Anti-Posco movement: 600 women protesters face criminal charges in Dhikia village
Dhikia village in Jagatsinghpur district, Odisha comprises of around 1500 families, out of which 600 women are involved in criminal cases. Each of them are facing criminal charges for about 10 to 15 cases. The charges include attempt to murder, theft, kidnapping and rape. All these women belong to the Anti-Posco movement, who have been protesting against the forceful land acquisition of POSCO.
The police are not allowed to enter inside the village by agitators, neither do the women go to police station or appear before courts. “These are all false cases initiated by the police to avoid participation in the agitation”, said Manorama Khatua, who leads the female wing of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti(PPSS).
In 2007, there were a number of people who were holding demonstration, which also included a number of female protesters in front of the proposed POSCO site. The police assaulted them and dispersed the demonstrators. One of the demonstrators lost her eye and her hand was broken in the process. She took treatment in the village from an NGO organized medical camp, but not in the government hospital fearing arrest. According to the official information, the state government started land acquisition for state Posco Project, proposed to be set up at a cost of 52000 crore.
The other villagers under the threat of getting arrested withdrew from the agitation, except Dhinkia village, which is still resisting the land acquisition. For the past eight years, police and administration officials could not enter the village. Despite several attempts, the administration could not stop the Anti-Posco fight in Dhinkia led by PPSS. A number of cases have been slapped against the protesters.
Police slapped all these cases against them to scare the protesters out of the resistance movement. All the 600 women of the village are facing criminal cases under section 302 (murder), Section 307 (attempt to murder) and are hence not in a position to move from village. The residents of the Dhikia village have decided to fight till the last drop of their blood.