The following is the statement by the anti – POSCO movement, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) on the recent attacks on the protesters by the hired goons of the government and POSCO, with rods and petrol bombs, critically injuring many. After a lull in the Orissa government push to illegally acquire the land for POSCO, they are back once again, this time in the form of a private militia linked to the ruling BJD party in Orissa. The Orissa government is trying by any means necessary to cow down the peasants and fisher folk of Dhinkia, Gobindpur and Nuagaon to give up on their precious land for the POSCO project.
Even the High Court it seems is not immune to the influence of POSCO especially in their recent judgement (8th September) on a PIL related to POSCO. While observing gross violation by the government in the forest act and land acquisition process, the court clearly favouring POSCO, said that projects like these (India’s largest FDI) cannot be held ransom by such laws!
While the police continue to intimidate the people, the relentless move to cut down the trees in the forest land continue to gather pace with over 60,000 casuarina trees already chopped off and 6 lakh more to go. It is also worth mentioning that these trees have acted as cushions against cyclones that have affected these regions in the past. Over 27 lakh people have been affected by the recent monsoon floods in coastal Orissa. Even the vagaries of nature it seems is conniving with Orissa govt. and POSCO, which might one fine day wash off all the protesters!!
Today, about 400 armed goons of POSCO attacked our villagers at Govindpur village with rod, sticks and hand-bombs at 8.30 AM. In this sudden attack, more than 30 villagers have been injured including 6 women; two people are critically injured. These injured are not able to go for treatment to the nearest hospital in fear of arrest as police has already booked false cases against them in the earlier incidents.
This is a new trick made by the government and POSCO to enter into our area. The government made a plan to build a coastal road along the beach from the Indian Oil Refinery complex to the port near to our village for POSCO. As you know that we have prevented the entry of the police from the side of the land mass by peacefully sitting in Dharna, the government is considering this as an alternative road to make entry from sea side. The construction has been contracted to Paradeep Paribahan, a private company led by Bapi Circle. On 19th of August 2011, the government has laid the foundation for road construction. On 20th of August, around 400 people including the contractor and workers were proceeding to the site during the day; our people protested the move and chased them away.
Today, Bapi Circle who is also known as mafia leader from the ruling party Biju Janata Dal ( BJD), brought armed goons from outside the area and lead the attack . Our villagers are chased with sticks and bombs are also being thrown on our unarmed villagers. The leader of the Contractors association has admitted to have attacked the people in front of electronic media. Police did not arrive in the place. Now, our people are in high alert to face any imminent attack by private militia. Our villagers are strongly determined not to allow the construction of the road.
We request all of you to strongly condemned this heinous attack and expose this unholy nexus between POSCO and the state government in a strong word. This is a very planned and calculated move to crush our peaceful democratic movement against the forceful displacement. The malicious plan of the government to project all this situation as a law and order problem in the media and accordingly police will enter in to our area. This is nothing but a very shameful act of POSCO to terrorize the villagers. We all are determined to continue our struggle democratically,
We shall inform you the further developments here.
Kindly circulate this mail widely.
Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
Mobile no – 09437571547