Archive for the ‘Land Acquisition’ Category

Posco: State Violence’s Fait Accompli.

5 July 2013
Jagatsinghpur district collector S K Mallick told TehelkaWe have acquired 2,700 acres of land for Posco’s first phase of 8 mtpa capacity steel mill. The local administration acquired 700 acres of land during this last phase“. He did not say he *acquired* these 700 acres by demolishing vibrant albeit micro-economy of “Betel Vines”, which sustained hundreds of landless poor families, who had bitterly but through democratic and peaceful methods resisted for long violent onslaught of heartless government of Naveen Patnaik. Previous attempts at forceful land alienation had to be called off because the “desperate and novel ways” of resistance by project affected families caught Media fancy, may be in the absence of more *newsworthy bytes*.

The above use of “children” in an *adult* movement raised a hue and cry from  some *well meaning* but cocooned commentators who were alien to ground realities: Violation of children’s  rights, Abuse of children, were the common refrains. In fact, tt was a plaintive cry from beleaguered Govindpur village to express their utter helplessness before the might of the state. If livelihoods of families are destroyed, what would happen to the present and future of children?  Desperate times demanded desperate measures. That time state was stopped in its track, not out of any well of humanity that sprung in its bosom, but because of the media glare out there to see a *spectacle. That media is now occupied elsewhere with more newsy bits to care for the poor of Govindpur. Finally it seems Patnaik government succeeded in its design as the land broker of Posco yesterday, “acquisition for the South Korean steel major Posco’s proposed steel plant near Paradip was completed on Thursday with the Odisha government demolishing 25 more betel vines (sic)at Gobindpur village in the east Indian state of Odisha, official sources said“. After mercilessly beating and uprooting the people much against their will, Collector now seeks to apply*band aid* by asking Posco for its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) plan. He also denied flatly *use of force* in the five phase land acquisition process in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.
The lady is unarmed. She stands presumably in her betel vine plot, and looks poor. The security man is yielding a lathi, threatening to hit her if she doesn’t move out. Yet, district collector says no force was used. What is the lesson the State is giving its subjects? Government doesn’t believe in talks, it doesn’t care to find out people’s concerns and problems, it doesn’t listen to peaceful protests, it always favours the rich, the corporations, even foreign multinationals, but has no sympathies for the poor. What is the lesson people will learn? Government doesn’t care for the welfare of the poor. Poor will have to look after their own interests. Force works best, didn’t you see it has worked for the government? So, bear the arms to make lives bearable. Is this what the center and state governments concerned over Maoist violence want? For SEZ, Airports, Industrial Corridors, Dams, Mining, Power and big ticket projects; the government can make *available* tens of thousands of acres or even hectares of land, but can’t leave alone 700 acres of the poor people. What holds for land, soon will hold true for water when center manages to push through its *right to 25 liters/day per capita* water bill from the current unrealised policy pronouncement of 135 liters/day. Right to Food, and Right to Education (6-14 years) have already compromised government’s earlier unrealised promises and Constitution’s mandate (right of education from birth). Now, the government should bring in Right to Land bill that gives 6′ x 3′ to every citiznen. 
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POSCO RESISTANCE UPDATE: In spite of heavy protest, the Odisha government is continuing the forceful land acquisition for Posco in Jagatsinghpur district. The betel vine owners were beaten up and their vineyards destroyed at gunpoint. The police had used physical force to carry on with the demolition drive despite their protests. Our people protested and refused to give in. However the policemen mercilessly beat them up and pulled them away from the betel vines. Even they didn’t allow our villagers to take back our necessary tools like motor pumps, polythene sheets and other tools from the farm land. The administration is playing double standards. They are using police force to acquire land while making false claims that work was going on with the consent of the people. Our villagers have intensified the stir during last few days and vowed not to hand over ‘a single inch of land’ to the Jagatsinghpur administration. We earnestly appeal you to keep writing and calling the following authorities to stop this forceful land acquisition.
Kindly circulate this mail widely.

Dear All,

In spite of heavy protest, the Odisha government is continuing the forceful land acquisition for Posco in Jagatsinghpur district. The betel vine owners were beaten up and their vineyards destroyed at gunpoint. The police had used physical force to carry on with the demolition drive despite their protests. Our people protested and refused to give in. However the policemen mercilessly beat them up and pulled them away from the betel vines. Even they didn’t allow our villagers to take back our necessary tools like motor pumps, polythene sheets and other tools from the farm land.

The administration is playing double standards. They are using police force to acquire land while making false claims that work was going on with the consent of the people.

Our villagers have intensified the stir during last few days and vowed not to hand over ‘a single inch of land’ to the Jagatsinghpur administration.

We earnestly appeal you to keep writing and calling the following authorities to stop this forceful land acquisition. Kindly circulate this mail widely.

In Solidarity, Prashant Paikary
Spokesperson, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
Mobile no-09437571547
E-Mail – prashantpaikary@gmail.com
You can call/write to the following :

1. Naveen Patnaik
Chief Minister, Odishas
Tel. No.(O) 011 91 674 2531100,011 91 674 2535100,
011 91 674 2531500, Epbax 2163
Tel. No.(R) 011 91 674 2590299, 011 91 674 2591099,
011 91 674 2590844, 011 91 674 2591100,
Fax No- (91)6742535100
E Mail: cmo@ori.nic.in

2. Dr. S.C. Jamir, Governor of Odisha, Fax No- (91)6742536582
3. Shri Jugal Mohapatra , Chief Secretary, E-mail: csori@ori.nic.

Phone no – 0674 – 2536700
0674 – 2534300
0674 – 2322196
Fax No – 0674 – 2536660

3. S.K. Mallick , District Collector, Jagatsinghpur, Contact number 09437239444, Fax no – : (91)6724220299
4. P. Satyabrata Bhoi, Superintendent of Police, Mobile no-09437094678,dmjsp@ori.nic.in

5. Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Tel no-+9111-23016857
e mail: manmohan@sansad.in

6. Sonia Gandhi: Tel Phone no – (91)11-23014161, (91)11-23012656, Fax- (91)112301865, soniagandhi@sansad.nic.in,
7. 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

8. Shri. V.Kishore Chandra Deo
Minister of Tribal Affairs
Ministry of Tribal Affairs,
Room No. 400 ‘B’ Wing, Shastri Bhawan,
New Delhi- 110001

vk.deo@sansad.nic.in

9. Smt. Jayanthi Natarajan
Minister of Environment & Forests
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryavaran Bhawan,
CGO Complex, Lodhi Road
New Delhi-110003
mosefgoi@nic.in

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