JOINT STATEMENT CONDEMNING ATTACK ON PEACEFUL PROTESTERS OF NUAGAON

*(Anti-POSCO Struggle Area Odisha)*

On 16th July 2011 Saturday eight platoons of police attacked and lathi charged peaceful protesters in the village of Nuagaon, Jagatsinghpur District, Odisha. The protesters, despite being mainlywomen, were attacked by an entirely male police force, resulting in injuries to several and serious injuries to one woman, who has now been hospitalised. The protesters were seeking to protect their forests and trees from being cleared by the police as part of the government’s land grab for the POSCO project. After the lathi charge the entire village joined the protest, eventually drivingthe police back and forcing them to retreat.

We strongly condemn this brutal attack on a peaceful protest by people seeking to protect their legal and democratic rights. This attack disproves the Odisha government’s brazenly false claims that “no force is being used” to take land for POSCO. Nuagaon, one must remember, is also one of the villages where the government claimed that “land takeover is proceeding peacefully” – a result not of consent by the people but of the overwhelming threat of force from the government. Today, when people have actually shown their will, the government has shown its true intent.

One must remember that the people of Nuagaon, like all those affected by the POSCO project, have legal rights to their forest and also enjoy the legal power to protect these forests when they wish. This was upheld by three different committees of the Environment Ministry, which went on to, in an act of brazen illegality, clear the takeover of land anyway. Both the Odisha government and the Centre are engaged in a gross violation of law, a resource grab of land and forests that belong to the people for a private multinational company. This attack further comes at a time when the Odisha High Court is hearing, on a daily basis, the petition filed by the villagers against this illegal land grab.

We demand:

· An immediate halt to all police operations in the proposed project area
and the withdrawal of the police from the area;

· The cancellation of the illegal forest and environmental clearances
granted to the POSCO project;

· The implementation of the Forest Rights Act and all other pro people laws
in the area;

· Prosecution and punishment of the officials and police responsible for
the atrocities and violations of law in the area;

· A cancellation of the POSCO project and an end to the six year long
attack on the people of the area for the purposes of this project.

Sincerely
1. PUCL
2. Socialist front
3. Mazdoor Kranti Parishad
4. INSAF
5. Green Peace
6. Justice Rajinder Sachar (Retired of Chief Justice, High Court of
Delhi, Delhi)
7. Janak Lal Thakur (President Chhattishgarh, Mukti Morcha)
8. B.D. Sharma (Bharat Jan Andolan)
9. Ramesh Agarwal (Raigarh Shangharsh Morcha, Chhattishgarh)
10. Dr. Bharat Patankar (Sharamik Mukti Dal Maharashtra)
11. Kavita Krishnan (C.C Member CPIML Liberation)
12. Ashish Kothari (Kalpabriksh, Delhi)
13. Prof. Arun Kumar (Prof. Jawaharlal University, New Delhi)
14. Dr. Sunilam (Kisan Sangharsh Samity M.P)
15. Anivar Aravind (Moving Republic Bangalore)
16. Arun Bidani (Delhi Platform, Delhi)
17. Anuradha Mittal (OAK Land Institute, California USA)
18. Prof. Manoranjan Mohanty (Delhi)
19. Kiran Shaheen (Senior Journalist Delhi)
20. Rajendra K Sail (Human Rights Activist, Chhatisgarh)
21. V.T. Padman(Ekta Mumbai)
23. Dr. Abhay Shukla (Jan Swasthya Abhiyan Pune)
24. Dr. Anant Phadke (Shramik Mukti Dal, Pune)
25. Seema Kulkarni (Samuhik Khoj, Pune)
26. Ishwar Singh Dost (Lecturer, Goa University, Goa)
27. Naveen chander (New Socialist Initiative, Delhi)
28. Shripad Dharmadhikary (Manthan, Badwani, M.P)
29. Manisha Gupta (Pune)
30. Rajveer Pawar (General Secreatary Kisan Maha Punchayat, Delhi)
31. T. Vihayendra (Cerena Foundation, Hyderabad)
32. Dr. Arvind (Prof. Physics, Indian Institute of Science
Education and Research, Chandigarh)
33. Ashley Telis(Social Activist Delhi)
34. Nayan Jyoti (Social Activist Delhi)
35. Rukmini Rao (social Activist, Secunderabad, A.P)
36. Pradeep Esteves (Context India, Bangalore)
37. Sudha Reddy (Social Activist Bangalore)
38. Harsh Kapoor (South Asia Citizens Web)
39. Jyoti Punwani (Senior Journalist Munbai)
40. Prof. B.R. Bapuji (Prof. University of Hyderabad)
41. Vivek Sundara (Mumbai)
42. Sadanand Patwardhan (Indian First, Mumbai)
43. Dunu Roy (Hazards Centre, Delhi)
44. Ranjana Padhi (Women Against Sexual Violence and state Repression,
Pune)
45. S. R. Hiremath (National Committee for Protection of
Natural Resources, Dharwad, Karnataka)
46. Rohini Hensman (Social Activist, Mumbai)
47. Sayontoni (Independent Researcher Delhi)
48. Asha Kachru (Andhra Pradesh)
49. Vasundhara Jairath (Research Scholar Delhi University)
50. Preeti Sampat (Social Activist Delhi)
51. Benny Kurvila (Focus on Global South Delhi)
52. Sanat Mohanty (Editor, The South Asian Org)
53. Shankar Gopal Krishnan (Champaign For Survival and dignity
Delhi)
54. Pushpa Achanta (Freelance Writer, Bangalore)
55. Prakash Kumar Ray(Research Scholar, Cinema Studies J.N.U)
56. Amit Chakrovarty (Research Scholar, Economics JNU)
57. Subhasini Shryia (Student, Centre for Political Studies
JNU)
58. Seela Mahapatra (Social Activist, Delhi)
59. Asit Das (POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity Delhi)
60. Nayan Jyoti (Social Activist Delhi)
61. Mamta Dash (POSCO Pratirodh Soclidarity Delhi)
62. Subrat Kumar Sahoo (POSCO Pratirodh Solidarity, Delhi)
63. Rajnikant Mudgal (Harit Swaraj Abhiyan Delhi)
64. Bhuwan Pathak (Himalaya Swaraj Abhiyan Uttarakhand)
65. Amartya (Law Faculty Delhi University)
66. P.K. Sundaram (Research Scholar JNU)
67. Ritu Priya (CSMCH, JNU)
68. Vijay Pratap(Lok Sangharsh Morcha, Socialist Front)
69. Sadre Alam (Social Activist Delhi)
70. D.V. Natrajan (Chennai)
71. Shiraz Prabhu (Kashtakari Sangathana Thane, Maharashtra)
72. Manshi Asher (Independent Researcher and Activist, Himachal
Pradesh)
73. Kamayani Maha Bal (Lawer Activist, Mumbai)
74. Dr. John Dayal (All India Cotholic Union, Delhi)
75. Dr. Mira Shiva (Initiative for Health and Equity in Society, Delhi)
76. Ranganathan Manohar (SICHREM, Bangalore)
77. Gautam Bandopadhyaya (Nadi Ghati Morch, Chhatisgarh)
78. Vinod Raina (B.G.V.S., Delhi)
79. Jai Sen (CACIM, Delhi)
80. Satinath Sarangi (Bhopal Group of Information and Action
Bhopal)
81. Rachna Dhingra (Bhopal Group of Information and Action
Bhopal)
82. Rashida Bee (Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmachari Sangh
Bhopal)
83. Nawal Khan (Bhopal Gas Peedit Mahila Stationary Karmachari Sangh
Morcha Bhopal)
84. Safreen Khan (Children Against Dow Chemicals, Bhopal)
85. Gopal Krishna (Research Scholar JNU, Delhi)
86. Abha Mishra (SADED)
87. Sudha Bharadwaj (General Sect. PUCL, Chhattishgarh)
88. P.V. Rajgopal (Ekta Parishad)
89. Heera Singh MArkaan (Gondwana gana Tantra Party)
90. Com Sayra Yadav (CPIML, Chhattishgarh)
91. Harshlata Kanwar(Chhatisgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan)
92. Harprasad Agarwal(Chhattishgarh Sarvoday Sangh)
93. Rashmi Dwivedi(Baiga Mahapanchayat, Chhattisgarh)
94. Vijendra (Joinst Secreatary PUCL Chhattisgarh)
95. Gyanesh Dubey (Jagriti Nagaridk Monch, Chhattishgarh)
96. Gauri Chatri (Chhattishgarh Bal Sharamik Sangh)
97. Harshlata Kanwar (Chhatishgarh Mahila Jagriti Sangathan)
98. Agnu Ram (Ekta Parishad Bastar)
99. Shashi Sail (National Alliance of Women)
100. Goldy George (Dalit Mukti Morcha Chhattishgarh)
101. Kumud Nandgave (INSAF, Chhattishgarh)
102. Com C.R. Baxi (Adivasi Mahasabha, Chhatisgarh)
103. Com CL Patel (Chhatisgarh Bachao Andolan)
104. Ranjana Belekar (Domestic Workers Union Chhattishgarh)
105. Jagadish G Chandra (New Socialist Alternative – CWI India and Convenor, People’s Solidarity Concerns – Bangalore)