Odisha -Group clashes in Gobindapur over Posco


By Express News Service – PARADIP

31st May 2013 12:13 PM

Despite deployment of one platoon of police force, law and order situation worsened in Gobindapur village due to group clash on Thursday. Betel vine demolition drive for proposed Posco steel plant project was affected as tension gripped the village after clashes between two groups of Harijanshai and two youth groups.

According to sources, last week one Samir Das of the village had handed over his betel vine to the administration despite the opposition of villagers in lieu of Rs 1.13 lakh as compensation. Earlier, Das had borrowed Rs 40,000 from another villager Trinath Bhoi to erect betel vine. After Das violated the villagers’ decision, annoyed Bhoi demanded his money back. When Das refused to return the money, Bhoi forcibly tried to extract money from Das leading to clash between two groups.

Nearly 150 Dalit families of the village have been opposing boundary demarcation and trench cutting work for the project. They alleged that the administration had demolished betel vines of nearly 22 Dalit families on the promise of giving new betel vines but nothing has been given as compensation.

“The administration has forcibly acquired our land without paying any compensation. So, we have sought the intervention of the Orissa High Court and Human Rights Commission,’said the villagers.

 

Anti-Posco leader Abhay Sahu arrested


By PTI | 11 May, 2013, abhaysahoo
READ MORE ON » tamil nadu | PPSS | POSCO | Patana village | explosion | Abhay Sahu
BHUBANESHWARAnti-Posco leader Abhay Sahu was arrested today in connection with several cases including a bomb blast in the proposed steel project site in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district, the police said.

“Sahu, who was to leave for Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu to attend a meeting there, was arrested from Bhubaneswar by a police team from Jagatsinghpur shortly before departure of his flight,” Deputy Superintendent of Police (Paradip), Bhabani Shankar Mishra said.

Acting on an information, the police team reached the state capital and arrested the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) leader before taking him to Kujanga near Paradip in Jagatsinghpur district, the DSP said.

There are a total of 54 cases of different nature against Sahu, he said, adding the PPSSleader was on bail in 50 cases and the arrest was made in connection with four fresh cases involving a bomb explosion, obstruction in government work and other offences.

Claiming that he was implicated in false cases, Sahu said he was to leave for Coimbatore yesterday to attend a conference but deferred his visit as his son-in-law fell ill and was hospitalised.

Maintaining that he would continue to oppose the mega project proposed by the South Korean steel major, the PPSS leader said he was to take a flight to Chennai to attend the conference but police arrested him before his departure.

Sahu, who has been leading an agitation under the banner of PPSS against the mega steel project since 2005, had been arrested more than two years ago in connection with various offences.

He was released after obtaining bail in December 2011, police said, adding that four new cases were subsequently slapped against the anti-Posco leader.

One of the cases was related to an explosion allegedly during bomb making at Patana village in which three persons were killed on March 2, this year, police said.

Sahu would be produced before a court at Kujanga shortly, the DSP said.

 

Land acquisition for Posco starts again #WTFnews


Ten betel vine plantations were dismantled in the first few hours without any resistance from locals, official sources said, adding that payments would be made soon
File PhotoFile Photo

Paradip (Odisha), Apr 22 (PTI): After remaining suspended for about two and a half months, land acquisition today resumed for Posco Steel’s Rs 52,000 crore mega project in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district.

Ten betel vine plantations were dismantled in the first few hours without any resistance from locals, official sources said, adding that payments would be made soon.

Meanwhile, anti-Posco members belonging to Dhinkia, Patna and Gobindpur villages took out a procession to Phulkhai temple in Dhinkia where they held a meeting leading to simmering tension.

Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samittee leader Abhay Sahoo, who is spearheading the agitation against the mega project, was away at Bolangir taking part in a protest against setting up of the Lower Suktel project there.

“We have re-started land acquisition involving dismantling of betel vines this morning. The villagers are cooperating in the work undertaken by the administration,” Jagatsinghpur Collector S K Mallick said.

Two teams were dismantling betel vine plantations of consenting farmers in Gobindpur village, Additional District Magistrate (Paradip), Surjeet Das said.

The work, with the use of machines, was being carried out smoothly in groups separately led by tehsildars of Kujanga and Ersama, Das said.

Another team was making a survey of trees and horticultural plants in the area, he added.

Earlier about 250 acre land had been acquired before work was suspended on February 11 ahead of the Budget Session of the Assembly.

The land acquisition had witnessed a nude protest by women at Dhinkia, while a bomb blast led to the death of three persons.

 

Anti-Posco stir: women protesters strip to demand halt to land acquisition, withdrawal of police force


Edited by Samira Shaikh | Updated: March 08, 2013

 Anti-Posco stir: women protesters strip to demand halt to land acquisition, withdrawal of police force
BhubaneswarMostly frail women, old and young, stood up to the blows that the police rained on them with canes, some of them stripping partially in protest. Several of them were injured in the lathicharge but the undeterred women of Odisha‘s Govindpur and Dhinkia villages have threatened to strip en masse if the police is not withdrawn from their area immediately.

As the world celebrates Women’s Day, these village women are engaged in a bitter tussle with the administration to stop land acquisition for the Posco steel project. They also want the five platoons of police still deployed at the site of the proposed mega project in Jagatsinghpur district withdrawn.

The state government had resumed land acquisition, which involves clearing betel plantations in the villages, four days ago. The drive began only hours after three anti-Posco protesters were killed in a bomb attack. The activists allege that supporters of the Posco plant were behind the attack.

The women who clashed with the police on Thursday  belong to the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti ( PPSS ), which has spearheaded the anti-Posco agitation for the last eight years. They said hundreds of them would strip if their demands are not met.

Posco is a South Korean company that proposes to set up a 12-million-tonne-per-annum steel plant near the port town of Paradip in Odisha. It is the largest foreign investment in India.

The government says it has acquired about 2,000 acres of land in the region in 2011 and needs to acquire another 700 acres, mostly in Govindpur area, for the project. It says the villagers have agreed to the land acquisition. But the villagers deny this and the stand-off has continued for some time now, with the administration being forced to abandon land acquisition activities every now and then.

It had stopped clearing plantations on February 6 in the face of a stepped-up agitation. During their protests, the villagers have also fronted children.

 

 

Bombing in POSCO Area:When we don’t question #humanrights #stateterror


It is not even a month old when armed police force invaded Govindapur
to forcibly acquire land for POSCO. Since February 3, 2013 this area
has been turned in to an armed police camp. Excepting pro-posco goons
no one can enter the village and no one can get out.Police patrolling
continues for 24 hours. Even cats and dogs can’t enter without police
approval. Suddenly there was a bomb attack in the village in the
evening of March 2, 2013. Police were informed immediately. They did
not respond for 15 hours. But within an hour they could call media to
inform them that it was an accident involving bomb making.No media
person questioned the SP how could he know it without reaching the
spot. 3 important leaders of the anti-posco agitation died on the
spot. Two would have survived had they received medical help. One was
taken to the hospital by people themselves. One of them had filed a
FIR against a very powerful Idco officer who had attacked villagers on
February 3, 2013. Our team was among the few people to reach the spot
within hours.The images will make any one think and raise questions.
When we don’t question, truth is crushed and untruth prevails.

 

#India- Bomb explosion at Posco site in Odisha kills four


PTI: PARADIP, MAR 02 2013, 21:52 IST, FE
Tags: Anti-Posco Activists | Bomb Explosion Odisha | Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti | Posco India | India News
Posco.jpg

Paradip, Odisha: Four people were killed when crude bombs exploded in Patana village of Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district today. The village is considered to be a stronghold of groups opposing Posco’s mega steel project.Two others were injured in the explosions.Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police Satyabrat Bhoi said the police are probing the circumstances that led to the blasts.

But anti-Posco agitators alleged the bombs were thrown at them by rival groups supporting the steel project.

“Our people were attacked as they opposed the construction of a road from Patana,” Abhay Sahoo, president of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti, told the Press Trust of India.

South Korean Steel giant Posco signed an agreement with the Odisha government in 2005, but its project has been delayed because of protests over land acquisition and other bottlenecks.

Denying preparation of bombs by anti-Posco agitators as claimed by police, Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) president Abhay Sahy said, “Three of our men are killed in the attack by project supporters. Our people were attacked as they opposed construction of a road from Patana to Balitutha.”

CPI leader Rama Krushna Panda, however, claimed that three PPSS activists were killed and another sustained injured when the project supporters hurled bomb at them.

“We have already informed the police about the incident and sought ambulance to carry the injured persons to hospital. But, ambulance was yet to reach the village,” Panda alleged.

The 4th victim Laxman Paramanik died as no ambulance could reach the village – thanks to Odisha police!

Terror Without a Clue- Peoples Hearing Court #Fabricated


The Indian Police has been methodically harassing those protesting the State’s atrocities by framing false charges against activists and citizens concerned, finds a People’s Hearing Court

Shazia Nigar
New Delhi, Oct 2, 2012

The People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases, organised by academicians, civil society groups and concerned citizens, was held in the capital on 28 and 29 September. Even though those who deposed before the court came from places as varied as Jammu & Kashmir, Odisha, Jaitapur (Maharashtra) and the Northeast, but their stories were uncannily similar: fabricated cases, harassment and the use of the legal machinery to shrink the democratic space that is enshrined in the Constitution.

Abhay Sahoo, leader of Posco Protirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), from Paradip in Odisha, is a case in point. PPSS has been actively resisting the establishment of an integrated steel plant and a captive port by POSCO, a South Korean company, for the last seven years. The reason behind the sustained struggle is that more than 22,000 people belonging to Paradip will lose their land, livelihood and a sense of identity if the project goes ahead. Despite the peaceful and democratic form of protest employed by the locals, the government has strategically employed every means – democratic and undemocratic – to hand over the land to POSCO.

One of the strategies employed by the government, as Sahoo explains, is, “False cases. It is a weapon in the hands of the state governments to stop popular mass movements that demoralises activists and creates an atmosphere of fear. Almost 10,000 people involved with PPSS have not been able to come out of their villages for the last seven years. Isn’t this a lot more than a silent emergency?”

Implicated in fifty cases, ranging from murder, sexual assault, atrocities against Dalits and wrongful confinement, Sahoo spent fourteen months in jail in 2008-09 and another five months in 2011-12. Sahoo is not alone. There is Manorama, a young woman leader of PPSS implicated in 38 cases, including, bizarrely, charges of rape. Then there is Kamlesh who was implicated in a case that took place while he was still in custody. Besides these, 208 cases have been registered against 1,400 men and women who have dared to exercise their democratic rights. Fear of arrest makes it impossible for people to step out of their villages for basic needs such as medical treatment, education and even daily rations. The police are unable to pick them up from within the villages because of the strong resistance in the form of gheraos.

“Until now, I had been speaking about only others being implicated in fabricated cases,” said Seema Azad, a member of People’s Union of Civil Liberties and a journalist withDastak Ki Nai Awaaz in Lucknow. Today, she needs to defend her own case in a people’s court. She was arrested and spent a year-and-a-half in jail on charges of sedition and being a Maoist.

“Like in most fabricated cases, in my case, too, the place and time of my arrest in the police records are wrong. I was picked up in the morning, but the chargesheet says I was picked up at night. That day, I was carrying books with me, but they weren’t Maoist literature. The police planted these books. It’s not that I don’t read Maoist books, but on that particular day I didn’t have any on me.”

Throwing light on the dubious investigations carried out by the police, she recounted being asked whether she had visited Vishwanath temple. When she responded in the affirmative, the police said it was impossible because Maoists don’t visit temples. Then she was asked if she exercised, and on answering in the negative, she was told, “You must be exercising, as all Maoists do.”

“We should not call ourselves victims, we are the agents of change” said Shahina KK, a journalist and recipient of the Chameli Devi Award. She has been falsely implicated for ‘intimidating’ witnesses in the Muslim political leader Abdul Nasir Madani case. While at TEHELKA, Shahina had written an investigative piece on the fabricated case against Madani. But in an attempt to silence her, she was implicated in one.

Shahina says when she gathered some concrete evidence on how the false case against Madani had been built up, she received a call from the police, asking, “ Madam, everybody here says you are a terrorist. Are you?” Presently out on bail, she has to show up at the Bangalore High Court every month. For how long she might have to do that she doesn’t know, as the chargesheet has not yet been filed.

The others deposing at the hearing on day one were Shauzab Kazmi, son of Urdu journalist Syed Ahmed Kazmi who has been arrested allegedly in the Israeli embassy car blast case, and activists from Koodankulam and Jaitapur.

“Chaman Mein Har Taraf Bikhri Hui Hai Dastan Meri, Khamoshi Guftugu Hai, Be-Zubani Hai Zuban Meri”. Anjum Zamrud Habib from Kashmir described the situation in the valley by borrowing these words from Iqbal. A member of Muslim Women’s Organisation, she shared her experience of having to spend five years in Tihar Jail on being falsely implicated under POTA, and used the platform to talk about the clampdown of the State on anyone daring to stand for their rights in Kashmir. Babloo Loitongbam spoke on the extra-judicial killing of 1,500 people in Manipur; Omar Mukhtar and former MP Sabastian Paul spoke on behalf of Maulana Abdul Maudany.

Emphasising the need for documentation of such cases, Sajeed K, one of the organisers, said, “Until 2008, there did not exist any discourse on how the police was systemically targeting Muslims. It was then that we published a series on fabricated cases in TEHELKA, with relation to SIMI. Of course, the fabrication of the cases is not just against Muslims. Over the years, we have seen how the Indian police has systemically implicated human rights activists and community leaders who are leading campaigns against state terrorism. We need to keep up the pressure.”

The jury, consisting of Justice Rajinder Sachar, Saba Naqvi, Binayak Sen, Ajit Sahi and Ram Puniyani pronounced its verdict in favour of the people questioning the systemic and deliberate attempt to shrink democratic space for any dissent. It stated, “The role of the Indian state in fabricating cases of sedition and terrorism to implicate tens of thousands of innocent citizens across India has been thoroughly exposed in testimony after testimony presented at the People’s Hearing on Fabricated Cases.”

letters@tehelka.com

Malkangiri: Police arrested 3, Have not produced in court in week


Dear friends,

Lalit Chakraborty from Malkangiri in Odisha says police have arrested 3 youth in Padmagiri area on 19th March. They also broke house of one of the person before arresting. More than 200 people marched to collector and district police chief who told them that there was a warrant against the arrested. He asks if there was a warrant then why are they not produced in court so far. For more Lalit ji can be reached at 09438135767

http://www.cgnetswara.org/index.php?id=10160

You can also listen to this post after leaving a missed call on 080 4113 7280. You can also record your own messages/songs the same way using your phone as this user has done

Open Letter to Naveen Patnaik from Korean Human rights groups


The Chief Minister of Odisha State, Naveen Pat

Teheranro (Teheran Avenue) area in Seoul, Korea

Teheranro (Teheran Avenue) area in Seoul, Korea (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

naik

 Bhubaneswar-751001.

Odisha, India

March 23, 2012

 We -human rights, labor, and civic organizations in Korea– are writing to you with our deep concern regarding the current attacks continuously made to villagers who are opposing the construction of POSCO steel plant.

Even 6 years have been passed since the project in Odisha State had begun, POSCO could never have had approval from the villagers. And conflicts surrounding the construction of ironworks are continued.

The villagers made their peaceful resistance lying down on the roads while the government of Odisha State mobilizing the police to take their lands by force. This was on the rise to international community, including Korea, as a human rights issue.

Recent few months, however, the villagers and Anti-POSCO activists are being attacked by anonymous groups of armed men. On December 14, one person was killed and many were injured by a group of armed mafias while protesting. Bapi Sharkel is suspected to be the leader of this attack, however, Odisha police had not made proper investigation on this. Rather, questions are suggested that Odisha State is securing him.

Odisha State had not made fair work on Bapi Sarkhel, principal offender of the violence on December 14, and even had released him on February 29. And after 2 days from his release, another villager was attacked by an unidentified armed man.

A group of armed men came around 1PM on March 2, 2012 and took away Umakant Biswal, a known activist of the Anti-POSCO struggle. We got reports that he has been kept in Paradip police station and is being physically and mentally tortured. We do not know whether the attackers were the police, or the group of Bapi Sarkhel. What is certain, however, is that Umakant Biswal, who was injured, could not exercise his legal rights. We are aware of the fact that, as per the Indian Criminal code, the police are supposed to produce him before the magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. However, more than 24 hours have passed but he has not been produced before the magistrate. No one including the villagers, lawyer or even the parents is allowed to meet him in the police station.

We are concerning on the reason that why Bapi Sarkhel didn’t went through appropriate investigation and the testimony that he had received all kind of conveniences. Also, we strongly question the correlation between his release and the violence 2 days after that. If POSCO and the Odisha State government who wants to push ahead the construction are behind this series of incidents, this is gross abuse of human rights as well as significant part that damages the legitimacy of POSCO project.

There are many cases in korea which government and corporations oppressed the resistance of civilians by mobilizing gangsters over developments. The development project that does not protect right to life and right to live could never be successful.

We request Naveen Pattnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha State

– To make thorough investigation into Bapi Sarkhel, including the criminals of the violence on December 14, 2011.

– To punish the offenders who had attacked Umakant Biswal and the police who had violated the article 57 of the code of criminal procedure and had refused to hospitalizing and conference with attorney.

– To stop the suppression on the villagers who oppose the construction of POSCO.

– Not to push ahead the construction without the consent of villagers.

 

Sincerely yours,

 

1.      Advocates Public Interests Lawyers

2.      Corporation For All

3.      International Solidarity Committee of Minbyun

4.      Korean House for International Solidarity

5.      Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights

6.      Network for Glocal Activism

7.      People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy

8.      Public Interest Lawyers’ Group Gonggam

9.      SARANGBANG group for human rights

 

Mr. Hyun Phil NA

Vice Executive Director

 Korean House for International Solidarity

 Telephone: (+82)-2-736-5808, (+82)10-5574-8925

 Fax 😦 +82)-2-736-5810

Email: khis21@hanmail.net

 

Joint Statement on Police atrocities and state repression on anti -posco struggle


POSCO

Image via Wikipedia

We strongly condemn the attack on and illegal abduction by the Odisha police of Umakanta Biswal, a famer belonging to Dhinkia village of Odisha, and an active member of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS), that has been engaged over the last six years in resisting the forcible acquisition of their land by the Odisha government for handing over to the South Korean multinational corporation POSCO. This incident, which occurred on 2nd March 2012, is the latest in the series of atrocities inflicted by the Odisha government and by hired goons associated with the government and the POSCO company, on the people of these villages. Umakanta Biswal, who was engaged in agricultural activity in his paddy field at the time of his abduction, was pursued by a group of armed plainclothes policemen on a motorbike, and shot at when he tried to escape. He has reportedly been kept in Paradip prison, and has not been produced in front of a magistrate within 24 hours of his arrest, as is required under law. We have cause to fear that he is being tortured in police custody, and are gravely concerned about his safety. This highly irregular, and illegal, form of detention of a citizen, amounting to a kidnapping by the police, is emblematic of the situation in which the villagers of the POSCO-affected area are living for the last six years, just because they have tried to protect their lives and livelihoods from being devastated by corporate greed. Numerous villagers have multiple false cases lodged against them by the police, and people are in danger of being abducted and detained by the police while being engaged in day to day activities such as farming. There have also been incidents where a villager taking his sick child to hospital has been arrested by the police. This continuing victimization and violation of basic human rights of a whole community of people is intolerable, and goes against all tenets of constitutionality and humanity. We condemn this brutal and illegal action by the Odisha government and demand that Umakanta Biswal be immediately produced in court and released. We hope request the National Human Rights Commisssion will take cognizance of this illegal detention and violation of rights of a citizen, which is symptomatic of the violation of rights of the entire community of villagers in the area of the proposed POSCO project.

Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity Samittee, New Delhi

Prafulla Samantara NAPM and Lok Shakti Abhiyan

Prof. Ajit Jha Samajwadi Jan Parishad

Partho Sarathi Roy SANHATI Collective

Kiran Shaheen Media Action Group, Delhi

Aarti Chokshi Secretary PUCL, Karnataka

Kamayani Bali Mahabal  Human Rights Lawyer Activist, Mumbai

Students for Resistance Delhi University and JNU

Amit Chakrabarty Research Scholar, JNU

Mamta Das NFFPFW and POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity, Delhi

Subrat Kumar Sahoo POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity Samittee, New Delhi

Asit Das POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity Samittee, New Delhi

Nayan Jyoti Krantikari Naujawan Sabha

Shankar Gopal Krishnan Campaign for Survival and Dignity

Mayur Chetia Research Scholar JNU

Arya Thomas Krantikari Naujawan Sabha

P.K. Sunderam Research Scholar JNU

Bhanumati Gochhait POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity, Delhi

Ranjeet Thakur Journalist, Uttarakhand

Rajni Kant Mudgal Socialist Front

Rita Kumari Pravasi Nagarik Manch

Pushpa Achanta

Women against Sexual Violence State Repression Karnataka

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