Anti-Displacement Leader Madan Kalundia Dies in Judicial Custody
Posted by Admin on August 15, 2010
Source: Face Book
Madan Kalundia, a leader of anti-displacement movement of Kalinganagar (Odisha), died on August 3, 2010 in judicial custody.
Death of Com. Madan in judicial custody has come as a part of the Govt. Admn.-police attempt to crush the anti-displacement struggle of tribals against TATAs. His death is a telling story of the criminal disregard of basic rights of the people by not only the police and admn. but even judiciary in the service of corporates.
Hundreds of tribals have been thrown out of jobs in the industries of the area for refusing to leave their land for TATAs. Leaders and activists of the movement are arrested and not allowed to come out even on bail as they are re-arrested on trumped up charges.
Leaders and activists are being implicated in the open ended FIRs routinely registered against the agitators for false and fabricated charges. The power of different wings of the state and the goondas of TATAs is being openly employed to strangulate the struggle of tribals for saving their land.
Madan Kalundia, a 34-year-old Adivasi from Baligotha village of Kalinga Nagar was arrested on 15 September 2009. He is one of the several Bisthapan Birodhi Jan Manch leaders and activists who have been picked up and framed under false charges. Madan had 6 criminal cases against him the most severe being a case under Sec 506 of the IPC. 3 cases were of 2007, 2 cases of 2008 and 1 case of 2009. Then another 8 cases were slapped against him on the 5 Oct ’09 including one under Sec 307 for attempt to murder. 2 cases were of 2006, 2 of 2007 and 4 of 2008 which included the attempt to murder case. Then on 10 Feb ’10 one case from 2005 was brought up against him and on 23 Feb ’10 another case from 2006 was made against him. In the 1st week of May Madan got bail in 14 cases and 2 cases were still pending. That day Madan had requested the judge to direct authorities to provide him with immediate medical aid as he was in severe ill health. The judge did not even acknowledge his plea and Madan died on 3 August ’10 either in Chowduar jail or at SCB Hospital, Cuttack. Death of Madan Kalundia in judicial custody through denial of medical aid to him is clearly a case of killing of a anti-displacement struggle leader by the state agencies.
It is not yet clear what the official cause of death is but an investigation into a few recent incidents indicates what might have transpired with Madan in the jail. Before being shifted to Chowduar jail on 26 July ’10 he was being held at Ragadi jail in Jajpur. While in Ragadi jail, news reached Madan’s relatives in Baligotha village that he was suffering from jaundice. So the widows of his two deceased brothers visited him in jail with herbal medicine for jaundice. One of Madan’s deceased brothers is Ghanshyam who died earlier this year due to lack of medical aid in the village that still remains cordoned off from the rest of the world by the police and Tata goons. When Madan’s relatives met him in the jail they found several injuries on his body likely to have been incurred from torture. Madan was also unable to walk by himself and had been brought to the visitors’ area with the aid of two wards of the jail. His eyesight had also deteriorated badly and he could recognize his relatives. The herbal medicines brought by the relatives was denied by jail authorities who said they would take good care of him. Madan’s relatives had visited him around the 20 July ’10. On 10th July ’10 he had been taken to Jajpur hospital where the doctors said he had no physical problem and his ill health was due to psychiatric problems.
Madan’s death again exposes the ugly & brutal reality of a State that is ready to torture people, deny them medical aid and kill them in captive for the sake of companies like Tata and Vedanta. Whether Madan died from torture or jaundice the blame definitely rests on the Govt. The Tata project seems to be setting up a mega graveyard of Adivasis rather than a steel factory. A powerful resistance of the tribals is emerging from this graveyard — deaths and sacrifices of the leaders and activists of the struggle like Madan Kalundia are part of it.