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Setback to Posco land acquisition

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Sangram Samiti to mobilise intellectuals to build up movement

People involved in mass movements decry government’s inaction

Instrument of Global Positioning System damaged


BHUBANESWAR: A day after the State government began land acquisition for Posco project in Jagatsinghpur district, activists here threatened to take law into their hands saying it would be tit for tat as the administration did not care to respect rule of the land.

Addressing a press conference here on Wednesday, Lokshakti Abhiyan President Prafulla Samantara said the district administration went ahead with acquisitions despite a committee under Ministry of Environment and Forest observed taking over lands of people would violate norms. He said people involved in mass movements condemned the government’s action. “The central team in clear terms said there cannot be any other use of forestland until villagers’ claims are settled under Forest Rights Act. But the administration hardly bothered to give the advice a hearing,” said Mr. Samantra.

Spokesperson of Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti Prasant Paikray said land acquisition began at a time when people were waiting for Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who had earlier announced to visit the area and there had been no settlement of rights.

Moreover, MoU with Posco-India had not been renewed and permissions from palli sabhas had not been secured, he said.

They said breaking of laws by the government was not confined to Posco area in Jagatsinghpur, people’s voice had been crushed in the proposed mining lease area in Khandadhar mountain range in Sundargarh district.

Settlement

Although people had long been demanding settlement of their land rights under FRA in Khandadhar area, administration was not paying any heed to them, Mr. Paikray said.

“We will mobilise intellectuals across the State and country to build up a movement against government which itself is not adhering to the law,” said Mr. Samantra.

Meanwhile, land acquisition drive by Jagatsinghpur district administration received a setback when supporters of proposed 12 million tonne per annum decided the block land acquisition on Wednesday.

They damaged instrument of Global Positioning System alleging that there had to be proper assessment of the properties in possession of villagers.

A member of United Action Committee, a pro-project outfit, said if the administration would not do the measurement of land correctly, they would not be allowed.

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Written by janjagriti

July 31, 2010 at 4:34 am

Posted in Articles

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