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State Sponsored Violence

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The situation in Orissa and the tactics being used by the government are similar to those employed in Kashipur, Kalinganagar, and more recently in Nandigram, West Bengal, where villagers resisting the takeover of their farmland for the construction of an automobile plant were shot and killed by the police. Villagers opposed to the POSCO steel plant are being intimidated by the use of force, including the use of paramilitary troops. During the statutory public hearings in April 2007, the State stationed 15 platoons of armed paramilitary forces in the area thus silencing the expression of local opposition to the project. Amnesty International, the human rights organization, issued a report urging the Government of Orissa against the use of force, and to follow the democratic process.

Such is the level of distrust between the people and the government that the villagers have installed barricades and check posts around their villages. This has resulted in a state of siege where paramilitary troops that have surrounded the village are controlling access to food and medicines. In November 2007, the Orissa State Police captured and occupied 20 local schools thus directly violating the children’s right to education. The National Human Rights Commission has been asked to intervene in this use of schools for non-educational purposes.


Written by janjagriti

October 12, 2008 at 8:31 pm

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