Urge India to abandon steel megaproject

Urge India to abandon steel megaproject

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John Ahni Schertow
February 10, 2008
 

On January 31, the government of India gave South Korean multinational Pohong Steel Corporation (POSCO) permission to go ahead with a huge iron mining, manufacturing and export project in Orissa state. As a result, villagers in the region along with anyone opposed to the project are now at high risk of being violently suppressed.

Friends of the Earth International explains that, “already, on 29 November, 2007, fifty villagers were injured as 100 armed men bombed, beat and sexually molested protesters (mostly women). The police watched the attack, then proceeded to occupy the checkpoint.”

Now the police appear ready to launch an armed attack against the villagers, in an attempt to occupy part of the 6,000 acres the government promised to POSCO.

Friends of the Earth International is asking everyone to send a latter of objection to the Prime Minister of India, urging him to abandon the POSCO project. Please go to the campaign page so you can send the letter.

Urge India to abandon unpopular steel megaproject; end violence against protesters

by Debra Broughton, FOEI

In a massive resource sell-out, India has granted South Korean multinational Pohong Steel Corporation (POSCO) permission for a huge iron mining, steel plant, manufacturing and export project in Orissa state. Protesters against the project have already been violently attacked. Now police appear set to launch an armed attack as they attempt to occupy part of the 6,000 acres the government promised to POSCO at a throwaway price.

Villagers have successfully kept company officials out of the area. But with the project’s construction set to begin on 1 April, 2008, resistance organisations fear a massive police assault in the Gadkujang, Nuagaon and Dhinkia council areas.

Already, on 29 November, 2007, fifty villagers were injured as 100 armed men bombed, beat and sexually molested protesters (mostly women). The police watched the attack, then proceeded to occupy the checkpoint. the project

The widely unpopular project would reap tremendous profit to POSCO, thanks to unprecedented land, tax and export concessions from Indian governments. It allows for gigantic private iron ore mines, a 12 million ton steel plant, and a private port. To date government authorities have refused to negotiate with residents regarding the project.

Act now

Friends of the Earth Korea/ KFEM are asking you to support this action, organised by AXN Solidarity Group: a social justice/human rights/cultural-media activists based all over India who have been supporting struggle groups and communities fighting for their rights over natural resources, against human rights abuses of the state and corporations.

Let India’s Prime Minister know that the world is watching. Urge him to abandon the POSCO project.

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