Struggle against POSCO continues……

10 Feb 2012, Jagatsinghpur

The Yatra reached reached Dinkiya village, District Jagatsinghpur on February 10 where a public meeting was organized by the Posco Struggle Committee. Leader of struggle committee, Shishir Mahapatra shared that an agreement was reached between the state government and the Korean Company, Posco on 22 June 2005 and 4004 acre land were given to the company for developing industrial unit. A major portion of this land has been used for agriculture, growing Beetle nut leaves and for fishing by the farmers for decades. . Most of the families are living on this land for last six generation for which, they have applied for land entitlement under Forest Right Act (FRA). However, their application has not been considered yet. They shared that under govt. protection and support, Posco’s muscle men are harassing the farmers. In Dikia village, approx 2000 acre of land has been acquired forcefully and money has been deposited in most of the farmers account forcefully. They shared that through the Struggle Committees, people of Trilochanpur, Govindpuri, Dikia and Patan are protesting against land acquisition. They raised a question that in Dinkia region where labour charge is Rs. 300 per day and thousands of farmers are

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leading a self reliant life on agriculture, for how many years POSCO can give employment to the people? They said that government’s claim of providing employment is a false statement. Manorama of POSCO struggle committee shared that till now, 1200 cases have been registered against members of struggle committee and approx. 50 people have been sent to jail on false charges. Abhay Sahu, Narayan Reddy, Jayant Bibal, Nath Samal and Surveshwar Sahu are still in jail. She shared that six gates have been constructed by the villager around the village since April 2006 and 10 -10 villagers take turns and keep a vigil, watching regularly so that no agents of company and other mafia can enter into the village.

They requested Shri Rajagopal, Leader of the Jansatyagraha that collective efforts should be made to highlight this struggle against POSCO at the international level. They promised that the POSCO struggle committee will take part in Oct 2012 yatra. The next stop of the Yatra was Nalipur village, Kendrapada district where a meeting was organized with women by the Abhigyan oragnisation. Mr. Madhusudan Das, Head of the organization shared that this is the most backward village of the Kendrapada district, where more than eighty percent dalits are landless. Besides this, due to proximity with Paradeep port, majority of land is being bought by the industries and there is no plan to allocate land to poor landless. Shri Sajankumar Nayak, village Bahujan shared that for the last 40 years, twelve dalits families are living in huts made on government land. They have filed application under Mo Jamee Mo Dida (give me my land campaign/FRA) but till today, nothing has been done. Sayanta Malik of village Neelpur shared that about two hundred landless dalits families have been living in this area for the last three generation out of which, about fifty families are on jamindar’s(landlord’s) land while the rest are on govt. land. Despite filing applications in different government departments, they have not got the patta for homestead or agricultural land. Shri Madhusan Das promised that two hundred landless dalits will participate in the the jansatyagraha.

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