Member, National Advisory Council

Arvind Kejriwal, Parivartan India and India Against Corruption

Dr. B.D. Sharma, Bharat Jan Andolan and former Commissioner for SC/STs, Government of India

Dr. Amit Bhaduri, Council for Social Development

Medha Patkar, National Alliance of People's Movements

Justice Rajinder Sachar, People's Union for Civil Liberties and former Chief Justice, Delhi High Court

Swami Agnivesh, World Council of Arya Samaj

Dr. Binayak Sen

Adv. Prashant Bhushan, Campaign for Judicial Accountability

Maj Gen S.G. Vombatkare (Retd), NAPM - Karnataka

Dr. Vandana Shiva, Navdanya

Dr. Kamal Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Dr. Ilina Sen

K. Satchidanandan

Dr. K S Subramanian, IPS

Suhas Borkar,

Dr. Anuradha Chenoy, Jawaharlal Nehru University

Dr. Manoranjan Mohanty, Council for Social Development

Dr. Walter Fernandes, North Eastern Social Research Centre

Dr. Mira Shiva

Sandeep Pandey, National Alliance for People's Movements

Thomas Kocherry, National Fishworkers Forum

Dr. Xavier Dias, BIRSA, Jharkhand

Dr. Sumit Chakravarty, Mainstream

 

Tlaxcala's Notes
 
* Orissa was renamed into Odisha in 2010. The state has 42 million inhabitants and its capital is Bhubaneswar. Official language and mother tongue of 83% of its population is Oriya.

** The United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is a ruling coalition of center-left political parties heading the government of India. The coalition is led by the Indian National Congress (INC), which is currently the single largest political party in the Lok Sabha (the lower house of the parliament of India). The Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, and the Council of Ministers are drawn from members of the UPA. INC's President, Sonia Gandhi, serves as the Chairwoman of the UPA.





Courtesy of Various Authors
Source: http://www.countercurrents.org/posco080611.htm
Publication date of original article: 08/06/2011
URL of this page : http://www.tlaxcala-int.org/article.asp?reference=5016

 

Tags: AsiaIndiaOrissa/Odishaillegal landgrabviolation of the lawbrutal forcePOSCO
 

 
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