Mr Patnaik apologize to the Women of Govindpur, Patana and Dhinkia

March 19, 2013

Mr. Naveen Pattnaik we are surprised that you are not ashamed even after women’s day.

Dear Mr. Naveen Pattnaik,

We are deeply anguished and disturbed by the recent turn of frightening and ugly incidents perpetrated by the Odisha government, POSCO management and their hired lumpen criminal elements on the POSCO payroll. They have unleashed extremely barbaric white terror in the anti-POSCO struggling villages of Jaghat Singh Pur, Odisha. On the eve of the women’s day we learnt that the women gave the most desperate threat to the district administration as a last ditch effort. “If the police forces are not withdrawn they will protest naked in front of the police”. This news sent a chill down our spines as this was a confirmation of your wanton behaviour in the area and continuing attempts at escalating completely unjustified violence against agitators.

You have proved that you are the biggest enemy of the women of Odisha. Instead of removing the police you charged women with indecent exposure and arrested them.

That shows the apocalyptic vision that women are the most worthless beings, have absolutely no hope in a state governed by you. And remember, all this was happening when your minions of women and child development department and the public relations department were flooding the newspapers and television with your great achievements on the gender front. Whereas in reality you have inflicted on the suffering women of Odisha extreme repression by security forces who rape them in custody, brutally repress them, forcibly evict them from land, habitat, livelihood, culture and undermine their dignity. The combing operations by your police and paramilitary forces have inflicted most bestial violence that has crossed all the limits of barbarism.

Last time one had seen such a protest taking place was in Manipur in July 2004. The situation, however, was a little different in that case. Assam Rifles had raped and murdered Manorama. Elderly women of Manipur aghast at that had decided for going that protest in sheer desperation. They were a people who had completely lost their faith in the nation that claimed to be their own but acted as an occupying force. Its security forces assaulted the men and raped the women at will and the state legitimised such dreadful practices by allowing the Assam Rifles deployed in Manipur to provide condoms as an integral part of the travel kit,to be used while on patrol duty. Having had enough of this, Manipuri women went to the headquarters of the Assam Rifles, disrobed and flung a banner reading “INDIAN ARMY RAPE US”.

Odisha is thousands of kilometers away from Manipur. The POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti (PPSS) simply announced “Left with no other option, women from the village have decided to get naked before the Policemen tomorrow”. The pain and agony it would take to first decide for holding such a protest and then announcing it to the public was totally lost on you.

The women reached this decision because you as the Chief Minister have abandoned them for POSCO, the multinational company and as its lackey have been violating all rights of the residents with impunity. Anti-POSCO people have reached the decision after getting many of their near and dear ones killed by the hired goons of the company. They have reached the decision for the state government repeatedly sending in an armed-to-teeth police force for cracking down on the peaceful protesters and forcibly acquiring the lands even when the environmental clearance that is mandatory for such projects stand cancelled by the statutory authorities and the MoU with POSCO is defunct. You have destroyed their betel leave vines. You threaten to arrest them if they step out of the village and for years they have lived without even the minimal health services.

Mr. Patnaik, your slavery and loyalty to the national and international corporations has made you so de-humanized and de-sensitized that you are busy serving their interest and are apathetic to the very people who have brought you into this office.

Your administration lies through its teeth and accuses anti-POSCO struggle of making bombs. Your police tries to run over their leader. Such is the rottenness of your rule that even fact finding teams are hounded by company goons who are getting more confident as they are literally getting away with murder.

Finally, if you have any shame left, Mr. Pattnaik, resign and apologise to the women of Dhinkia, Govindpur and Patana.
We speak on behalf of several women’s groups and well known activists who endorse our view. The complete list is attached to this letter.
Kaveri, Kamayani, Kalpana
For Women against sexual violence and state repression

Endorsements:
Asit Das- Posco pratirodh solidarity Delhi
Kalpana Mehta, Madhya Pradesh Mahila Manch, Indore
Kaveri Indira, Scientist, Bangalore
Kamayani Bali Mahabal, Human Rights Activist , Mumbai
Mamata Dash ,Posco pratirodh solidarity Delhi
Chittraranjan singh National Secretary PUCL
Ashok choudhury NFFPFW
Dr.Sunilam Kissan Sangharsh Samiti
Kiran Shaheen Women against sexual violence and state expression(WSS)
Anand swarup verma Editor samkaleen tisri duniya
Prashant Pairikay, Posco pratirodh sangharsh samiti
K.K. Niyogi All India platform for labour rights
Manj mohan Hind mazdoor sabha
Roma NFFPFW
Anil chaudhury INSAF
Insha malik Research sholar JNU
Bhupen singh Research sholar JNU
Vijay pratap Socialist front
Madhuresh NAPM
Rajendra Ravi NAPM
Anna khandre Samajwadi party
Putul Yuva bharat
P.K. sundaram IndiaResists.com
Prakash kumar ray Editor bargad.org
Nayanjyoti Krantikari naujawan sabha
Vinod singh Samajwadi jan parishad
Rakhi Saiigal Labour activist
Gopal Krishna Toxic Watch
Shankar Gopalakrishnan
Saheli, Delhi
Devika Biswas, State convenor
Healthwatch Forum , Bihar, C/O BVHA PATNA BIHAR
Ruchi Shroff , Mumbai
Madhumita Dutta
‘Suresh Bhat B, Concerned Citizen, Mangalore
Sudha Bharadwaj, Chhattisgarh PUCL.
Rakmakant Banjare, Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee)
Nisha Biswas , Kolkata
Swatija, Mumbai
‘Prabhakar Pandit from Mumbai Mobile Creches_
Rahul Yogi Deveshwar
Independent Voice , Shanti se Kranti
Nirja Bhatnagar, Mumbai
Himadri Sekhar Mistri, Research Scholar, Delhi School of Economics
Women’s Research and Action Group
Tanushree Gangopadhyay, Ahmedabad
Anjali sinha Madhubala from Stree mukti sangathan
Madhubala, from Stree mukti sangathan
Sankara Narayanan_
Sharanya Humane, Koraput
Rakesh Narayana, PUCL – Bangalore
Kaushiki Rao, Bangalore
K. Sajaya, Hyderabad
Uma V Chandru, WSS Activist, Bangalore
Aruna Chandrasekhar, Research and journalist
Shraddha Chickerur
Vivek Sundara, Socila Activist, Mumbai
Pushpa (Member, WSS-Karnataka)
Abha Bhaiya
Anuradha Pati
Kannamma Raman, University of Mumbai
Jeevika Shiv, Centre for Equity Studies, Delhi
Kabi S., Bombay
Devaki Jain
Rina Mukherji
Soma KP
Aanchal Kapur
Trupti Shah, Sahiyar (Stree Sangathan)
K. Sajaya, Hyderabad
Iqbal Baig
Sudha.S. Bangalore
Sadhna, Delhi
Ratna, Law Student, Bangalore
Evangeline Anderson-Rajkumar, Bangalore
M. R. Prabhakar, Bangalore
Nisha Biswas, Kolkata
Gowru Chinnapa, Bangalore
Ayush Ranka, Bangalore
Rakesh Narayana, PUCL – Bangalore
Sharanya, Humane, Koraput
Shakun.M, Bangalore
Soundarya Iyer, Research Scholar, NIAS, Bangalore
Sudha Bharadwaj, Chhattisgarh PUCL.
Rakmakant Banjare, Chattisgarh Mukti Morcha (Mazdoor Karyakarta Committee)
Vasanth Kannabiran
Shyama K Narang
Anupriya, Delhi
Chhaya Datar
K. Lalita
Neha Dhingra
Rina, Kolkata
Sutapa Majumdar
Lalita Ramdas, Bhaimala, Alibag
Admiral L. Ramdas, Bhaimala, Alibag
Vinay Bhat, Management Consultant, Santa Clara, CA
Gopika Solanki
Uma Chakravarti
Mary E John
Suneeta Dhar
Arundhati Dhuru
Dr Veena R Poonacha, Director, Research Center for Women’s Studies & Project Director, Dr. Avabai Wadia Archives, SNDT Women’s University
Sharmila Rege
Veena Shatrugna
Gabriele Dietrich
Devangana Kalita
Tungshang Ningreichon, Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights
Meera, Narmada Valley
Prem Verma, Jharkhand Alternative Development Forum, Ranchi, Jharkhand
Lakshmi Premkumar, Programme for Social Action (PSA), New Delhi
Priyanka Borpujari, independent journalist
Koyel Lahiri, MPhil student, CSSSC
K Babu Rao, NAPM, Hyderabad
Lokesh, Stree Mukti Sangathan
Gee Ameena Suleiman
Maitreyi, ALF, Bangalore
Prafulla Samantara, Convenor, NAPM
Kunal Rawat, New Delhi
Prasad Chacko, Social activist, Ahmedabad
Alaka Basu
Anita Ghai, Feminist and Disblity rights activist, Delhi
Parth J Dave, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
Pradeep Esteves, Context India, Bangalore
Nitesh Mohanty, The Root
Jayati Lal, Visiting fellow, CSSS, JNU