Tag Archives: posco

[Resist POSCO] Open Letter to Naveen Pattnaik, CM of Odisha State Re: POSCO-related Attacks on Villagers

Open Letter by Korean Organisations to Naveen Pattnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha State, India

The Chief Minister of Odisha State, Naveen Pattnaik
Odisha, India
March 23, 2012

We -human rights, labor, and civic organizations in Korea- are writing to you with our deep concern regarding the current attacks continuously made to villagers who are opposing the construction of POSCO steel plant.

Even 6 years have been passed since the project in Odisha State had begun, POSCO could never have had approval from the villagers. And conflicts surrounding the construction of ironworks are continued.

The villagers made their peaceful resistance lying down on the roads while the government of Odisha State mobilizing the police to take their lands by force. This was on the rise to international community, including Korea, as a human rights issue.

Recent few months, however, the villagers and Anti-POSCO activists are being attacked by anonymous groups of armed men. On December 14, one person was killed and many were injured by a group of armed mafias while protesting. Bapi Sharkel is suspected to be the leader of this attack, however, Odisha police had not made proper investigation on this. Rather, questions are suggested that Odisha State is securing him.

Odisha State had not made fair work on Bapi Sarkhel, principal offender of the violence on December 14, and even had released him on February 29. And after 2 days from his release, another villager was attacked by an unidentified armed man.

A group of armed men came around 1PM on March 2, 2012 and took away Umakant Biswal, a known activist of the Anti-POSCO struggle. We got reports that he has been kept in Paradip police station and is being physically and mentally tortured. We do not know whether the attackers were the police, or the group of Bapi Sarkhel. What is certain, however, is that Umakant Biswal, who was injured, could not exercise his legal rights. We are aware of the fact that, as per the Indian Criminal code, the police are supposed to produce him before the magistrate within 24 hours of arrest. However, more than 24 hours have passed but he has not been produced before the magistrate. No one including the villagers, lawyer or even the parents is allowed to meet him in the police station.

We are concerning on the reason that why Bapi Sarkhel didn’t went through appropriate investigation and the testimony that he had received all kind of conveniences. Also, we strongly question the correlation between his release and the violence 2 days after that. If POSCO and the Odisha State government who wants to push ahead the construction are behind this series of incidents, this is gross abuse of human rights as well as significant part that damages the legitimacy of POSCO project.

There are many cases in korea which government and corporations oppressed the resistance of civilians by mobilizing gangsters over developments. The development project that does not protect right to life and right to live could never be successful.

We request Naveen Pattnaik, the Chief Minister of Odisha State

– To make thorough investigation into Bapi Sarkhel, including the criminals of the violence on December 14, 2011.

– To punish the offenders who had attacked Umakant Biswal and the police who had violated the article 57 of the code of criminal procedure and had refused to hospitalizing and conference with attorney.

– To stop the suppression on the villagers who oppose the construction of POSCO.

– Not to push ahead the construction without the consent of villagers.

Sincerely yours,

Advocates Public Interests Lawyers
Corporation For All
Energy & Climate Policy Institute for Just Transition
International Solidarity Committee of Minbyun
Korean House for International Solidarity
Korean Lawyers for Public Interest and Human Rights
Network for Glocal Activism
People’s Solidarity for Participatory Democracy
People’s Solidarity for Social Progress
Public Interest Lawyers’ Group Gonggam
SARANGBANG group for human rights

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[Resist POSCO] More Leaders of the Anti-POSCO Movement still in Jail under False Charges – Join the Struggle

Though Abhai Sahoo, the leader of anti-POSCO movement, was released on bail, there are five more activists, including former CPI MLA Narayan Reddy, from the movement is still in jail with fabricated false charges. The police also fabricated cases against Prasanth Paikre, the second most leader of the movement, and he is now in underground. Odisha State Government and police are trying to suppress the movement by fabricating false cases against leaders and activists. Around 800 activists are facing 200 fabricated false cases in the anti-POSCO movement. The movement is struggling hard to mobilize finance and legal help for those who are in jail. Please call up on your friends to mobilize support for the anti-POSCO movement.

One of the comments from this post:

Thanks for asking if you can do something. All of us can do a lot within our limitations. Please see if you can involve yourself in either one or more of the following actions: 1. You can make more friends in this group and ask your friends to make more friends and supporters for the anti-POSCO struggle. 2. The struggle needs financial resources. If you can collect support, we can connect you to the right person in the movement. 3. The struggle needs support of various skills, in writing, medical care, posters, video documentation, legal aid, etc. Perhaps you may be able to contribute in any of these. 4. Support through solidarity meetings or protests needs to be organised in different parts of the country. This is also one of the areas of involvement. 5. Fact-finding teams can be sent to the anti-POSCO movement and then, such a report can be publicised. And I am sure, if all of us think together, many other ways of support can be thought of. Do respond.

Here’s the facebook group: Resist POSCO

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[Resist POSCO] Young Activist of Anti-POSCO Struggle Got Arrested — Sidarth Patra

Young Activist of Anti-POSCO Struggle Got Arrested

Young activist Sidarth Patra of Anti-POSCO movement got arrested. Sidarth Patro is only 23 years old and he was arrested by Kujang police at 9 PM on March 15 (Thursday). Around 1,500 people from the movement got arrest warrants. Among them, 300 are women. The activists and people are closed themselves inside Dhinkia village and if they get out from there they will be arrested. Please condemn the police action, express solidarity and circulate the information.

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Abhay Sahoo Released!

Intercultural Resources

Dear friends,

It comes as a matter of cheer that our leader Abhay Sahoo, against whom false charge of giving protection to an accused in an alleged dowry death in Dhinkia Panchayat was clamped, has been granted bail by the Honourable High Court of Odisha, and has been released from Choudwar jail at 5 pm on 14th April 2012 as per the direction of the lower court. False charges under SC/ST atrocities Act was also clamped against him by the local administration. In both the cases he has been granted bail.

After release, Abhay Sahoo thanked all friends and well wishers who have stood for our cause of fighting against POSCO. It’s a victory of the people in struggle. We expect Judiciary to stand up to the cause and defend fundamental rights of citizen.

With the release of our leader, our resolve to fight against the company and…

View original post 136 more words

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[Posters] Illegally Detained, Falsely Charged, Political Prisoners of Conscience in India







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Statement from Coalition for Protection of Human Rights Defenders (CPHRD)

The Coalition for Protection of Human Rights’ Defenders (CPHRD) strongly condemns the police firing on Umakant Biswal, a young anti-POSCO movement activist and farmer from Dhinkia village district of Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha

According to the information received by us from activist friends in Dhinkia, on 2nd of March 2012, while Mr. Bisawal was working on his farm near the village, the Police came on motor cycle in civil dress to arrest him, after recognizing them he tried to run away but was shot in leg and subsequently arrested. We are also told that, Mr. Bisawal has been tortured in custody. […]

Read the full statement here.

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[Newzfirst] Anti-POSCO activist shot and arrested in Odisha (Umakant Biswal)

DHINKIA – Umakant Biswal a young anti POSCO activist and a farmer from Dhinkia was shot and arrested yesterday when he was working on the farm near the village. Police came on motor cycle in civil dress to arrest him, after recognizing them Umakant tried to run away but was shot in leg and later arrested.

According to the villagers he was tortured in custody after being arrested as well. He was taken to Police Station in Paradip.

Read the full article here.

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