Posco: Civil rights groups will stand by agitation

Social activist Medha Patkar demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visit the area immediately.

Paradip: Social activist Medha Patkar on Monday said civil rights groups would stand by the people agitating against Posco`s mega steel project in Orissa`s Jagathsinghpur district and demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik visit the area immediately.

Accusing the Chief Minister of adopting a callous attitude towards villagers, Patkar asked, "Why can`t Naveen come down to Dhinkia for the people while he rushes to Delhi for talks with the South Korean President for the Posco project."

"Why are you using the police to beat up villagers for a foreign company? Is not it illegal to acquire land of farmers without their consent? The state government and the Centre have no right to acquire land at gunpoint," Patkar told protestors who have been on dharna at Gobindpur for the last 14 days.

Stating that the Chief Minister must take the consent of the people before attempting to acquire land, she claimed "the state government`s action was unheard of even during
British Rule”.

Stating that she had earlier drawn the attention of the Chief Minister on the multi-crop land in Dhinkia, Patkar criticised the Ministry of Environment and Forest its minister
Jairam Ramesh for according forest and environment clearance to the Posco project.

"We will stage a demonstration before Parliament opposing the Land Acquisition Bill," she said.

Patkar was also critical over Posco`s proposed port project.


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