Police action against anti-Posco villagers leaves scores injured


By Newzfirst Correspondent2/3/13
 

Bhubaneswar – Scores of women and children of Govindpur village were injured in a lathi-charge resorted by the Odisha Police during the early morning of Sunday. After arresting several villagers, the authorities are now carrying out the land acquisition to facilitate much controversial POSCO project, by destroying betel plantations.

According to the sources, 12 platoons of the Police force entered the village at  4 o’clock in the morning, and resorted to lathi-charge when villagers started protesting.

“Scores of people including women and children have been injured in the Police action and many of the villagers have been taken into custody by the Police. The numbers of injured and arrested is yet to be confirmed.” Spokesperson of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti ,Prashant Paikray told Newzfirst.

Villagers including women and children have been sitting on dharna since 14 January not to allow the Police force deployed by the Government to forcefully acquire the land, into the village.

 

The persistent resistance of the villagers against the forcible land acquisition has caused Odisha Government setback in executing Rs. 52000 crore POSCO steel project in Jagatsinghpur district.

 

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.

 

Saranda Action Plan mockery for six villages


, TNN | May 18, 2012,

NOAMUNDI (SARANDA): Patras Nag is probably the most educated man in Cherwalor village in Saranda. A village that is non-existent on the government revenue map along with five other has not seen any form of administration since Independence. Having passed standard VIII, Nag runs a school here in which 78 children from the adjoining villages attend classes. Nag was picked up by security forces for interrogation when CRPF operations began in the area earlier this year. While he was terrorized, villagers were angry for their respectable teacher being harassed by the forces.

Apart from Cherwalor, five other villages like Kododih, Dharnadiri, Jumbaiburu, Belyatu (chingri) and Hojomdih are also non-existent on the administrative map. These villages are neither included in Noamundi block nor in Manoharpur. Consequently, the villagers are deprived of all possible government schemes and projects. The villagers do not have BPL or ration cards nor do they have the job card of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).

None of them have been included on the voters’ list and no villager has ever exercised their franchise. To top it all, this time when Union rural development minister Jairam Rameshannounced the Saranda Action Plan, these six villages were once again left out.

The district administration asked Noamundi BDO Ajay Tirkey to conduct a survey of these villages and submit a report to the deputy commissioner. Talking to TOI, Tirkey admitted that the six villages in Saranda were non-existent till date. “A detailed survey report has been submitted to the DC and we expect these villages will be considered under the action plan,” he said.

Villagers in Jambaiburu have been provided with MGNREGA job cards. Interestingly, the state code, category code and registration number are mentioned there but not the district code, block code and panchayat code. Tupra Surin of Jambaiburu said, “My village comprises nearly 28 families and recently they have been enrolled for jobs under the MGNREGA. We are not sure whom to contact for a job because when we approached government officials of Noamundi, they told us that our village doesn’t come under their jurisdiction,” he added. The village doesn’t have a school or any facility for ration.

After Patras Nag of Cherwalor was picked up by security forces, the CRPF arranged outreach programmes to give away sewing machines and utensils to the villagers. Though the villagers accepted some of the gifts and dividends, later they boycotted such camps to express their anger. “My husband used to work in the mines and was never absent from duty. Once when he was grazing cattle, he was picked up by security forces and sent to jail,” said Gurbari Nag citing the reason for her decision to boycott the goods distribution camp of the CRPF in Thalkobad organized in February this year.

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