Wednesday, April 11, 2007

State prepares for terror in Jagatsinhpur, Orissa

Sign online petition :

* A multi-billion dollar steel MNC to take over 4500 acres of land
* A State Government determined to help the company
* 15 Platoons of Armed paramilitary forces
* Three villages that have barricaded themselves in a bid to protect their land

Villagers opposed to POSCO’s steel plant in Jagatsinhpur district of Orissa are now at the receiving end of state violence. Fearful of the consequences of allowing Government surveyors access to their lands, villagers of Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Garakuchang have barricaded themselves inside their villages, thereby restricting public access to the proposed project areas.

The sentiment, very clearly, is against the setting up of the giant steel smelter and captive port. However, the State Government egged on by a Prime Minister who has extended his personal blessings to the project is keen to get on with the POSCO project at any cost.

With five days to go before the statutory public hearing – scheduled for 15 April – the Government has deployed fifteen platoons of paramilitary armed to the teeth. On 9 April, paramilitary forces staged a flag-march aimed to intimidate local opposition. The State Administration has chosen to hold the Public Hearing, as a mere formality, at Kuchang – the stronghold of the ruling BJD party.

According to local reports, the area is crawling with paid henchmen and cadre of the ruling party. With the multinational POSCO, the State Government, the paramilitary and the BJD henchmen lined on one side against farmers, fisherfolk and workers opposed to POSCO on the other, the stage is set for a repeat of Nandigram.

Local reports confirm that villagers that have barricaded themselves are prepared to sacrifice themselves to save their lands. By underestimating the
depth of opposition to the POSCO project, the Orissa Government may be committing the same mistake that the CPM did in Nandigram.

We ask the State Government to:

1. Create conditions favourable for hearing the villagers’ concerns by removing paramilitary forces and police from the vicinity of project area.
2. Announce that no project will be located against the wishes of the local people

For details contact:

Akshay Kumar
Yuva Bharat
Plot no. 849/5051
Patia, Bhuvaneshwar 31


Cell: 09937177794 (Ashok/Akshay- speak in hindi)


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