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Archive for the ‘Orissa’ Category

India: Police Suppression Drives Orissa Tribals into Maoist Arms

Posted by Admin on January 17, 2010

Revolution in south Asia Posted by Ka Frank on January 17, 2010

CMAS mobilizes in Narayanpatna

This article was published in Asia Times on January 16, 2010

India drives tribals into Maoist arms

By Sudha Ramachandran

KORAPUT, Orissa – Six weeks after police action in Narayanpatna in Koraput district in the eastern state of Orissa left two tribals dead and scores of others injured, tension here shows no signs of abating. Arbitrary arrests of tribals continue with about 109, including at least 12 children, thrown in jail so far on charges that include criminal conspiracy, rioting, sedition and waging war against the state – and police and paramilitary forces have stepped up operations to hunt down activists of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS), a tribal rights organization active in the area.

The CMAS activists have retreated deep into the forests, where they are said to be regrouping. “The hunt for CMAS activists and the intimidation of tribals by the police has forced tribals to seek refuge in the surrounding forests, which are Maoist hideouts,” a senior official in Koraput told Asia Times Online. “By their actions, the police are pushing the tribals to turn Maoist.”

This is the case not just in Narayanpatna but also across villages and towns in India’s tribal areas in Orissa, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. Police atrocities against tribals are fueling support for the Maoists. Read the rest of this entry »

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Kalinga Nagar relieves memories of police firing

Posted by Admin on January 3, 2010

Photo of the rally by Akshya RoutBy Amulya Kumar Pati
Jajpur, Jan. 2: A large number of tribals rallied in Kalinga Nagar, the steel hub of India in Odisha’s Jajpur district on Saturday to mark the fourth anniversary of the killing of 14 tribals including three women in police firing while protesting against Tata’s proposed steel project there.

Four years ago, the police had fired on tribals protesting against forcibly displacement through the construction of a boundary wall by the Tata Steel for its 6 million tonnes steel plant in the steel hub.

The anti-industry groups under the banner of Bisthapan Birodhi Janamanch (BBJM) assembled today at Ambagadia, where the tribals killed in the police action were mass cremated in the morning.

The tribals, mostly women and children, brandishing with sword, lathis and their traditional weapons took out a 7 km long rally from Birbhumi, the firing spot to Ambagadia.
Carrying posters and banners, the tribals marched towards the memorial pillar where the victims were cremated en masse in the Kalinga Nagar industrial complex shouting slogans against the Naveen government and Tatas.

Other than local tribals, various groups from Jagatsingpur, Keonjhar, Niyamgiri and Puri where the locals are opposing land acquisition, expressed their solidarity with BBJM, which is spearheading the anti industrialization movement in the area sine inception of police firing on 02 Jan 2006.

“Police have been torturing us both physically and mentally for the last couple of months. We won’t tolerate any torture on the innocent tribals. There shouldn’t be any industry at the cost of tribals and their livelihood. Our fight against industrialisation will continue till the government changes its decision to set up industries on farm land.” Many BBJM leaders said in the meetings.

“Fourteen of our fellow men sacrificed their lives for tribal’s cause. We are ready to die even in en masse, but will not spare even an inch of land for industry,” said Rabindra Jarika, secretary BBJM. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Orissa | 6 Comments »

Kalinga Nagar: Police arrest 2 of anti-industry brigad

Posted by Admin on January 3, 2010

Express News Service

JAJPUR: The Kalinga Nagar police yesterday arrested two core committee members of Vistapan Virodhi Jan Manch (VVJM) ahead of fourth anniversary of Kalinga Nagar police firing on Saturday. They were forwarded to court of JMFC at Jajpur Road and later remanded in judicial custody after their bail pleas were rejected, officials said.The arrested _ Kunja Gagarai and Budansingh Jamuda of Gadhapur _ were allegedly wanted by police for the last couple of years.Reports said apprehending a huge gathering of tribals on the fourth anniversary of police firing, the district police conducted a massive raid at Gadhapur village and arrested the duo last night.

The anniversary function is being organised by VVJM which has been spearheading the tribal agitation in the area since police firing on January 2, 2006, in which 14 tribals died while protesting land acquisition by the Tatas.As many as four platoons of armed police force led by DSP Bipin Behari Mallick conducted the raid.“About 200 armed police led by a DSP picked up eight persons, including six children, from the village at gunpoint.

The arrests were made while all were deep asleep,” said VVJM secretary Rabindra Jarika.The arrests were in violation of human rights, he said.District authorities are planning to break the unity of the tribals ahead of the anniversary celebration, he added. Police will have to pay a heavy price if they proceed further, Jarika threatened.Contacted, Jajpur SP D.S.Kuttey said, “Both Gagarai and Jamuda were wanted by police for the last two years. While seven cases and two NBWs are pending against Gagarai, two NBWs are pending against Jamuda. Though we arrested eight persons, including some minors, only two of them have been forwarded to court. We are verifying the antecedents of others.” Ebuzz

Posted in Orissa | Leave a Comment »

Pro-mining ‘goons’ harass and intimidate human rights investigators in India 21 December

Posted by Admin on December 22, 2009

The Dongria depend entirely on the Niyamgiri Hills for their livelihood.The Dongria depend entirely on the Niyamgiri Hills for their livelihood.
© Survival

Human rights investigators in India have been harassed and intimidated by large gangs of men apparently paid to stop any outsiders reaching the site of a controversial proposed mine in India.

The men, known locally as ‘goons’, have become increasingly active in villages around the Niyamgiri Hills, Orissa, site of a giant bauxite mine planned by the UK FTSE-100 company Vedanta Resources. The hills are the ancestral home of the Dongria Kondh tribe, who vehemently oppose the mine.

The gangs, equipped with new mobile phones and motorbikes, harassed the investigators shortly before Pavan Kaushik, Vedanta’s head of corporate communications, wrote a letter to selected journalists.

In the letter Mr Kaushik attacked ‘foreigners’ for ‘freely moving in the region’ and ‘forcedly interacting with tribals’, alleged they were circulating ‘false information’, and asked journalists to ‘do this story’. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Admin on December 20, 2009

The After Kill Of Narayanpatna

The bloodshed may have halted, but violence, fear and the possibility of starvation still haunt. SANJANA reports from the remote Orissa town where police killed two Adivasis last month
image Cycle of death
With police restricting harvest, children may end up starving Photos: Tarun Sehrawat

THE VOICE at the other end of the line is weak and tired. It’s past 8 pm. “We are on our way to the village,” he says. “We walk six hours every day – three hours at daybreak from our village into the forest and three hours at sundown back to the village. We hide in the jungles during the day and come to the village at night. We don’t want to be arrested by the police who come to our villages during the day,” says the 24-yearold. A few minutes of conversation later, he asks if his name and village can be kept anonymous. “If the police read the report, they may come to our village and hunt us down,” he says. Nothing you say can dislodge the fear.

Three weeks after a police firing, Narayanpatna in Orissa continues to resemble a war zone – with near-empty villages. The 24-year-old Adivasi that TEHELKA spoke with is only one of several hundred families who live in constant fear.

On 20 November 2009, two Adivasis died in the paramilitary forces’ firing at the Narayanpatna police station. Both the Adivasis were part of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh – an Adivasi organisation in the region that is fighting for the last 15 years for the Adivasis’ right over land – and were part of a 150 strong group that had gathered at the police station to protest over continued police harassment. Last week, in the story ‘A zone of twisted law’ (issue 50 dated 19 December, 2009) TEHELKA had detailed attempts by the state to derail the CMAS and other Adivasi organisations working in the area by equating them directly with the Communist Party of India (Maoist) active in the region. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Article, Orissa | Leave a Comment »

Orissa: Mining company’s scare tactics against human rights NGO

Posted by Admin on December 15, 2009

There have been repeated protests against Vedanta's planned mine.There have been repeated protests against Vedanta’s planned mine.
© Satyabady Naik

Metals giant Vedanta Resources’ Indian subsidiary has launched an unprecedented attack on Survival International, apparently to drive its researchers out of an area where the company is planning to mine.

The mining company has falsely accused Survival of ‘forcedly interacting’ with the Dongria Kondh tribe who live around the area earmarked for mining, and of causing ‘unrest.’ Vedanta has prompted a police investigation into Survival, with officers making a late night visit to a hotel where they believed Survival researchers were staying.

Survival researchers were in the Niyamgiri area of Orissa, east India, to talk with members of the Dongria Kondh community whose future is threatened by a proposed Vedanta mine on their sacred mountain.

Pavan Kaushik, Vedanta Group’s head of corporate communications, wrote to journalists alleging that ‘foreign NGOs including Survival International… are provoking innocent tribal’s to defame the government and the company’. In the letter, he attacked ‘foreigners’ for ‘freely moving in the region’ and alleged that they were circulating ‘false information’. The letter also invites journalists to contact the regional Superintendent of Police, who is named as available for interview. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Orissa | 1 Comment »

Maoists urge Orissa CM Naveen Pattnaik to beg apology for Narayanpatna incident

Posted by Admin on December 11, 2009

Report by Deba Prasad Dash; Malkangiri: All the BJD leaders including party MLA,MPs of Malkangiri and Koraput districts in Orissa will be awarded death sentence if the police atrocity does not comes to end in Narayanpatna of Koraput district,said Communist Party of India(Maoist) Malkangiri Divisional Committee Secretary Ramal.In a letter that reached this Malkangiri based reporter yesterday, the Maoist leader has urged Naveen Pattnaik to beg apology for the Narayanpatna police firing on Nov 20 and unconditional release of all the forcibly arrested innocent tribals.

The letter signed by C.P.I(Maoist) Malkangiri Divisional Committee Secretary Ramal has demanded punishment for the police personnel’s involved in the Nov 20 police firing. The state government has proved it’s fascist nature by opening fire on the tribal people who were organizing a peaceful rally to lodge their protest,the letter alleged adding the police is making a false publicity of attacking the Narayanpatna police station by the tribals to snatch away the arms from the cops. Describing the police firing as inhuman,the Maoist leader has alleged that the firing was resulted in killing of three persons ,while more than 30 tribals were injured. Read the rest of this entry »

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Fact finding: Chennai women’s narrow escape in Orissa

Posted by Admin on December 11, 2009

G Babu Jayakumar

CHENNAI: Two activists from Chennai were part of an all-woman fact-finding team, whose members were almost lynched on Wednesday by armed men claiming to be plainclothesmen at Narayanpatna in Orissa, where they had gone to enquire into reports of sexual assault of tribal women and other human rights violations by the police. Recounting the experience, Shweta Narayan of ‘The Other Media’ in Chennai, told Express over phone from Bhubaneswar on Thursday that there was a possibility of a ‘Salwa Judum’ type of outfit operating in Narayanpatna, where a police firing on November 20 killed two members of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh, a movement fighting for the dignity and rights of the local people there.Besides Narayan and Madhumita Dutta from Chennai, the team comprised seven others. The nine women had taken along Poru Chandra Sahu, a local man, after informing the Koraput district collector about their visit.

They also request the district collector to facilitate a meeting with imprisoned Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh activists, particularly a woman leader who was allegedly raped in police custody.But they were forced to flee Narayanpatna without speaking to a single tribal after being taunted, abused and beaten up by men inside the police station and on their return journey to Bondapalli, a border village in Andhra Pradesh, another shock awaited them. The women were confronted by an armed contingent of the Andhra Pradesh police, along with a cackle of gun-totting youth, just as they were about to heave a sigh of relief over crossing the border. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Admin on December 10, 2009

Update at 2.45 p.m., 9 December, 2009

A 9 woman fact-finding team and their driver were assaulted in the Narayanpatna Police Station premises when they went to enquire into the conditions leading up to the police firing of 20 November, 2009, in Naryanpatna, Orissa. The 20 November, 2009, firing which left 2 adivasis dead and hundreds injured has triggered tensions in the area. The team which fled the police and other armed people in Orissa just concluded a press conference at Parvathipuram, Vijayanagaram District, Andhra Pradesh. The team was in Orissa after receiving disturbing reports of state-sponsored violence, rape, molestations and atrocities against adivasi villagers, and members of the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh. According to reliable reports, the CMAS, a peaceful, democratic movement fighting for the dignity and rights of adivasis, is being branded extremist by the State in a prelude to unleashing terror on the tribal inhabitants of the area. Prompting the State’s violence is the CMAS’ campaign for land rights and against the liquor-moneylender-mining lobby. Following the firing of 20 November, 2009, the conditions in Narayanpatna have been vitiated, with platoons of state police, CRPF and the dreaded Cobra battalions posted in the area. The routes to the area have been sealed off, and reports filtering out of the area from adivasis speak of atrocities against adivasis. This bears a striking resemblance to Home Minister P.Chidambaram’s Operation Greenhunt launched against indigenous people in Chattisgarh to evict them from their lands, and free up the areas for occupation by mining corporations like Tata and Essar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Who will protect the tribals of Narayanpatna?

Posted by Admin on December 7, 2009

CJ: K. Sudhakar Patnaik

Mon, Dec 07, 2009 12:55:35 IST

THE CHASI Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) who was leading the tribal agitation to lead the lives free from the clutches of money lenders, land grabbing non-tribals, liquor (vendors belonging to a particular community), corrupt politician equally corrupt bureaucrats; the agitation almost turned into peace after visiting the village of Bhaliaput by series of peaceful committees. When the tribals failed to get back their paternal land through a democratic process, they got the land back through a mass movement. Here the question of the leader and leadership don’t arise. However, quite surprisingly the government declared Nachika Linga as the ‘most wanted person’, which recollects no other than British raaj before independence.

I don’t know whether it is a democracy or demon cracy that is prevailed in Narayanpatna. The armed constabulary deployed in Narayanpatna doesn’t know the language spoken by the tribals. The area has turned into a hunting ground backed by bureaucrats. It seems like the politicians are sitting at New Delhi or at Bhubaneswar only to dictate the terms to its armed constabulary most probably to eliminate the name of peace. This is what actually happened several times even before independence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Probe killing of two adivasi leaders in Orissa: Amnesty International

Posted by Admin on December 7, 2009

By News Desk,

New Delhi: The authorities in the eastern Indian state of Orissa must ensure independent,

credible and impartial investigation into the killings of two adivasi leaders by police and paramilitary personnel in Narayanpatna on 20 November 2009, Amnesty International demanded on December 2.

In a statement on Wednesday, the human rights group urged the Government of Orissa to immediately order an independent, impartial and thorough investigation into the use of force by the police and ensure that any officer suspected of using force unnecessarily or excessively, including those who ordered the shooting or were otherwise responsible, is prosecuted in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.

The deceased – Singanna and Andrew Nachika – were peacefully protesting outside the Narayanpatna police station in Koraput district along with 80-100 other members of an indigenous people’s movement – Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS). The protestors demanded that the police stop harassing the adivasi communities who have been campaigning for an end to illegal mining in the area. Read the rest of this entry »

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Orissa: Activists seek protection for CMAS leader Linga

Posted by Admin on December 7, 2009

BHUBANESWAR: With police hot on the trails of Nachika Linga, the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) head, a delegation led by activist Medha Patkar today met Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare here to seek protection for the rebel leader besides restoring crop harvesting rights to the tribals.Likening the police action in Narayanpatna to Salwa Judum, the activists in their memorandum submitted to the Governor stated that the tribal outfit only enforced what the administration couldn’t.

The Regulation 2 of 1956 and an amendment made in 2002 called for the rights of tribals over their land. Since the government circulars in this regard failed, the CMAS had to take action on their own by bringing together political force in the area, the memorandum said, adding, the move was not acceptable to land grabbers, liquor vendors and vested interest groups.Drawing the Governor’s attention to recent spate of arrests, Medha and other members said tribals brought under their control 2,500 acres from land-grabbers but with police action, they cannot harvest their crops. Read the rest of this entry »

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