By Harald Eraker
After repeated actions against the Utkal project and clashes between the locals and representatives of the mining operation over the last year (ref. NorWatch no. 1-96), Indian authorities have now come down on organisations that support the native's struggle against Hydro's bauxite project.
According to the Indian newspaper Telegraph, April 10th, two Agragamee representatives, Vidhya Das and Pramod Das, were arrested for provoking violence, after the local population had tried to hinder Utkal employees from entering the area in which the bauxite project is to be set up.
The two Agragamee members, both let out on bail, risk being charged according to Indian law, Section 137 of Criminal Procedure Code.
Vidhya Das told Telegraph that she is working on a consciousness program and is informing the natives of the negative consequences of the planned for Hydro project.
-But to say that I have provoked them into turning to violence is not true. All I have done is to tell the facts, she told the newspaper.
According to information director Thomas Knudzen, the final decision on whether Hydro will continue to be part of the project, will probably not be made until in 1997.
Norwatch Newsletter 4/96