Appeal: Stop repression against villagers of Dhinkia, Odisha
Writers, Artists, Advocates and Celebrities. Dhinkia demands protection of human rights and livelihoods of local villagers of Odisha
South Korea’s POSCO pulled out of Odisha due to prolonged struggles by local communities. However, the Odisha state government allows Jindal to seize the land and livelihood of the same local villagers. There is a struggle to protect local resources, livelihoods, human rights and the environment.
Instead of solving people’s problems, the state government resorted to harsh repressive methods against activists and local villagers. The Jindal-POSCO Pratirodh Committee, which has led the local communities’ struggle against such severe repression, has demanded the immediate release of all the prisoners and the withdrawal of the Jindhal company that seized their land.
In this context, many writers, artists, human rights activists, academics, organizations and many prominent personalities have demanded the withdrawal of Jindhal, the protection of the land and environment of local villagers and the release of activist prisoners. President of India. They appealed to the civil society, distributed the petition and called to expand this campaign.
The application can be confirmed through the following link: https://www.change.org/IStandWithDhinkia
We also ask you to send this petition to your social media contacts and networks.
Dear Draupadi Murmu,
President of India.
We, the following human rights activists, artists, writers, people’s movements, academics, cultural figures and social organizations would like to bring to your attention the oppression of the Odisha government against the Odisha Dhinkia people since 2011. last 17 years. It is to hold the sword of the settlers almost continuously over their heads, to oppress them for protesting, to deny them the right to live in peace and to see the life of any government unchallenged. citizens owe it to provide. Govt of Odisha. including large-scale detentions, flagrantly violates their democratic and human rights. There are detentions of local activists on trumped-up charges, restrictions on the right of villagers to protest peacefully against the threat of displacement, local people being allowed to move freely, and threats from corporate fraudsters. The following are a few key points worked out by the facts.
In 2005, South Korean steel producer POSCO was given permission by the State Government. (BJD) and the Central Government (UPA) – to set up their project by taking over the land of Dhinkia and nearby villagers despite their unwillingness. The local crop is betel vines, which bring prosperity and satisfaction to the local villagers and huge revenue to the government. with the export of leaves. The state government is still headed by Mr. Naveen Pattnaik, the leader of the ruling party BJD, which ruled the state even then. The Odisha state government deployed its state agencies to forcibly seize land from local villagers. In order to protect their long-term tenure (over 100 years) of the land and protect their traditional livelihoods, the villagers began protesting the proposed project. Banner of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS).
The State Government, acting intolerant and angry over the peaceful but strong protest against the proposed project, misused law enforcement agencies against its own people by framing false charges and thus registered more than 200 pending FIRs against hundreds of Dhinkia villagers. got it. anti POSCO movement. Conspiracy by the Administration, Company and its thugs and police brutality resulted in the loss of 5 precious lives from Dhinkia Panchayat. Even after that, the local population was deeply shaken and even committed suicides.
Meanwhile, betel vines, fish ponds, paddy fields have been destroyed and other traditional means of livelihood have been destroyed in the forcibly taken areas. But the protest continued for more than 8 years and eventually POSCO withdrew. People hoped that this would bring back the long-awaited harmony in that area.
But still the State Government (BJD) has sanctioned another project from a company called Jindal Steel Works (JSW). This time, that is, in 2019, the aggression against the unwillingness of the local population increased even more. With the same approach of the state government led by the same chief minister Mr. Naveen Pattnaik, there was a forcible acquisition of land using government agencies. However, this time the approach of the police was very rude, they did not even spare women, children, and the elderly. The worst police action witnessed by the whole world took place on January 14, 2022. It has been broadcast and published in all kinds of news around the world. The images were so disturbing that they shocked the whole country.
Moreover, both the State (BJD) and Central (BJP/NDA) Governments ignored the anomalies in the Report submitted by the JSW to the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry approved the Environmental Clearance ignoring these anomalies. In the process of land acquisition, around 100 police cases have been registered since 2020 till date, 50-60 people have been arrested and several people have been released on bail later, though Jindal-POSCO Pratirodh Committee (JPPC) leader Mr. Debendra Swain. along with some other protesters, he has been detained since January 14, 2022. The protest and its movement were subjected to police brutality and inhumane torture by government authorities. Dhinkia village and other nearby villages have already been severely affected due to the effects of rapid industrialization in Paradip either by setting up new industries or upgrading existing industries. These impacts have resulted in the loss of lives and livelihoods of the population of nearby villages due to environmental and climate degradation and exposure to natural disasters caused by injustice.
Needless to say, Jindal’s current encroachment on indigenous communities’ resources is also a clear violation of the Forest Rights Act (FRA), which recognizes the rights of indigenous communities and other forest dwellers.
In this context, we appeal to you to intervene to ensure that the protests of Dhinkia villagers to save their land, lives and livelihoods are considered legitimate and that the Governments (both Union and State) take immediate action. Therefore, we request you to take the following steps immediately for the welfare of the local people, the environment and the precious human rights of the local villagers.
- Cancel JSW project offered at Dhinkia.
- End police violence against Dhinkia villagers and target protesters by all means.
- Revoke the Forest Clearance granted to JSW and return Forest land to villagers as per Act.
- Revoke the Environmental Clearance granted in favor of the proposed project.
- Address people’s forest rights impartially without hostile environment under the Forest Rights Act (FRA), 2006.
- Provide legal land records to the landless people of Dhinkia.
- Strict action should be taken against the police officers involved in the police brutality which has caused physical and moral harm to thousands of villagers including children, women and the elderly.
- Stop all bogus and fictitious cases registered against the villagers starting from protests against POSCO to JSW which is around 300.
- Release all the protestors including their leader Mr. Debendra Swain from jail.
List of original signatories:
- Anand Patvardhan, film director
- K. Satchidanandan Poet, Writer, Former Secretary, Kendra Sahitya Akademi
- Lalit Vachani, film director, Göttingen University
- Mani Shankar Aiyar, former Cabinet Minister
- Binoy Viswam, former Forest Minister, Government of Kerala
- Advocate Ansar Indori, NCHRO, New Delhi
- Annie Raja, General Secretary, National Federation of Indian Women
- Madhumita Dutta, Assistant Professor, Ohio State University, USA
- Dr. Sandeep Pandey, General Secretary, Socialist Party (India)
- Prof. Anjali Monteiro (Retd.), Film Director, Researcher, Educator
- Prof. KP Jayashankar (Retd.), Film Director, Researcher, Educator
- Kavita Srivastava, People’s Union for Civil Liberties (PUCL)
13, Sunlam, President, Madhya Pradesh Kisan Sangarsh Samiti (MPKSS)
- Malini Subramaniam, Freelance Journalist
15, Major General Dr. Sudhir Wombadkare, (Retd)
- Dr. Ram Puniyani, National Solidarity Forum
- Dr. Gabriele Dietrich, Pennurimai Iyakkam, TN and NAPM
- Leo Saldanha, Environmental Support Group
- Susmit Bose, musician
- Dr. John Dayal, Journalist, Author and Researcher
- Meena Menon, Journalist
- Bijaya k Panda, National Convener, Bharat Jan Andolan
- Advocate Ansar Indori (National Secretary, NCHRO)
- By Binu Mathew, Editor, Countercurrents.org
- 26, Amudhan RP, Film producer
- 27, P. Baburaj, film director
- Antonella Visintin, member of the Oikotree movement and Glam commission of the Protestant Federation
- Meera Sangamitra, NAPM
- National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM)
- Vijayan MJ, Delhi Solidarity Group
- William Stanley, The Oikotree Movement
- Brinelle Dsouza, Academic and Activist
- Rev. Dr. Susan E. Davies, United States of America
- 35, Parvin Jahangir
- Prafulla Samantara, Lok Shakti Abhiyan, Goldman Environment Prize for Asia, Bhubaneswar
- Srikanta Mohanty, CPIML Secretary, Odisha State Committee
- Ashish Kothari, Kalpavriksh, Pune
- Dr Walter Fernandes, Director, North East Center for Social Studies
- Sailen Bhattacharya, General Secretary ECL COLLIERY SHRAMIK ASSOCIATION
- Shamsul Islam, Author
- Central Executive Committee, AIKMS
- Dr. Suhas Kolhekar, (Maharashtra), National Alliance of People’s Movements
- Prakash C. Jha, Independent Researcher
- K. Padma, Advocate, Visakhapatnam, Andhrapradesh
- Tara Murali, Architect, Chennai
- Dr. PM Tony, Director, Center for Social Research and Training, ATC, Namkum, Ranchi
- Religious Justice Coalition – West Indies
- Jan Swasthya Abhiyan – Mumbai
- Aruna Rodrigues, Sunray Harvesters
- Pradip Pradhan, Convener RTI Odisha State Committee
- Arundhati Dhuru, National Alliance of People’s Movements
- Sathish Reginald Samuel, Secretary, ECODAWM
- Ranjan Suleyman
- Sadananda Sahu, Advocate and Trade Union Leader, Raurkela, Odisha
- Dr. B Karthik Navayan, Advocate, Telangana State High Court
- Lelin Kumar, writer and journalist for Janabadi News Weekly.
- Manu, Researcher
- Shalini Gera, Advocate, Chhattisgarh High Court
- Sonu P. Yadav
- Nadita Narain, University of Delhi
- Nisha Biswas, Kolkata
- Madhuri, from the Jagrit Adivasi Dalit Sangha
- Pradip Sahu, CSD, Odisha
- Biswapriya Kanungo, Adv Odisha
- KP Sasi, film director, writer, cartoonist
- Antony Raju, Bangalore
- Neelima Sharma (Theatre)