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Urgent Action Alert against the unlawful and forceful land acquisition for POSCO

by POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti

The callous and unaccountable Naveen government has shown it’s yet another dirty face today when the police force quietly entered Polang village in Jagatsingpur district of Odisha at wee hours to acquire land for handing over to the POSCO Company. Prior to this game-plan, the state government had informed to the media that there would be no acquision of land on 18th May 2011. Now it’s confirmed that the state government was lying to the people of the state and create a ambience of confusion for smooth acquisition and hand over of land to the said Multinational Company (MNCs). The inference: in order to protect the interest of the MNCs, the state government could play treachery with its own people who voted it to power.

Around 20 platoons of police are currently camping at Balithutha , the strategic entry point to the proposed villages area. It was informed that at around 4 a.m. today , 4 platoons of police force entered in to the Polang village and started destroying the beetle vines. The process is supervised by the district administration of Jagatsingpur and Industrial Development Corporation (IDCO). The administration is planning to destroy the beetle vines, take into control the plantations, prawn cultivation areas, agricultural lands and the homestead land of the people.

As part of *’Pratirodh and Pratibad Divas’ *(Obstruction and Opposition),the people from Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gada Kujang Panchanyats have come out in thousands and undertaking massive demonstration at Balitutha opposing the deceitful, illegal and forceful land acquisition. People are already blocking the connecting road from Balitutha to Dhinkia, Nuagaon and Gada Kujanga. It may be pointed out that the police force which has gone for acquisition of land in Polanga village will return on the way connecting Gadakujanga and Balitutha. With the people determined to continue their struggle in a peaceful manner, uncertainty looms large over the attitude of the government toward the peacefully protesting mass.

With the heavy presence of the police force near Balitutha and other strategic points like Trilochanpur and sea route connecting Paradeep to Dhinkia which is empowered by the green signal to the POSCO project by the Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF), Government of India, an unpredictable atmosphere of aggression and intimidation is created. It may be noted that section 144 has been declared by the administration at Balitutha.

Ironically, the Polanga village where forceful land acquisition is going on inhabits tribal people. Moreover, under Forest Rights Act, 2006 (FRA), no forest land could be acquired without the approval of Palli Sabha. The state government is therefore out rightly rejecting and dis-respecting the authority of Palli Sabha under the FRA.

It may be informed that today a demonstration is taking place MoEF (Paryavaran Bhavan), near CGO complex, New Delhi and four left parties (SUCI, CPI(ML), CPI(ML) (New Democracy), CPIML (Liberation)) are demonstrating in Bhubaneswar against land acquisition.

At this moment of uncertainly and threat to the life and livelihood of people, we sincerely request your presence in our area to strengthen our fight against unlawful act of the government carried out at the behest of the POSCO company. We also request you write letters of opposition to Chief Minister so also call the Chief Minister to express disapproval of his policy of use of force.

Kindly circulate the appeal widely.

In Solidarity,
Prashant Paikary
Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti

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*Please send your letter in the following addresses*

1. Shri Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India, Prime Minister’s Office, Room number 152, South Block, New Delhi, Fax: + 91 11 2301 6857.
Email: manmohan@sansad.nic.in

2. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State for Environment and Forest, CGO Complex, Lodi Road, Paryavaran Bhavan, New Delhi-3
Email: jairam@sansad.nic.in

3. Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Orissa, Address: Naveen Nivas, Aerodrome Road, P.O.-Bhubaneswar, Dist.-Khurda Pin -751001(Orissa), Tel. No.(O) 0674- 2531100,2535100 (FAX) Tel. No.(R) 0674- 2590299, 2591099,2590844,2591100,2590833,
Email: cmo@ori.nic.in

4. Chairperson, National Human Rights Commission of India, Faridkot House, Copernicus Marg, New Delhi 110 001, Tel: +91 11 230 74448, Fax: +91 11 2334 0016,
Email: chairnhrc@nic.in

5. T. Theethan, IAS, The Joint Secretary, National Commission for SC, 5th Floor, ‘B’ Wing, Lok Nayak Bhavan, Khan Market, New Delhi 110103, India.
Email: jointsecretary-ncsc@nic.in

6. Narayan Chandra Jena, District Collector. Jagatsinghpur, Contact number 09437038401