“The villagers, sensing their possible move at around 2am, alerted the villagers by ringing bells. Gradually women, children and male members started gathering at the dharna place,” Paikary said. “At 4am, the police entered and attacked the women and children first. The male police ruthlessly beat up our women who had formed a human chain. Some women have been severely injured. The police tossed children like flowers, some of them got injured. Some villagers have been arrested by the police,” he added.
The police, according to Paikary, started vandalising their betel vines and felling the trees forcefully. “More and more villagers started gathering at the dharna spot and a war like situation has arisen. The determined villagers are facing a mighty police force,” Paikary claimed.
He deplored that they fail to understand the decision of the state to acquire land when the National Green Tribunal has already suspended the environment clearance to the proposed POSCO project in the area. He lamented that the Chief Minister of Odissa Naveen Patnaik is behaving like an “agent” of the POSCO.
As the situation is too alarming, he appealed to friends to protest the “barbarism” and call/write/fax to the prime minister, chief minister and chief secretary of Odisha, and home ministry, Odisha to immediately stop the police “brutality” and withdrawal of the forces from the area.
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