Following the last post on this site, in February, about pollution of water by a World Bank supported project in Odisha, we have received news of a petition from an AVI member. This relates to our detailed February post: “Opposition to POSCO’s Indian project” – with which financier Warren Buffett, Bill Gates’ ally in ‘aiding’ India, is said to be involved.
In March NDTV reported from Bhubaneswar:
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.
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 . . . Mostly 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.
Brief video of police action: http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/news/tension-at-posco-site-protesters-clash-with-cops/263965?v_also_see
Background to the petition:
For more than seven years, villagers from the Odisha state have been repelling the attempts of the Korean company POSCO who, with the local government’s support, wants to use their fertile land for the settling of a mining industry and a commercial harbour on the coast.
This is why we are asking the government of the Odisha State, represented by M. Naveen PatnaiK, “Chief Minister” and Shri B K Patnaik, “Chief Secretary”, to listen to the assaulted communities’ claims:
Terms of petition:
– Immediate withdrawal of the police forces from the countryside
– Termination of the acquisition under duress of the villagers’ lands by the local state
– Respect for the Law of the rights of the populations depending on forests or Forest Rights Act
– Respect for the fundamental rights of the affected communities without fear of arrests or false accusations