Orissa - POSCO : Letter to the Prime Minister

Dear Sir,

I am writing in the context of the brutal attack of the Orissa police on the peaceful protesters of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti in Jagatsinghpur District, Orissa. More than 100 people, including many women, have been injured; those seriously injured are receiving no medical care; the police have burned houses and shops as well as the protesters' tents; and the police are blocking the entry or exit of any person from the area. This kind of atrocity can never be justified. But what makes it doubly criminal is that the Orissa government claims to be doing so as they have rights over the land.

I am afraid that this is a blatant falsehood. There are some aspects of the proposed POSCO project which I wish to bring to your attention:

This is quite apart from the fact that the project itself is nothing less than an attempt to strip this country's mineral resources for a foreign multinational, with no benefit to either the people of the area or the economy of this country.

On November 4, 2009 , you described the Forest Rights Act as a "landmark legislation." Is this the manner that the government is going to treat this "landmark legislation"? I urge upon you to immediately intervene, instruct the Environment Ministry to withdraw the illegal clearance, review the POSCO project in light of the fact that it is a notorious blacklisted multinational, and halt the police atrocities against the struggling people of the area.


National Secretary, Communist Party of India