Hundreds of armed police are invading Govindpur Village (the Centre of Anti -Posco struggle) after the Chief Minister of Odisha, Naveen Pattnaik, gave his consent for armed intervention. One police platoon has actually entered the forest area to break down the people’s beetle vines which provide them with their livelihood. The people of the movement against POSCO (the PPSS) have been peacefully protesting at the Govindpur village border against the forceful land acquisition on behalf of the Korea-based multinational, POSCO.
This struggle has been going on for nearly six years and is now dangerously edging towards a definitive and bloody clash. On the one side are the people of the panchayat (municipality) of Dhinkia and Gobindpur – men, women, children - people of all ages. Three thousand of them have formed a human barricade in the border area against 26 platoons of riot police who are ready to attack at any time. Denied access to the outside world for nearly six years now and overcoming every kind of hardship imaginable, these people are today willing to take the ultimate step rather than give up their precious land. This is a uniquely self-sufficient and sustainable community of beetle vine growers and fisherfolk. They have enjoyed a totally favourable environment for their way of life as long as anyone can remember. Now they are facing complete annihilation in the face of an imminent police crackdown, under the direct orders of the government and the corporate bosses they serve.
We are therefore demanding:
- An immediate halt of the police action against innocent civilians, fisherfolk and poor peasants and the withdrawal of police forces from the whole village area
- All those arrested must be released immediately without any charges or conditions
- Arrange emergency care and aid for those injured already in the attack
- Rebuild, with full compensation, any homes and farms lost in the police attack
- Hold to account the corporations and the central and state authorities responsible for the illegal land acquisition for the POSCO project
- Immediate scrapping of the POSCO project from Odisha
We extend our complete solidarity and support in the people’s movement against POSCO - the workers, peasants and poor villagers who are struggling to defend their land, homes and livelihoods against this violent and brutal assault being carried out by a big capitalist conglomerate in league with the state and national governments. We ask you to do the same.
Please also, if possible, call the government authorities and lodge your protest.
Superintendent of Police, Debadutta Singh. Mobile no-09437094678
Dr Manmohan Singh, Prime Minister of India
Yours in Solidarity and Struggle,
Jagadish G Chandra
New Socialist Alternative(CWI-India)