People asked to leave their villages: Narayanpatna Fact Finding Report
Posted by Admin on November 24, 2009
BHUBANESWAR: Three days after members of the Chasi Mulia Adiasi Sangha (CMAS) were killed in police firing at Narayanpatna, a fact-finding team visited two villages and reported that an air of fear prevails among the natives who expect the worst when the security forces come calling. The team went to Kumbhari and Narayanpatna panchayats and met the natives. About 200 members of CMAS had gone to Narayanpatna police station to lodge their protest against police harassment of tribals on Saturday, the team said.
Police, the team was told, had violated its assurance of not entering the villages and harass the tribals. It was also given in writing but in vain. During the combing operation on November 18 and 19, the security personnel had allegedly asked the villagers to leave their native village or face dire consequences.
The tribal residents were reportedly warned that the land of the non-tribals would be restored to them. During combing operation, stories of harassment were reported from Odiapentha, Dandabeda, Palaput, Dubaguda and Badhraguda, the team said in its report. “Apart from warning tribal residents, their women folk were not allowed to continue with their harvest.
The tribals explained that winter is the most crucial season as they were engaged in harvesting, husking and storage of foodgrains. The combing operation destroys crops and affect food security of the tribals,” the report said. The day the firing took place, CMAS protestors had a heated exchange with police at the police station since they were not ready for discussion.
The CMAS leaders including Wadeka Singana and Kumudini Behera broke open the lock and went inside for discussion which turned into an altercation and firing was ordered without provocation by police. Activist Prafulla Samantray, who went to Narayanpatna to attend the cremation of the two deceased, said the persons who were injured in firing are hiding since they are afraid of police action.