Reacting to the inhuman attack on women and children by Orissa Police at the crack of the dawn on February 3rd, citizens groups across political spectrum today staged a dharna at Orissa Bhawan, New Delhi. Protesters joined by All India Students Association, National Alliance of People's Movements, Delhi Solidarity Group, Inqulabi Mazdoor Kendra, Socialist Front and others barged inside the Orissa Bhawan and forced the officials to come out and talk to them. At the intervention of the Delhi police protesters moved out of the premises but continued the protest outside. Speaking at the protest, Vijay Pratap said that there is only 'company raj' in Orissa and there is no legitimacy to it, before 2014 elections movements across the country need to come together and expose them. Sandeep Singh, AISA said it is completely inhuman to beat up children, whose right to protest has been accepted by National Commission of Child Rights Protection.
Surya Das, activist – film maker, said that current round of acquisition is completely illegal since there is no MoU, National Green Tribunal has suspended its environmental clearance even then they are carrying the land acquisition, for what ? Madhuresh Kumar, NAPM, added that UPA government is complicit in this too, since they are standing for a company which has been fined Rs 10 Crore by Department of Revenue Intelligence for tax evasion. They should be blacklisted from carrying out any business rather than rolling out red carpet for them. Sanjeev Kumar, Delhi Solidarity Group, brought to fact hundreds of false cases filed against the activists by Orissa state, many of who are living in constant fear of arrest or have already been arrested and then secured bail. Protesters submitted a memorandum to the Joint Commissioner of the Orissa Bhawan, who assured conveying the concerns to the government.
Support to the Posco Pratoridh Sangram Samiti also poured in from all across the country. In a letter Medha Patkar, Maj General Sudhir Vombatkere & Sister Celia (Karnataka), Sandeep Pandey, Arundhati Dhuru (Uttar Pradesh), P Chennaiah & Ramaksrishnan Raju (Andhra Pradesh), C R Neelakandan (Kerala) and others of National Alliance of People's Movements wrote to the Chief Minister condemning the police violence and brought out all the illegalities with the project. They demanded immediate withdrawal of the police force, false cases against activists and also no further land acquisition, since the project has no legal sanction and is against the wishes of the people.
National Forum of Forest People and Forest Workers, People's Union for Civil Liberties, People's Union for Democratic Rights, Housing and Land Rights Network, Praja Rajya Vedike, BIRSA Jharkhand, All India Forum of Forest Movements and many other organisations from across the country condemned the brutal attack on peacefully protesting women and children. It is extremely inhuman and against all the laws that Police presence in the area has been increased and used to increase the tension and instill fear in the people. People's Movements stand in solidarity with the Posco Pratoridh Sangram Samiti and struggling people of Orissa and will continue to oppose any plan for furthering interests of POSCO in the area against people's wishes.