Democracy and our right to dissent and protest are being brutally assaulted by the so called democratic government of the state. As opposed to the government’s backhanded tactics, the people’s movement has been determined, non-violent and democratic. False propaganda, intimidation, false cases and threats of forcible eviction have not demoralized our people and we are doubly determined to take the struggle to its logical end.
Please join us in calling on Shri. Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Odisha to withdraw the heavy deployment of police in our area and stop the diversion of forest land. Demand that the people be given the right to land.
Dear Chief Minister Patnaik:
Since June 28, police platoons deployed in Govindpur village, Jagatsinghpur district have been
attempting to forcibly acquire land for the project. According to reports received, on June 28,
police officers attacked protestors using lathis (batons) injuring approximately 20 people.
Several residents whose betel vineyards were demolished by the police attempted to commit
suicide in desperation, and at least one protestor was arrested by the police. These attempts to
forcibly and violently acquire land are ongoing, and, according to our investigations, are in clear
violation of Indian and international law.
As detailedreport BY escr —http://www.escr-net.org/node/365209 The Price of Steel: Human Rights and Forced Evictions in the POSCO-India Project—international legal standards require that India exhaust all feasible alternatives to forced evictions; engage in genuine consultation with project-affected communities; ensure the provision of adequate compensation for affected properties; and follow procedures established by law. We find that Indian authorities have systematically failed to live up to each and every one of these standards.
In addition, under India’s Forest Rights Act, it is illegal for the government to evict any forest
dwellers until their rights claims have been fully determined, and then the government must
secure the consent of recognized forest dwelling communities before diverting forested land.
Affected communities, who have claimed status as forest dwellers, have passed several gram
sabha or village resolutions fervently rejecting the diversion of land for the POSCO-India
project, resolutions that the Indian government has effectively ignored.
Indian authorities have actively targeted those who speak out against the POSCO-India project with violence and arbitrary arrests and detentions. Local police have barricaded villages, occupied schools, leveled thousands of homes, allegedly fabricated criminal charges against individuals opposing the project, and refused to protect individuals from consistent and sometimes fatal attacks by private actors who are allegedly motivated by the interests of the company and of the State.
As a result of these abuses, for the past eight years, entire communities in the project-affected area have been living under siege and have suffered clear violations of their rights to security of person and freedom of movement; their rights to be free from arbitrary arrest and detention; and their right to be free from discrimination—particularly on the basis of political or other opinions. Living under siege has also resulted in significant disruptions to many villagers’ ability to access health care, schools, markets, and crops, undermining their rights to health, education, work, and food.
The Indian government to suspend the POSCO-India project until and unless it complies with all international human rights standards and domestic law; cease all attempts at forced evictions and land acquisition; cease the excessive use of force and of arbitrary arrests and detentions; and ensure project-affected communities unencumbered access to health care, education, work, and adequate food.
The Republic of Korea to take all necessary steps to ensure that POSCO respects human rights throughout the course of its activities, including by establishing a legislative framework to regulate the overseas activities of Korean companies.
POSCO and its wholly-owned subsidiary, POSCO-India, to fully implement its commitment to uphold human rights; comply with all relevant domestic laws; and provide for or cooperate in the remediation of any adverse impacts to date.
POSCO’s international investors—including Berkshire Hathaway (whose CEO is Warren Buffett), ABP, Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM), Bank of New York Mellon, Blackrock, Deutsche Bank, and JPMorgan Chase—to leverage their influence as investors to ensure that POSCO respects the rights of all communities affected by the POSCO-India project