Bhubaneswar, Dec 15 :
Reacting to the sudden move by the Posco India officials to start the construction of a boundary wall for their steel project in Nuagaon on Saturday, the spokesperson of the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti ( PPSS ) Prashant Paikray has issued the following press note.
“POSCO decided to defy democracy and laws of the land and started its illegal construction work on 14th December 2013. When they did this crime the following facts were not in their favour.
1. They did not have any valid memorandum of understanding (MOU).
2. They did not have any environmental clearance.
3. The National Green Tribunal ( NGT) was still hearing the case and the ‘stay work’ order had not been vacated.
4. It was also known to the company that the NGT would conduct its hearing on December 17, 2013.
5. The district administration and police were not to be seen on the site though private forces were there which made our people believe that the construction was illegal.
“But the villagers of Nuagaon decided to give the company a befitting response when they gathered together today i.e. December 15, 2013 and demolished the illegal construction of yesterday.
“When I am writing to you now bells are ringing in Nuagaon village and they are reassembling tonight to decide how to deal with the situation. Not only this, the villagers of Govindapur are meeting right now to decide how to re- erect the destroyed betel vines as per the recent decision of PPSS to rebuild the flattened betel vines of people in Govindpur and other villages. As you know the district administration had forcefully destroyed the betel vines in the last June.
“As we have informed you our leader Mr. Abhaya Sahoo was released on bail on November 30, 2013. His release has boosted the morale of our villagers. However three innocent villagers are still languishing in jail.
“We came to know from media that the South Korean President Mr. Park Geun Hye, is planning to visit in January 2014. This is sheer mockery of democracy. We will fight against the visit tooth and nail. Neither POSCO nor the Government of India has shown any respect for the recent report of the United Nations Independent human rights experts which has urged to halt the POSCO project immediately.
“We are hopeful that our friends and well wishers will come forward to voice their protest against illegal and unjust work of the company while expressing their solidarity with our determined villagers and that the upcoming visit of the South Korean President to our area will also be opposed.”
Spokesperon, POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS)