Refuses to be cowed down by case, launches on-line signature campaign against Dhamra project
Neha Sethi | July 29, 2010
Greenpeace is not stepping back in its fight against the Tata group over the Dhamra port project which, the green group says poses a threat to turtles.
Facing legal action from the Tatas over an online game called ‘Turtle vs Tata’, Greenpeace has turned to a large-scale email campaign.
It is now sending emails to individuals requesting them to send an email message to environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh seeking his intervention to save the turtles. Greenpeace says 21,262 people have already forwarded the email message to him.
The green NGO has been campaigning against the Tatas’ port project in Orissa. It claims that the port poses a threat to the turtles and other wildlife. As part of its public awareness campaign, it created the Pacman-inspired online game, which caricatured the Tata Group trademark, inviting its wrath.
Tata Sons filed a law suit against Greenpeace in the Delhi High Court, alleging defamation and trademark infringement, and seeking damages of Rs 10 crore.
The court in a hearing on July 27 had suggested that Greenpeace remove the trademark from the game and granted it 10 days time to file a written reply. It listed the matter for August 12 to consider the Tatas’ application for grant of an interim injunction against the game.
The Tata petition noted: “The aim of the colourful and noisy video game is to help the yellow turtles eat as many little white dots as possible without running into Ratty (presumably referring to Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group), Matty, Natty or Tinku… The NGO has not only infringed the trademark rights of the Tatas, but is also maligning the reputation of the company, thereby injuring the same in their profession.”
A spokesperson for the NGO said: “Greenpeace stands by its actions and will present its case in court on August 12.”
The Greenpeace has countered the Tata campaign, noting in its letter (attached below) being circulated that ‘The Tatas are trying to divert attention from their port’s impacts, ignoring the concerns of 1,50,000 people, scientists, politicians and NGOs. The port has bent every law in the book, threatening turtles, mangroves, crocodiles and other species.
“Over 300 more ports are being planned across mainland India. Many will be in and near eco-sensitive areas. We cannot let more Dhamras happen and environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh needs to act,” it adds.
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