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Monday, November 28, 2011

Fwd: [OrissaConcerns] Statement on the Repression on PPSS and arrest of Abhay Sahu for Endorsement - URGENT

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Anivar Aravind <>
Date: Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 7:40 AM
Subject: [OrissaConcerns] Statement on the Repression on PPSS and arrest of Abhay Sahu for Endorsement - URGENT
To: connect <>

Dear Friends,

As you are aware, the leader of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti(PPSS) was
arrested yesterday in Orissa while returning from a meeting. This illegal
act of the state comes at a time when PPSS has put up a strong and
democratic resistance against POSCO and the state is applying all possible
measures to implement the project in Jagatsinghpur. This act of the state
must be condemned in no uncertain terms and an immediate and unconditional
release of Abhay Sahu must be demanded. Some of us have drafted a statement
(given below) and request you to consider signing it. We aim to issue it as
soon as possible.

*Please send in your endorsements to <> OR <>*
In solidarity,

Mamata Dash

The undersigned condemn the growing brutality of the state repression
being unleashed against the peaceful, democratic protesters of the
POSCO project area, who are only fighting for their legal and
fundamental rights.  This repression has reached a peak with the arrest
yesterday (Friday) of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti leader Abhay
Sahoo.  The government's constant announcements of its intention to
start construction in the area lead us to apprehend that there will be
more violence and brutality against the movement.

This comes after the people of Dhinkia and  Gobindpur heroically
resisted police attacks for more than two months  in the heat of
summer, drawing the attention of the entire country to the threat to
their thriving economy and fragile ecosystem.  It also comes in the
wake of a grossly illegal clearance to the project  from the
Environment Ministry, in direct violation of the Forest Rights Act and
the EIA notification, despite two of the Ministry's own enquiry
committees finding that grant of clearance would be a crime.  Moreover,
the Centre itself now claims that projects of this kind will be
subject, under its proposed new law, to the consent of 80% of the local
community - which has been ignored in this case.  Meanwhile, dozens of
false cases have been filed against the protesters, and it is worth
noting that Abhay Sahoo has received bail from the courts in more than
40 cases so far; but every time he is released, new cases are foisted
on him. Finally, court cases are pending against the illegal clearance
to the project in the High Court and in the National Green Tribunal.
Despite all this, the Orissa government is continuing its criminal
offensive, and the Centre as usual is doing nothing to stop it or to
uphold the law.

We condemn this repression, and call for the immediate release of Abhay
Sahoo, the dropping of the false cases registered against him and other
members of the movement, and the immediate withdrawal of this illegal,
unjust and economically destructive project.

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Palash Biswas
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