India’s unjust land grabbing from poor famers

Dr Vandana Shiva

The biggest companies buying the land were Korean Steel giant Posco Steel, French nuclear energy company, AREVA, and Indian land developer, Jaypee Infratech Ltd.
TEAR Fund executive Steve Tollestrup said fertile land was being taken from poor tribal farmers across several regions of India, including rural areas where TEAR Fund partners were working, to ‘satisfy the corporate greed of big business’.

“Using a mixture of the historical colonial Land Acquisition Act of 1894, and the deregulation of investments and commerce, the Indian Government is forcibly buying the land at a fraction of the cost that it is being on-sold to developers.

“In some cases, land has been forcibly taken from farmers against their will, according to physicist, philosopher and activist, Dr Vandana Shiva. An example of some of the enforced deals is in Jagatsinghpur, Orissa, where 20 battalions have been deployed to assist in the Òanti-constitutional land acquisition”.

In this district the land was being bought from peasant farmers for Rs 300 (NZ $8) per square metre by the government – using the Land Acquisition Act – and sold by developers at Rs 600,000 (NZ $ 16,450) per square metre – a 200,000 per cent increase. Last month four protesters died and many were injured in clashes with police over the land acquisition issue.

The biggest companies buying the land were Korean Steel giant Posco Steel, French nuclear energy company, AREVA, and Indian land developer, Jaypee Infratech Ltd.

Mr Tollestrup said,  “The Land Acquisition Act was used by colonial powers against Indians, now it is the Indian Government that is using it against its own people to allow foreign business to ‘re-colonise’ large tracts of India,” Mr Tollestrup said.  “This unjust land dispossession will only compound the poverty and misery being faced by rural people in India, and could create widespread unrest.”

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