Tarun Mandal, Narahari Sahu and Manas Jena are dead, blown up by what the media has described as a “crude” bomb. All bombs are crude. They kill. They are meant to destroy flesh and bone. They are aimed at sucking out life. Lakshman Mandal battles for his life in a Cuttack hospital. He knows how crude a bomb is. Hopefully he will live to tell the tale of its crudeness.
This is a partisan piece. But it aims to produce balance. Almost all media reports so far have had a strong spin that the three – Narahari, Tarun and Manas – were killed while making a crude bomb. So says Mr. Satyabrata Bhoi, Jagatsinghpur SP. Nobody has bothered to ask him any further questions. It’s quite understandable. Asking any more questions might make the entire spin untenable. For instance, they could have asked: why is it that something illegal, such as crude bomb making, was being done out in the open and not within the confines of a house? Especially given that for the last month, the police have been constantly in and out of the village? Especially because there are at least a few dozen pro-POSCO folks in the village? Why would three leaders of an oppositional movement sit outside on the porch of a house that is fully identified with POSCO Pratirodh Sangran Samiti (PPSS) and make bombs – openly, for all to see – at 6.30 PM when there is enough light for anybody to see them? Isn’t crude bomb making normally confined to the indoors? How many incidents do we know of where crude bomb making was happening outside in broad daylight? Isn’t the RSS, the most famous outfit that makes crude bombs and occasionally manages to blow up its own, always known to make its bombs indoors? Continue reading Crude Questions about Crude Bombs: Biju Mathew→
Copy of the Memorandum to The Chief Minister, Government of Odisha
In the continuum of brutal attacks on the struggle against forcible land acquisition for a POSCO steel plant in Odisha, the most recent case of blatant violence perpetrated by the corporate–police-goonda nexus in the region saw the murder of 4 people in Jagatsinghpur district.
On 2nd March, hired musclemen of POSCO with the full complicity of Odisha Police threw bombs at anti-POSCO activists in Patana village, in which 4 activists were killed and several others were seriously injured. Out of the 4, 3 were killed as a direct consequence of the police’s refusal to arrive at the spot for 15 hours after the bombing, or arrange for an ambulance to take the injured to a hospital.
Policemen deployed at the proposed Posco site in Jagatsinghpur, June 2011
As I read the ‘sustainability-commitment’ page on the website of Posco India Ltd, I was reminded of the images of a morning in a village square in the Ersama block of Jagatsingpur district in the Orissa. On April 1, 2008, Balithutha, a small village square, became the battle ground as hundreds of women, men, young and old tore down with their bare hands a 20 feet high bamboo barricade erected by the district police. An act of defiance by people who came in hundreds, mustering whatever they had—courage, fear, rage—to battle a giant – Posco Steel company of South Korea and the state of Odisha. They came to say ‘we disagree, we oppose’ the plans to take over the lands that we have farmed for generations. That day the sound of their voices and ululations reverberated from the small village square of Balithutha to the offices of the powerful. Continue reading Posco – Building A Better Tomorrow with Steel: Madhumita Dutta→
This is a guest post byARATI CHOKSIwith photographs byAYUSH RANKA
POSCO catapulted out of nowhere into the periphery of my imagination last year. On May 15, 2010, in a brutal show of aggression and violence, armed police battalions attacked unarmed protesters at Balitutha opposing a forceful takeover of their lands by the state for a POSCO steel plant. Members of police force set fire to shops, eateries and thatched homes, including the dharna site of people’s peaceful protest. Police fired upon unarmed protesters with rubber bullets. One person died, and hundreds were severely injured in this firing, many of these were women and the elderly. Continue reading POSCO and the People: Ayush Ranka and Arati Choksi→
Update of anti-POSCO People’s Movement as on 10th June 2011, 12 noon.
· Police and protesting public are face to face now: Twenty platoon police forces with officers have already reached at the boarder of Govindpur village where more than 2000 villagers are protesting against the forceful land acquisition by government of Odisha for POSCO through 24X7 vigil.
· Protesters are determined to resist any use of force by the government and police forces. Even women and children have come to the forefront as they form the first two shields of protection.
· Senior police officers, with arms and weapons, are threatening people to dismantle through loud speakers. We will let you know the development here
Kindly call the following authorities to lodge your protest.