Friday, April 20, 2007

Children protest against POSCO

Hundreds of children on Wednesday marched in the streets of Dhinkia, Patna and Govindpur to protest against the $12 billion POSCO steel plant.

People in these areas face eviction if the plant and port projects are built near Paradeep port.

The children aged between 5 to 15 will be part of the Baji Rout Children's Battalion, a new wing of the POSCO-Virodhi Sangram Samiti. Its job is to prevent police from entering the area.

The children who will enjoy the fruits of this movement in future will peacefully and democratically stop the entry of the police forces, says Abhay Sahu, the president of the Samiti.

We want to caution the state government to withdraw the police force or else things will take a different turn and for the catastrophe, the state govt will be held responsible.

The children are stake-holders in a big way and that explains why they are so enthusiastic about their new responsibility.

Each of the children is an earning member of his family and this is an army any government will find very difficult to handle.

We can't survive if the betel vines are taken away from us. We will fight it with the last drop of our blood, says Ashirvad Mohanty, a villager in Dhinkia village.

Mohan Mondal, another resident of the village says, neither the police nor death can scare us. We have chosen to die in this battle against POSCO.

It's been a do-or-die battle for the people who are willing to go for the ultimate sacrifices. That is why chief minister Naveen Patnaik's assurances about a humane and peaceful solution to POSCO's land acquisition problem sounds a little too hollow and imaginary.


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