As you may know from the media about recent the statement by Odisha’s
Industry Minister, Devi Prasad Mishra that “POSCO confirmed the
withdrawal of its project by requesting the Odisha government to take
back the land transferred in its name”. We strongly believe this is not
just a victory for our people but also the victory for the all the
peasants, fisher folks, forest dwellers who are democratically fighting
to protect their land, livelihood and environment. This is a victory
against false propaganda, intimidation, false cases and threats of
forcible eviction. This is a victory against the invasion by a global
capitalist giant like POSCO in partnership with the Central and State
Governments. Since this Special Economic Zone (SEZ) project was the
largest Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) investment in this country, it
has to be treated as a symbol of struggle against globalization and
We sincerely convey our thanks to all activists, organizations, people’s
movements, progressive intellectuals, like minded Political Parties,
media and concerned individuals who have extended support to our
We strongly condemn the Odisha government’s decision; land acquired and
transferred to POSCO will be kept in the Land Bank. The statement of
Odisha’s Industry Minister, Devi Prasad Mishra in the Assembly of Odisha
was “Steps are being taken for fencing the land by Odisha Industrial
Infrastructure Development Corporation (IDCO)”. This is illegal,
undemocratic, anti-peasants, and unwarranted. The Odisha government must
follow the Supreme Court decision on the pattern of Singur where land
of farmers acquired by Tata's Nano plant in West Bengal was returned to
The government of Odisha must respect the unanimous resolution by
Dhinkia Gram Sabha ( Panchayat level assembly of adult members) i.e.
on 18th of October 2012 , where more than 2000 people participated in
the meeting and resolved that the land used for beetle vine cultivation
is clearly under the rights provided to the Gram Sabha under the Forest
Rights Act, 2006. Claims on the forest lands approved and recommended
by the Palli Sabhas of villages (Dhinkia, Govindpur…) are still pending
for recognition and no step has been taken to recognize their rights. We
are strongly determined to reoccupy our farm lands and reconstruct our
vineyards for the cultivation of betel leaves.
Over the last 12 years, our villagers have had to pay a heavy price for
their peaceful opposition to the project in order to protect our
habitat for future generations. The prove to the indiscriminate brutal
repression on the citizens of the country lies in the fact that four
persons have so far been killed and many injured in clashes.
Several leaders of the movement have been jailed multiple times. Till
now more than 2000 warrants have been issued against the people and more
than 400 false cases both men and women have been registered at the
Kujang police station since 2005. There have been also multiple
instances where police and the goons supported by POSCO have unleashed a
reign of terror in the area. Till today, many villagers cannot come out
of their villages even for their hospitalization, due to the threat of
arrests. This approach of false arrest and intimidation by the
government only perpetuates injustice and ruins the democratic fabric of
In the year 2012, The district administration of Jagatsinghpur along
with the Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha ( IDCO) had
chopped down the over 1,70,000 trees in our nearby villages for the
benefit of a private company like POSCO. The trees like mangroves,
cashew nut, betel vines, fruit bearing trees and casuarinas forest. In
1999 Super Cyclone, our villages were not devastated by nature’s fury as
the green cover and sand dunes protected us from the surging tidal
waves, whereas more than 10,000 persons perished in the nearby Kujang
and Earasama blocks of Jagatsinghpur district . After cutting the
trees, our villages became perpetually vulnerable to the cyclones.
Though, it’s impossible to substitute the natural forest, we strongly
demand that the government must pay compensation to our villagers who
are depending on these trees for their livelihoods and start massive
plantation of eco friendly trees in our nearby villages.
We demand the government of Odisha to
1. Compensation on humanitarian grounds to the families of
the deceased and widow who were killed in the bomb blast and proper medical help for the injured person.
2. Return the land taken from our villagers immediately to
their owners without taking any pretext.
3. Recognize our claims on rights over forest land as per FRA 2006.
4. Withdrawal of all fabricated and false cases against our
villagers and activists.
5. Compensation to the persons whose beetle vines were
destroyed by the government.
Hoping for Support and Solidarity,
POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
E-Mail - firstname.lastname@example.org