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Archive for November 2nd, 2008

Villagers in Jharkhand fight India’s anti-people policies

Posted by n3wday on November 2, 2008

This article was published on BiharandJharkhand.com.

Villagers in the state of Jharkhand continue to set the pace for India’s anti-displacement movement.

Tribals protest against Arcelor Mittal plant in Jharkhand, India
By Nityanand Shukla

RANCHI (Reuters) – Thousands of villagers marched in Jharkhand on Monday to protest against a proposed Arcelor Mittal steel plant, police said, the latest in a series of confrontations over industry on farmlands.

Armed with bows and sickles, the villagers, members of poor local tribes, held banners that said: “We need food, not steel”. They shouted slogans, swearing they would give up their lives but not their farmlands.

The world’s largest steelmaker is planning an $8.2 billion plant in the mineral-rich state, which it hopes to build over four years.

The company needs 11,000 acres (4,450 hectares) for the 12 million tonne plant and an industrial town. But angry villagers say they will not give up land for the project.

“We will not give an inch of land to Mittal steel,” Dayamani Barla, a protest leader, said. “We will further intensify our agitation, if the Mittals make any effort to grab our land.”

A company official in Ranchi, the state capital, said they were trying to defuse the situation by talking to villagers.
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