Archive for August 1st, 2014


Arrest of Forest Rights Activists 'Symbolic of What's Wrong in India'

Human Wrongs Watch

By Aaron Gray-Block*, Greenpeace, 31 July, 2014 — It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified. 

Photo: Greenpeace

Photo: Greenpeace

The arrests are the latest example of intimidation tactics used in India to quell unrest over the plans by Indian conglomerate Essar to turn the Mahan forest into a climate-wrecking coal mine.

The timing of the arrests is far from coincidental. The local community was due to hold a Gram Sabha, or village council, sometime between 16-22 August to vote on the proposed coal mine development by partners Essar and Hindalco.

The police also seized a mobile signal booster and solar panels that Greenpeace India had set up in Amelia village to help spread the news from the community meeting to more than a million people who have signed a petition opposing the coal mine.

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