Deplacement of people in three states worries Amnesty

Bhubaneswar, May 24 | Updated: May 25 2007, 07:14am hrs
The Amnesty International, in its Report 2007, has expressed concern over the large-scale displacement of people for industrialisation in states like Orissa, West Bengal and Uttar Pradesh.

"Concern grew over protection of economic, social and cultural rights of already-marginalised communities (including adivasis) amid fears of unchecked exploitation of their resource base by the government" the report says, adding, "several states witnessed periodic protests against acquisition of land and other resources for mining, irrigation, power and urban infrastructure." Such developments, the report points out, "were associated with forced evictions, harassment, arbitrary detention, excessive police actions and denial of access to justice."

Stating that several states including Orissa and West Bengal are witnessing protests by people whose livelihoods are threatened by ongoing and proposed development projects, the report says people's resistance movements are going on at Kalinga Nagar and Jagatsinghpur (Posco's project site) in Orissa and at Singur and Nandigram in West Bengal.

The Amnesty International Report 2007 was released by former Lok Sabha Speaker Rabi Ray here on Wednesday. Imtiaz Ahmad of Jawaharlal Nehru Univeristy, Orissa Lok Pal Sarat Mohapatra, Amnesty International's Sana Das and writer Chittaranjan Das participated in a panel discussion on 'Freedom from Fear'.

Taking a dig at the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the report says, "around 300 million people remained in poverty despite implementation of a new legislation guaranteeing minimum annual employment for the rural poor.