BHUBANESWAR: The furore against the state government resuming land acquisition for South Korean steel giant Posco seems to be spilling out of national borders with Netherland-based Friends of the Earth International appealing to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, chief minister Naveen Patnaik and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) to stop police ‘excesses’ at the proposed Posco site in Jagatsinghpur district.
The foreign NGO, which has been fighting for environmental protection, has termed the recent police action on villagers, including women and children, not willing to part with their lands for Posco as barbaric. A letter sent to the CM in this regard, was signed by 25 representatives of the organization, which has members in 72 countries. “We are concerned about the barbaric action of police and paramilitary forces at the proposed Posco site. We have come to know that paramilitary forces are mercilessly beating up women and children in the villages where lands are being acquired. This brutal action to forcefully evict the villagers and give land on a platter to Posco is a blatant violation of laws of India and international legal standards,” the letter read. “We appeal to you to stop the police brutality, withdraw police force and initiate inquiry into violations of human rights,” the letter said. It further pointed to the fact that the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has already suspended the environment clearance to Posco.
Though the state government has stopped land acquisition in the face of stiff opposition by villagers, the halt is said to be temporary.
[Source — Times of India]