Scrap SEZ, stop displacement of tribals in Orissa: Janhastakshep

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New Delhi, Feb 14 (UNI) Civil rights activists, academicians and eminent mediapersons in response to the grievances of the tribal leaders facing displacement as a consequent to the acquisition of their farming land for POSCO and Tata Steel in Orissa, have urged the governments to scrap the land allotment for mega projects.

The activists who met at the call of Delhi-based 'Janhastakshep' (Peoples Intervetnion Group) last evening, where the tribal leaders placed their grievances, also sought action against the policemen and 'hired goons' involved in the attacks on villagers at Balitutha on November 29 last year and compensation to the victims of violence.

Tribal leader Dabar Kalandia, representing 'Bisthapan Birodhi Janmanch, Kalinganagar said ''the humbler sons and daughters of Orissa, have so far, succeeded in foiling the designs of corporation backed by coercive machinery of the state... we would continue to guard our farmlands instead of accepting 'paltry compensation' which will change our centuries old way of life.'' Prafulla Das, a representative of 'the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti' said ''They were struggling for past 30 months and would oppose the forcible acquisition of their lands by the mega industrial projects.'' He added that the people in his area knew that they fought against exploitation and for freedom in the colonial era, but failed to understand why such a situation is recurring in a democratic country like ours.

Mr Rajendra Sarangi, Convenor of Lokpakhya said mega Tata Steel Plant being set up at Kalinganagar in Orissa, would generate only around 6000 jobs while it would displace 50,000 people, mostly tribals. In fact, the politicians eyeing hefty 'kickbacks' are pursuing the setting of these maga plants while ignoring that these plants would squander away the country's precious resources like iron ore and bauxite in the next three decades.

He said the policies being pursued by the governments at the Centre and at the state level in the name of industrialisation are actually policies of deindustrialization, which are uprooting the traditional economies of the people without providing any viable employment opportunities, by setting up industries that are intended more to fulfill the needs of foreign economies than the needs of Indians.

Mr Sumit Chakravarty said all the ruling parties sitting in the Parliament, including the left parties, were united in their support for mindless industrialization.

The meeting presided over by eminent sociologist and political scientist Prof Imtiaz Ahmed and conducted by noted journalist Mr Sumit Chakravarty, later, adopted a resolution that the SEZ Act 2005, be withdrawn forthwith and SEZ policy be scrapped.


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