Thursday, March 7, 2013

Protest Against Killing of Anti-POSCO Protesters and Forcible Acquisition of Land

Odisha Bhawan, 1 Niti Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, 12 noon, 9th March, 2013

People's Struggle Against Corporate - State Nexus Long Live!

In the continuum of brutal attacks on the struggle against forcible land acquisition for a POSCO steel plant in Odisha, the most recent case of blatant violence perpetrated by the corporate–police-goonda nexus in the region saw the murder of 4 people in Jagatsinghpur district.

On 2nd March, hired musclemen of POSCO with the full complicity of Odisha Police threw bombs at anti-POSCO activists in Patana village, in which 4 activists were killed and several others were seriously injured. Out of the 4, 3 were killed as a direct consequence of the police’s refusal to arrive at the spot for 15 hours after the bombing, or arrange for an ambulance to take the injured to a hospital.

The active connivance between the POSCO management and local contractors along with the Odisha Government to violently suppress the anti-POSCO struggle through every unconstitutional and illegal means, from hiring criminal elements to intimidation and murder of local activists spearheading the movement, has exposed the extent to which they are willing to bypass the law to bulldoze their way by means by brute force.

Matters have not stopped there, again on 5th March 2013, 12 platoons of armed police led by the District Collector and SP forcibly entered Gobindpur village and destroyed more than 25 betel vines – the major source of livelihood of the protesting villagers.

The Odisha government is going ahead with the forcible land acquisition for the steel plant despite the fact that POSCO does not have an environmental clearance for the project. The environmental clearance given by the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on January 31, 2011 was suspended by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on 30 March 2012. POSCO does not even have a valid memorandum of understanding with the State government now. The one it had signed on July 22, 2005 lapsed on July 21, 2010 and no fresh MoU has been signed so far.

We strongly condemn this complete disregard for any kind of democratic processes, and the blatant use of brute force through police as well as goons to brutally crush the movement that is going on in the region. We call on all democratic and progressive organizations and individuals to condemn the violence and protest against the Odisha Government’s naked support towards POSCO, where it is ready to murder its own citizens so that POSCO may set up its steel plant.

New Socialist Initiative

Endorsed by and joined as co-organisers :

All India Platform for Labour Rights, All India Students’ Association, Delhi Solidarity Group, INSAF, Hero Honda Theka Mazdoor Sangathan, New Materialists (JNU), POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity Delhi, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, People’s Union for Democratic Rights, Pragatisheel Yuva Sangathan, Women Against Sexual Violence & State Repression, Sanhati, Socialist Front, Stree Mukti Sangathan, Student for Resistance
Bonojit Hussain: +91-8860304908
Praveen Verma: +91-9911078111
Vasundhara Jairath: +91-9953034105


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