The project to be set up by the world's sixth-largest steelmaker has been caught up in a regulatory maze for the past decade, but the company had waited in the hope of getting preferential access to iron ore in Odisha. But steel and mines minister Narendra Singh Tomar on Thursday ruled out an exception to an executive order mandating auctions for all new mines. The government's decision, however, goes against the recommendation of Odisha to grant POSCO a mine without an auction.
Voices of the People vs.
Photograph by Sanjit Das. Brief excerpts from the executive summary of the fact-finding report by a team of three from Alternative Law Forum and Delhi Forum, after a visit to the Dhinkia panchayat, consisting of the three villages of Dhinkia, Govindpur and Paatna, in Odisha, between 22nd December to 24th December Dhinkia, Gadakujanga and Naogaon.
In response to this resistance, the State Government has been using the tactic of the abuse of the criminal system to file numerous false criminal complaints against all persons resisting the project, including members of the PPSS leading to threats of arrest perpetually hanging over them.
The report outlined the following impacts of police actions — The filing of false cases to curb this fundamental freedom of the people is nothing short of an attack on the democratic process and the values embedded in the Constitution.
The filing of cases and warrants against almost persons has resulted in the targeting of entire villages, who are under constant threat of arrest and have not left the villages in years, and whenever they do leave, are constrained to do so surreptitiously. In many cases, entire families have been implicated, resulting in none of them leaving the village for years on end.
The inability to leave the village has resulted in a complete lack of access to medicines or any medical treatment to the villagers.
A team of doctors who visited these villages found that at least 30 women needed urgent medical intervention, else their condition would deteriorate.
Most arrests of persons take took place when villagers were compelled to leave the village to visit the doctor requiring medical assistance. The inability to leave the village and maintain business ties has adversely impacted this trade which is the major source of livelihood for them The Government has taken other forms of coercive action, and terminated government employees for having protested against the POSCO Project, including Shri Babaji Charan Samantara, who worked as postmaster in Dhinkia for 28 years and Shri Kailash Chandra Biswas was employed as a high school peon, at the Government School, Dhinkia, for over 20 years.
Over the last 8 years, the Government has made innumerable attempts to break the struggle against POSCO by employing various arm-twisting tactics.
However, what is perhaps the greatest betrayal of the State against its own people, is the use of the criminal system to implicate villagers in a large number of false cases to intimidate them, instill fear in them and break them into submission.
These are the days of emergency. A rapidly engulfing emergency where the State is using every underhand trick in the book to counter the legitimate and peaceful voices of dissent. These are the days where the State does not even batter an eyelid while using water cannons on protestors against violence against women on the streets of Delhi, all under the glare of the media.
Far away, where there are no cameras, no soundbites, the suppression is violent, illegal and with impunity. Our visits have revealed one character of the villagers and that is their indomitable spirit and quest for a peaceful and undisturbed life. And this is why we have to all join hands and mobilize all democratic means to end this continuing violence to give real meaning to our constitutional ideals.
In the light of the above, we make the following demands: Cases must be immediately registered in regard to the violence perpetrated against the villagers of POSCO affect areas including but not restricted to the following: The Government should immediately conduct an enquiry into the abuse of the criminal system to target villagers and take necessary action against all officials who are involved in the filing of false cases against villagers resisting the POSCO steel plant.
The Government should respect and protect the constitutional rights of the villagers to protest and conduct itself in a democratic manner Voices of the People vs. These videos bring to you the voices from the ground and why the people are so opposed to the construction of the steel plant in the area.Executive plombier-nemours.com - Google Drive Main menu.
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Looking ahead, Kim Gwang-soo, executive vice president of POSCO, told an earnings' call with analysts that steel prices are expected to stay strong in the fourth quarter on solid demand, helping the company's fourth-quarter profit remain firm.