The Odisha police have called in heavy reinforcements and are moving into positions all evening around the villages of Dhinkia and Gobindpur in Jagatsinghpur District of Odisha state. These villages form the epicentre of over 6 years of successful peaceful resistance to the scandalous POSCO steel-mining-power-port project – the world’s largest. This project is being pushed through by Odisha and Indian Governments in blatant violation of fundamental rights and a variety of environmental and economic laws of India.
According to confirmed sources within the Odisha establishment, the attack on this peaceful resistance is more than likely early morning tomorrow, if the police do not unleash terror overnight. The resilient people of these villages including women, children, elders, youth and men are holding overnight vigils along the borders of their villages now and will stay so till the police withdraw.
An alarming aspect of such abuse of police powers is that over 26 platoons of police have been mobilised around these villages over the past two weeks. Such heavy police presence betrays the Odisha Government’s claims that the acquisition of land for the project is peaceful.
The current Senior Police Officer in charge of the operation is the former Superintendent of Police of Kalinganagar, who had ordered firing on villagers protesting the Tata Steel plant, killing many tribals and injuring scores more. Under this officer’s ruthless leadership, the Odisha police has effectively declared an emergency on the resisting villages, completely halting normal life over the past several weeks. It is more than likely now that a needless carnage will result because of the such strong arm tactics of the police.
On behalf of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samithi (PPSS), this urgent release is being made requesting your earliest attention to this impending disaster.
For more details about the ground situation, please contact:
Prashant Paikray, Spokesperson, PPSS: Cell: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ranjan Swain of PPSS: Cell: 09178643193