#India-Betel vineyards destroyed for #Posco #Vaw


PRAFULLA DAS, The Hindu , Feb 4,2013

People of Dhinkia and Nuagaon blocking the road to Posco project site in Jagatsingpur district on Sunday. Photo: Lingaraj Panda
The HinduPeople of Dhinkia and Nuagaon blocking the road to Posco project site in Jagatsingpur district on Sunday. Photo: Lingaraj Panda

Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti to intensify agitation if land acquisition continues

“There was heavy fog when we found the police reaching Batatikira. They beat me up and other men, women and children,” said Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti member Manorama Khatua, referring to a lathi charge on agitating villagers on Sunday, when land acquisition for the Posco steel project resumed here.

Since January 14, hundreds of villagers had been agitating peacefully, forming a human chain, at Batatikira against further acquisition of land. On Sunday, demolition of vineyards and felling of trees here were stopped after hundreds came out to oppose the administration’s move to acquire more land. However, a senior administration official claimed that 80 per cent of the residents of Gobindpur supported land acquisition. During the day, 12 betel vines belonging to those who had given their consent for land acquisition were destroyed and they were paid compensation by cheque, the official said. The Collector and Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police were present at the spot. Samiti leader Abhay Sahu countered the administration’s claim saying that actually 80 per cent of the people were against handing over their land.

Millions of betel leaves were crushed as the vineyards came crashing down under tractors. Many growers who oppose the land acquisition drive stood mute, even as a few villagers accepted the compensation. Administration officials, who came back from Gobindpur after the Sangram Samiti demanded immediate withdrawal of police from the area, told The Hindu that land acquisition will continue.

 

#India- Police enters our village, beat women and children, arrested villagers and cut trees #mustshare


Dear Friends,

In the wee hours today (at around 4 am) the police has entered into our villages and beaten up women and children, arrested some of our villagers (number is yet to be known).

As we have intimated you earlier that the police force has been gradually swelling in our area amidst our continuing human chain and Dharana in the Balitikira-the boarder of Govindpur and Dhinkia villages of Jagatsingpur district, the police has deceptively entered to the villages with full force at 4 a.m. today. Our people sensed their possible move at around 2 o clock night and alerted the villagers by ringing bells. Gradually women, children, male members started getting accumulated at the Dharana place. At 4 a.m. the police entered and attacked the women and children first. The male police have ruthlessly beaten our women who were lying on a human chain. Some women have been severely inured. The Police have thrown our children like flowers, some of whom are injured. Some villagers have been arrested by the police and been taken to custody. At the moment we do not have exact numbers as the situation is too tensed on the spot. The police have started breaking our betel vines and cutting the trees forcefully. More and more numbers of our villagers have come to the spot and a war like situation has arisen. Our committed villagers are facing a mighty 12 platoons of police force.

We fail to understand the decision of the state to acquire land when the National Green Tribunal has already suspended the environment clearance to the proposed POSCO project in our area. Naveen Patnaik is behaving like an agent of the POSCO company.

As the situation is too alarming, we appeal all our friends to protest against the barbarism and call/write/fax to the Prime Minister, Chief Minister of Odisha and Chief Secretary of Odisha, Home Minsitry, Odisha appealing to immediately stop the police brutality and withdrawal of the force from our area. Please call to your respective MPs and MLAs and raise your protest against them urging them to oppose the illegal move. Write to NHRC also.

We request our media friends to rush to our villages and see the situation in their own eyes and report.

We will intimate further developments soon.

Please widely circulate this mail.

In Solidarity,
Prashant Paikary
Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
Mobile no-09437571547
E-Mail – prashantpaikary@gmail.com

The contact address of the authorities

 

Protests against Posco rage again, villagers form human chain


5
Kendrapara, Jan 14: Taking their protest against setting up of mega steel plant by South Korean major Posco and acquisition of their land by the district administration for the purpose, about 500 villagers including school-going children and women started a fresh agitation against the proposed project by forming a human chain at Balitikira in Jagatsingpur district Monday.
Apprehending that the district administration might use force to enter the proposed Posco site at Gobindapur to acquire 700 acre of land and provide cheques to 26 affected betel vine growers, the villagers once again shielded the Nuagaon-Gobindapur border to force the district administration to beat a retreat, said Abhaya Sahu, President of Posco Pratirodha Sangram Samiti (PPSS) who is spearheading the movement.

Around 250 school children of Gobindapur also participated in the human chain. The children, members of the Baji Rout Children’s Battalion, the children wing of PPSS, are in the front of human barricade, said Sahu. Villagers of Gobindapur, Patana and Dhinkia have asked their children to actively participate in the human chain formed to deter the police and district administration from acquiring land in their locality.
According to 12-year-old Ratikanta Sahu, “We, the members of Baji Rout Children’s Battalion, have taken a vow to squat on the road as long as we have not been able to completely prevent the entry of police and officials into our villages for acquiring land for the proposed Posco project.”

“We don’t want Posco to come up in our fertile land which is suitable to grow ‘dhaana’ (paddy), ‘paana’ (betel) and ‘mina’ (fish),” he added.

Sahu also alleged that Collector Satya Kumar Mallick had recently claimed that 80 per cent of people in Gobindapur village wanted Posco to come up in the proposed site. “If the Collector can prove that 80 per cent of people are in support of Posco, I will leave the protest. Else, he should resign from his post,” thundered Sahu.

Meanwhile, about nine platoons of security forces are camping at the Posco transit camp in Gadabagapur and Balitutha since Saturday, said sources.

As long as the district administration does not withdraw police force from Balitutha and also at the transit camp at Gadabagapur, the human chain will continue for indefinite period, Sahu warned.

“Let the police force come to the site and apply force with the children, women and the elderly to acquire land for Posco. The villagers are determined not to quit the ground and the human chain would continue round the clock at Balitikira,” he added.

“We have taken a vow to fight against the project till our last breath. If the Government uses force on innocent people, bloodshed would take place. Only the district administration and the State Government would be responsible for that as people here are ready to confront the forces till the last drop of blood,” said PPSS Secretary Sisir Mohapatra.

 

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