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Kashipur Solidarity

Kashipur Solidarity
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_ _"Mining is the crudest technology of contemporary civilisation.It disfigures the earth,depletes its resources and systematically destroys communities who are the natural owners of the land gifted with minerals.Man must invent a technology and a method that can be used by the owning communities to exploit the mines in a sustainable manner.No new mines should be opened till such an invention is confirmed.Without a nature-friendly mind and nature-friendly tools,nobody has the moral right to interfere with nature."
                                                           --- Kishen Pattnayak.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Tribals plan to stop Vedanta vehicles



Staff Reporter



Niyamgiri Bachao Samity conducts meet





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Meeting also attended by other activists supporting the agitation

Over 7,000 primitive Dongria Kondh tribals live in the region


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BERHAMPUR: Members of the Niyamgiri Bachao Samity (NBS) on Sunday held a meeting at Sakata under Muniguda block in Rayagada district to plan their future plans to oppose mining in the Niyamgiri hills in south Orissa.

Around 1,000 delegates from villages to be affected by proposed mining in the Niyamgiri hills from Lanjigarh block of Kalahandi district and Bisamkatak, Muniguda, Kalyansinghpur blocks of Rayagad district participated in the meeting. Most of them were members of Dongria Kondh community, one of the ancient tribes of the country.

The tribals decided to stop entry of vehicles and officials of both Government and Vendanta Alumina Limited (VAL) into the Niyamgiri area. “We have also vowed not to allow construction of new roads in the remote Niyamgiri area which will facilitate mining in the region at the cost of the environment,” said Dongria tribal leader Jitendra Jakesika. The NBS has decided to hold a large tribal rally at Muniguda in the second week of February as a show of strength against the proposed mining in Niyamgiri area.

This meeting was also attended by environmental activist, Praful Samantra, Samjawadi Janparishad leader Lingaraj Azad and CPI-ML (New Democracy) leader, Bhala Chandra Sarangi, who have extended support to the agitation.

The Niyamgiri hill range houses dense forests, wild animals with ample bio-diversity. As per the official records 7,987 primitive Dongria Kondh tribals live in this region. From this region emerge the Rushikulaya and Nagavali rivers of south Orissa. It may be noted that the VAL is setting up an alumina refinery at an estimated investment of over Rs. 4,000 crores in Orissa. The construction of refinery unit is complete.

This refinery is to depend on ores mined from Niyamgiri region. But the mining has been delayed due to court cases and protest by green activists

The legal stumbling blocks in the path of mining in the region have got removed. Yet the stiff opposition of the locals of around 104 tribal villages to be affected by this controversial mining project has prevented start of mining work. Since Nov 10 last year the tribals have not allowed the VAL officials to enter the region and start construction of wider road for movement of heavy vehicles needed for mining work.








© Copyright 2000 - 2008 The Hindu
 
ARREST OF ACTIVIST SAROJ MOHANTY: AN URGENT APPEAL
 
Saroj Mohanty, poet and long-time
                                    activist with Prakrutik Sampad
Surakhya Parishad (PSSP), which has over 15 years been opposing
the entry of large bauxite mining companies in Kashipur,
                                    has been
arrested.
                                    Saroj was picked up at a railway station in Rayagada
District, on Saturday, 14 July. He is
                                    currently in judicial custody in
Rayagada district jail.
The charges against him are completely fabricated but serious. These
charges include section 395 of the IPC (Dacoity), section 397 (Robbery
or dacoity, with attempt to cause
                                    death or grevious hurt), and section
450 (House tresspass with intention to commit offence that is
punishable with imprisonment for
                                    life).
These
                                    absurd charges against Saroj stem from attempts in late 2004 by
the mining company UAIL and the Orissa
                                    government hell-bent on pushing
the project for bauxite mining through to undermine the resistance to the project by
slapping false cases on the leadership
                                    and mass base of PSSP. The
intense protests by the people was met by severe repression,
harassment and arrests, which continues to this day. As
                                    part of the
continuing
                                    repression carried out at the time, a number of PSSP
activists and ordinary people were falsely charged. Among them was
Saroj Mohanty.
Prior to his intense involvemnt as senior activist with
                                    the struggles of the adivasi people of Kashipur region, Saroj Mohanty
                                    was active with the anti-liquor movement in Sambalpur district as soon as he completed his MA in Political Science from Sambalpur
                                    University. He has been a student leader throughout his college and university years. He is a well known progressive Oriya
                                    poet and intellectual is currently the Editor of the respected
journal Anvesha. Anvesha has been a forum for rich debate
on questions pertaining to development,
                                    industrialization and
                                    other
important
                                    socio-economic issues of our time.
The arrest of Saroj Mohanty
                                    at this time constitutes a setback to the
movement in Kashipur and to movements that are erupting all over the
country against the plunder of people's
                                    resources, lands and
livelihoods
                                    by large industry. It is an increasingly alarming
                                    trend
that
                                    activists and movements struggling for preservation of people's lives and
livelihoods
                                    are being ruthlessly targetted physically and by the use
of law.
 
This is an urgent appeal to you/ your organization to join the many
voices demanding his release and that
                                    these fabricated cases against
Saroj and other activists of PSSP Kashipur be withdrawn. 
 
A protest programme demanding his release
                                    is being organized on 21 July in Bhubaneshwar in front of the Governor’s Residence.
 
We request you to lend your solidarity and raise your voice by participating in the
 programme; organize protest programmes in your own city on that date; write to the Chief Minister, Orissa Govt (Email: ????, Fax: ???)
and
                                    the Governor of Orissa demanding that Saroj be released.
WE ARE SENDING A DRAFT OF THE MAIL YOU CAN WRITE IN THE NEXT
                                    MAIL.
In
                                    solidarity,
Ranjana
                                    Padhi, Nagraj Adve, Madhumita Dutta, D Manjit and Arun Bidani
for
Kashipur Solidarity Group
DRAFT OF LETTER U CAN SEND TO ORISSA CM FOR RELEASE OF Saroj, PSSP and Samajwadi Janaparishad. PLEASE ACT!  
Subject: Immediate and unconditional release of Saroj Mohanty,
                                    poet, activist and editor of Anvesha
 
I/we wish to bring to your urgent notice the arrest of Shri Saroj Mohanty on 14th July 2007, a poet and a long-time activist with Prakrutik Sampad
                                    Surakhya Parishad (PSSP), Kashipur, Rayagada District.
 
Subsequent to his arrest, Saroj has been charged with serious offences under
                                    section 395 of the IPC (Dacoity), section 397 (Robbery or dacoity, with attempt to cause death or grievous hurt), and section
                                    450 (House tresspass with intention to commit offence that is
                                    punishable with imprisonment for life).
 
I/we contend that these charges are completely fabricated and are an attempt by the district administration under
                                    the pressure from Utkal Alumina Limited (UAIL) to repress and undermine the peaceful resistance of the people of Kashipur
                                    to the proposed setting up of bauxite mines and alumina smelter in the area. Since 2004 the district administration has been
                                    slapping false cases on the leadership of PSSP, which for the last 15 years alongwith the people of Kashipur have been peacefully
                                    demanding the protection of the lives and livelihood of the local people, mostly adivasis and dalits, who will loose their
                                    land and livelihood to UAIL
                                    project.
 
Saroj
                                    Mohanty is a well known social activist, who has been working since college days with
                                    people’s movements, a progressive Oriya poet and an intellectual and is currently the Editor of a respected journal
                                    Anvesha. Anvesha has been a forum for rich debate on questions pertaining to development, industrialization and other important
                                    socio-economic issues of our time.
 
Arrest
                                    of Saroj Mohanty impinges on the democratic space
                                    of the citizens of this country to protest and voice their opinion in free and fair manner. I/We therefore demand that:
 
1.        Saroj Mohanty be immediately and unconditionally released
2.       
                                    All false cases against Saroj Mohanty and other
                                    PSSP activists and local people be unconditionally withdrawn
3.        All harassment and repressive tactic
                                    by the state administration to undermine the peaceful resistance of the people of kashipur be immediately stopped
 
Sincerely,
 
Shri Naveen Patnaik
Chief Minister of Orissa
Tel. No.(O) 0674 2531100,
Fax no. 0674 2535100,
Email: cmo@ori.nic.in
 Shri Rameshwar Thakur
Governor
Phone 0674-2536111
Fax 0674-2536582

Jajpur Police Firing
 It is not firing, It is cold-blooded massacre


The tragic events in Kalinganagar are unprecedented. Many of us were forecasting possibilities of such an event, given the rising level of resentment against indiscriminate industrialization in tribal areas of Orissa and its impact on the tribals. We are bringing out our updates again to inform a wider audience of the real ground situation.

This is time for all of us to express solidarity with the people who have been killed and injured and join in the fight against injustice and inhumanity. The current update includes the following:

1. People's version of Kalinganagar Firing
2. Resistance continues despite tragedy
\n3. "The Land of Jaganath where blood runs cheap" by Bhagabat Prasad Rath \n\n4. An appeal from Academicians\n5. A letter to Nabin Pattanaik by Dunu Roy\n6. Press release by National campaign for Survival with Dignity \n\n7. A report by Vidya Das as circulated in forestrights listserve\n\n8. Finally, a response from a Non-Resident Oriya illustrating the mindset of a section of oriya elite. \n\n \nWe are including statements and reports from different sources to widen the understanding of the issue. We are not responsible for the veracity of all the information. \n\n \nRegards\n \n",1]
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3. "The Land of Jaganath where blood runs cheap" by Bhagabat Prasad Rath
4. An appeal from Academicians
5. A letter to Nabin Pattanaik by Dunu Roy
6. Press release by National campaign for Survival with Dignity
7. A report by Vidya Das as circulated in forestrights listserve
We are including statements and reports from different sources to widen the understanding of the issue. We are not responsible for the veracity of all the information.

Regards

Nachiketa\n_______________________________________________________________________________________________________ \n \nPEOPLE\'S VERSION OF KALINGANAGAR FIRING ON 2ND JANUARY, 2006\n \nBy Independent Media \n \nBased on discussions with the people of Kalinganagar and representatives of Visthapit Virodhi Janamanch, following version of events at Kalinganagar on 2 \nnd January, 2006 have emerged :\n \nThe District Administration has been trying to take over the land for TATA steel for the last few months after an attempt to start construction on 9 \nth May, 2005 was foiled by resistance by the local adibasis, who claimed that they will not vacate the land till their demands are met. From 23rd December, 2005, rumors started flying the district administration and the company may try to take over the land soon. The message was again conveyed to the administration that such a move will lead to do or die resistance. \n\n \n",1]
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Nachiketa
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

PEOPLE'S VERSION OF KALINGANAGAR FIRING ON 2ND JANUARY, 2006

By Independent Media

Based on discussions with the people of Kalinganagar and representatives of Visthapit Virodhi Janamanch, following version of events at Kalinganagar on 2 nd January, 2006 have emerged :

The District Administration has been trying to take over the land for TATA steel for the last few months after an attempt to start construction on 9 th May, 2005 was foiled by resistance by the local adibasis, who claimed that they will not vacate the land till their demands are met. From 23rd December, 2005, rumors started flying the district administration and the company may try to take over the land soon. The message was again conveyed to the administration that such a move will lead to do or die resistance.

During their annual get together at Chandiya on Jan 1st, which they have started 5 years back, the people came to know through a leak in the administration that they would initiate Boundary wall construction for the TATAs on the 2nd January, 2006 without taking the consent of the people. The tribals decided to oppose this attempt as they have opposed other attempts earlier. \n\n \nOn 2nd January, 2006 morning, the district administration including the Collector and the SP and TATA Steel officials reached the site with \n bulldozers, and started construction of the boundary wall. The team was escorted by 12 platoons of armed police armed with sophisticated weapons.\n \nOn seeing the beginning of the work, the tribal people started gathering, and a four member delegation was formed to go and talk to the district officials present at the spot. People say that the four member delegation went to meet the district administration, and many of the tribals assembled there staretdd following them at a distance. When this group of tribals reached the ditch dug to erect the boundary wall, and were about to cross it, they heard the police sound a whistle, and saw a policeman pull a rope. The people say that after this there were large explosions in the ditch and two persons fell down dead and many were injured. There had been no warning and no indications from the police before this happened. \n\n \n",1]
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During their annual get together at Chandiya on Jan 1st, which they have started 5 years back, the people came to know through a leak in the administration that they would initiate Boundary wall construction for the TATAs on the 2nd January, 2006 without taking the consent of the people. The tribals decided to oppose this attempt as they have opposed other attempts earlier.

On 2nd January, 2006 morning, the district administration including the Collector and the SP and TATA Steel officials reached the site with bulldozers, and started construction of the boundary wall. The team was escorted by 12 platoons of armed police armed with sophisticated weapons.

On seeing the beginning of the work, the tribal people started gathering, and a four member delegation was formed to go and talk to the district officials present at the spot. People say that the four member delegation went to meet the district administration, and many of the tribals assembled there staretdd following them at a distance. When this group of tribals reached the ditch dug to erect the boundary wall, and were about to cross it, they heard the police sound a whistle, and saw a policeman pull a rope. The people say that after this there were large explosions in the ditch and two persons fell down dead and many were injured. There had been no warning and no indications from the police before this happened.

Simultaneously tear gas, rubber bullet firing and actual firing started. Chaos ensued, with people running helter and skelter. Even the unarmed local policemen panicked at the firing and the explosions, and people say that in this panic one or two policemen fell into the boundary wall ditch and were injured by the tribals in the heat of the moment. On hearing the sound of explosions and firing, more tribals from the nearby settlements rushed to the site and started stone pelting and firing arrows inspite of the continuos firing by the police. \n\n \nThe firing was indiscriminate and in all directions, and continued for over an hour. Even people who were 200-300 meters away were injured. Many people who were trying to escape have bullet injuries in the back, whereas others, who stood and tried to fight back, have been injured in neck and torso in front. Jangi Jarika, a tribal woman who died was outside her house and was struck by a bullet. As per our information six people (including one policeman) died on the spot, and another seven died of the injuries. Most shockingly, the representatives of Visthapan Virodhi Janamanch have alleged that six adivasies who were lightly injured and couldn\'t run away were picked up by the police, and their hands were chopped off by the police. The bodies have been received by the people and \n all the six bodies have their hands chopped off. Their names are Mukta Bankara (a woman), Landu Jarika, Bhagwan Sai, jinga jarika, Ramu Gagare and Arti Jamuda. As per information, Photographs have been taken and will be presented as soon as possible. We are trying to confirm the same. \n\n ",1]
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Simultaneously tear gas, rubber bullet firing and actual firing started. Chaos ensued, with people running helter and skelter. Even the unarmed local policemen panicked at the firing and the explosions, and people say that in this panic one or two policemen fell into the boundary wall ditch and were injured by the tribals in the heat of the moment. On hearing the sound of explosions and firing, more tribals from the nearby settlements rushed to the site and started stone pelting and firing arrows inspite of the continuos firing by the police.

The firing was indiscriminate and in all directions, and continued for over an hour. Even people who were 200-300 meters away were injured. Many people who were trying to escape have bullet injuries in the back, whereas others, who stood and tried to fight back, have been injured in neck and torso in front. Jangi Jarika, a tribal woman who died was outside her house and was struck by a bullet. As per our information six people (including one policeman) died on the spot, and another seven died of the injuries. Most shockingly, the representatives of Visthapan Virodhi Janamanch have alleged that six adivasies who were lightly injured and couldn't run away were picked up by the police, and their hands were chopped off by the police. The bodies have been received by the people and all the six bodies have their hands chopped off. Their names are Mukta Bankara (a woman), Landu Jarika, Bhagwan Sai, jinga jarika, Ramu Gagare and Arti Jamuda. As per information, Photographs have been taken and will be presented as soon as possible. We are trying to confirm the same.

The armed police was armed with sophisticated weapons and the tribals claim that people as far as 400 meters were felled by bullets. It is also claimed that at least 20 persons are still missing. \n\nQuestions raised:\n \n1. Why did the administration and Tata Steel decide to carry out boundary wall construction in spite of being well aware of the tremendous resentment of the local tribals, and in spite of being warned time and again that they should not try to takeover the land without meeting the demands of the tribals? And if they still went ahead, what was the purpose of having 12 platoons of armed police headed by the Collector and the SP at the site? Since when Collectors and SPs start attending boundary wall constructions? The clear inference is that this was to deliberately provoke the tribals and to use the opportunity to teach them a lesson. \n\n2. Inspite of the provocation, the tribal people sent a delegation of four persons to meet and reason out with district administration on the site. Instead of talking to them, the administration precipitated the situation through the explosions in the ditch and through firing at the tribals? This again illustrates that the massacre was pre-planned. \n\n3. What were the explosions in the ditch for the boundary wall? Local people say that these were landmines which were apparently activated by policemen pulling on a rope? If that is true, this is an unprecedented level of barbarity where landmines have been used to kill own citizens. This must be enquired into at the highest level and the truth brought out? \n",1]
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The armed police was armed with sophisticated weapons and the tribals claim that people as far as 400 meters were felled by bullets. It is also claimed that at least 20 persons are still missing.
Questions raised:

1. Why did the administration and Tata Steel decide to carry out boundary wall construction in spite of being well aware of the tremendous resentment of the local tribals, and in spite of being warned time and again that they should not try to takeover the land without meeting the demands of the tribals? And if they still went ahead, what was the purpose of having 12 platoons of armed police headed by the Collector and the SP at the site? Since when Collectors and SPs start attending boundary wall constructions? The clear inference is that this was to deliberately provoke the tribals and to use the opportunity to teach them a lesson.
2. Inspite of the provocation, the tribal people sent a delegation of four persons to meet and reason out with district administration on the site. Instead of talking to them, the administration precipitated the situation through the explosions in the ditch and through firing at the tribals? This again illustrates that the massacre was pre-planned.
3. What were the explosions in the ditch for the boundary wall? Local people say that these were landmines which were apparently activated by policemen pulling on a rope? If that is true, this is an unprecedented level of barbarity where landmines have been used to kill own citizens. This must be enquired into at the highest level and the truth brought out?
\n4. The explosions in the ditch precipitated the situation and firing on tribals followed immediately. No warning was given to the tribals. This is unprecedented and unlawful. \n\n5. Why has government not come out with the figures of the number of rounds fired? This is a normal practice, and we apprehend that the government is trying to hide the number of rounds fired to suppress the scale of firing. \n\n6. Why were policemen armed with sophisticated weapons with high range including automatic weaponry deputed to the site? \n\n7. What has led to the current situation where strong resentment and anger is present amongst the displaced tribals? Why was no ameliorative action taken to meet their just demands earlier? \n\n9. Why was Saswat Mishra, the infamous Collector who was involved in Vednata case and who is known for his pro-industry and anti-tribal stance deputed as Collector in the extremely sensitive Jajpur district? Why was he present on the site when the firing took place? \n\n \nThe whole massacre seems pre-planned and organized, with certain key persons in the Government and bureaucracy collaborating with TATA Steel to crush the tribal resistance to industrialization and displacement. It seems that a clear signal was to be sent to the opponents of the forced "industrialization" through private capital that no obstacles shall be tolerated. \n",1]
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4. The explosions in the ditch precipitated the situation and firing on tribals followed immediately. No warning was given to the tribals. This is unprecedented and unlawful.
5. Why has government not come out with the figures of the number of rounds fired? This is a normal practice, and we apprehend that the government is trying to hide the number of rounds fired to suppress the scale of firing.
6. Why were policemen armed with sophisticated weapons with high range including automatic weaponry deputed to the site?
7. What has led to the current situation where strong resentment and anger is present amongst the displaced tribals? Why was no ameliorative action taken to meet their just demands earlier?
9. Why was Saswat Mishra, the infamous Collector who was involved in Vednata case and who is known for his pro-industry and anti-tribal stance deputed as Collector in the extremely sensitive Jajpur district? Why was he present on the site when the firing took place?

The whole massacre seems pre-planned and organized, with certain key persons in the Government and bureaucracy collaborating with TATA Steel to crush the tribal resistance to industrialization and displacement. It seems that a clear signal was to be sent to the opponents of the forced "industrialization" through private capital that no obstacles shall be tolerated.
\n \nResistance Continues Despite Tragedy \n\n \nOn the second day of the tragedy that took lives of 12 tribals and one policeman, Kalinga Nagar witnessed visits by leaders of ruling BJP, opposition parties, on going people\'s movements and solidarity fronts. The medical Superintendent of SCB medical college has said it in his TV interview that conditions of three tribals who have been operated upon and bullets recovered from their belly continue to be critical. The Independent Media special reporter who visited SCB Medical College Hospital this evening confirms that three of the nine people admitted in to the hospital are critical. The agitating and aggrieved tribals in Kaling Nagar have decided to continue their protest till the State government accepts their demands. Their demands include: \n\ni. A complete halt to the eviction drive and immediate withdrawal of all projects in Kalinga Nagar \n\nii. A complete fullstop to the aggressive industrialization initiated in Kalinganagar\n \niii Dismissal of the Collector and SP from service and initiation of criminal proceedings against them for the crimes committed by them on 2 \n",1]
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Resistance Continues Despite Tragedy

On the second day of the tragedy that took lives of 12 tribals and one policeman, Kalinga Nagar witnessed visits by leaders of ruling BJP, opposition parties, on going people's movements and solidarity fronts. The medical Superintendent of SCB medical college has said it in his TV interview that conditions of three tribals who have been operated upon and bullets recovered from their belly continue to be critical. The Independent Media special reporter who visited SCB Medical College Hospital this evening confirms that three of the nine people admitted in to the hospital are critical. The agitating and aggrieved tribals in Kaling Nagar have decided to continue their protest till the State government accepts their demands. Their demands include:
i. A complete halt to the eviction drive and immediate withdrawal of all projects in Kalinga Nagar
ii. A complete fullstop to the aggressive industrialization initiated in Kalinganagar
iii Dismissal of the Collector and SP from service and initiation of criminal proceedings against them for the crimes committed by them on 2
nd January causing death of 12 tribals and critically injuring several others \niii. Criminal proceedings against all officials party to the crime \niv. Rs 20,00,000 as compensation to the next kin of the dead And Rs 10,00,000 to the injured persons \n\nThe people have handed over all the dead bodies for postmortem and the mass cremation will take place on 4th January 2006 at Chandigaon. The NDTV team met the family members of one of the dead women, \n Jangi Jarika who has left behind a six months old baby and three more children. Jangi was not in the spot but fell victim to indiscriminate firing. It is also alleged that the second dead woman, was killed by the police by chopping off her hands. \n\nThe firing incidence has doubly strengthened the determination of the tribal to fight back and to continue their resistance. They don\'t trust the opposition parties because of obvious reasons. The leadership of the movement is entirely in the hands of the tribals. Those who visit there from outside are treated as solidarity groups if they agree to accept the demands of the tribals. The mainstream media, middle class and ruling elites are not able to digest this simple fact. Therefore, there is deliberate attempt to brand the tribals as Maoists both by the bureaucrats and media. \n\n_______________________________________________________________________ \n",1]
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nd January causing death of 12 tribals and critically injuring several others
iii. Criminal proceedings against all officials party to the crime
iv. Rs 20,00,000 as compensation to the next kin of the dead And Rs 10,00,000 to the injured persons
The people have handed over all the dead bodies for postmortem and the mass cremation will take place on 4th January 2006 at Chandigaon. The NDTV team met the family members of one of the dead women, Jangi Jarika who has left behind a six months old baby and three more children. Jangi was not in the spot but fell victim to indiscriminate firing. It is also alleged that the second dead woman, was killed by the police by chopping off her hands.
The firing incidence has doubly strengthened the determination of the tribal to fight back and to continue their resistance. They don't trust the opposition parties because of obvious reasons. The leadership of the movement is entirely in the hands of the tribals. Those who visit there from outside are treated as solidarity groups if they agree to accept the demands of the tribals. The mainstream media, middle class and ruling elites are not able to digest this simple fact. Therefore, there is deliberate attempt to brand the tribals as Maoists both by the bureaucrats and media.
_______________________________________________________________________
\n THE LAND OF JAGANNATH WHERE BLOOD RUNS CHEAP\n Bhagabat Rath\n \n"We shall take away your livelihood, we shall destroy your communities. But be good boys. Development is a demanding deity. You have to be sacrificed for the welfare of the state. After all we are civilized people. We are asking you how you want to die. We live in a democracy. We must honor your choice. In a dictatorship, people are not so lucky. Nobody asks them sweetly about their choice, regarding the manner of death," the leader harangues. \n\nCorporate power has triumphed again. The state has bared its poisonous iron fangs. The police have killed the real people, the salt of the earth. From Kashipore to Paradeep to Kalinganagar. It is the same blood soaked tale. Rituals follow. Regrets by top dignitaries, drum-beating by the opposition who have also merrily sold their Faustian souls. A few statements, some news in the press, a few lacs distributed as compensation; in hard-pressed circumstances, the declaration of a judicial enquiry. Calm will be restored soon. The elite will heave a sigh of relief. Orissa must develop with so much resource, why should Orissa not become another America or at least a South Korea? A few sighs and Ahas. A few voices of sympathy. Then the usual course of coarse life takes over. \n\n The corporate dragon devours Iron, Bauxite, Manganese, Chromium and many other metals and foodstuff from which blood drips. Its ill-gotten gold oils the election machine of powerful political parties. The people of the soil must pay with their lives. Who asked them to choose lands where metals abound? They are under a curse, the curse of corporate greed gleaming doom and devastation. \n",1]
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THE LAND OF JAGANNATH WHERE BLOOD RUNS CHEAP
Bhagabat Rath

"We shall take away your livelihood, we shall destroy your communities. But be good boys. Development is a demanding deity. You have to be sacrificed for the welfare of the state. After all we are civilized people. We are asking you how you want to die. We live in a democracy. We must honor your choice. In a dictatorship, people are not so lucky. Nobody asks them sweetly about their choice, regarding the manner of death," the leader harangues.
Corporate power has triumphed again. The state has bared its poisonous iron fangs. The police have killed the real people, the salt of the earth. From Kashipore to Paradeep to Kalinganagar. It is the same blood soaked tale. Rituals follow. Regrets by top dignitaries, drum-beating by the opposition who have also merrily sold their Faustian souls. A few statements, some news in the press, a few lacs distributed as compensation; in hard-pressed circumstances, the declaration of a judicial enquiry. Calm will be restored soon. The elite will heave a sigh of relief. Orissa must develop with so much resource, why should Orissa not become another America or at least a South Korea? A few sighs and Ahas. A few voices of sympathy. Then the usual course of coarse life takes over.
The corporate dragon devours Iron, Bauxite, Manganese, Chromium and many other metals and foodstuff from which blood drips. Its ill-gotten gold oils the election machine of powerful political parties. The people of the soil must pay with their lives. Who asked them to choose lands where metals abound? They are under a curse, the curse of corporate greed gleaming doom and devastation.
\n The true curse of Orissa is its indifferent elite, for whom opening their mouths in the cause of justice is an odious ordeal. So Togadia can cheerfully distribute tridents in Jagannath land and young women and children are sold for a song. We mourn our lost manhood, the illusion haunted youth of India, the indifferent media and our word-wizard hawking culture. \n\n Cry, Orissa, cry for your thirteen courageous sons of Kalingnagar, who traded their lives for the honor, life and bread of their community. \n\n Did an entire generation follow Mohandas karamchand Gandhi the man of the millennium? The power elite laughs and points to its weeping statues, which it had nonchalantly garlanded. Did such a man once live in India? The saffron, corporate and many other brain barricaded historians will vindicate Einstein\'s prophecy. \n\n \n(Prof Bhagabat Prasad Rath is a Gandhian Professor who has come out openly in support of the victimized tribals of Kashipur movement against the UAIL project) \n\n \n \n \nAn Appeal From Academicians\n \n \nWe are shocked at the recent incident at Kalinga Nagar (Jajpur Road) involving the killing of many locals and the death of a policeman. ",1]
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The true curse of Orissa is its indifferent elite, for whom opening their mouths in the cause of justice is an odious ordeal. So Togadia can cheerfully distribute tridents in Jagannath land and young women and children are sold for a song. We mourn our lost manhood, the illusion haunted youth of India, the indifferent media and our word-wizard hawking culture.
Cry, Orissa, cry for your thirteen courageous sons of Kalingnagar, who traded their lives for the honor, life and bread of their community.
Did an entire generation follow Mohandas karamchand Gandhi the man of the millennium? The power elite laughs and points to its weeping statues, which it had nonchalantly garlanded. Did such a man once live in India? The saffron, corporate and many other brain barricaded historians will vindicate Einstein's prophecy.

(Prof Bhagabat Prasad Rath is a Gandhian Professor who has come out openly in support of the victimized tribals of Kashipur movement against the UAIL project)



An Appeal From Academicians

We are shocked at the recent incident at Kalinga Nagar (Jajpur Road) involving the killing of many locals and the death of a policeman.
\n\n \nThe State must take the responsibility for death on both sides; no amount of compensation, however, can ever make up for the loss of these lives. It is saddening to see that "industrialization", which is supposed to lead to the welfare of people (especially local people), is displacing them against their will. We wonder whether the government machineries, which thrive on the taxpayers\' money, are actually guarding taxpayers\' interest. \n\n \nWe do not espouse any violence by anyone. But, it is the State that must show maximum restraint. It must be sensitive to the sentiments of the local people and avoid embarking upon "reckless" industrialization. \n\n \nIndustrialization is a complex issue in general and for a poor State like Orissa in particular. Numerous researches have shown that large-scale industries may hurt Orissa more than they help, if at all. But, what is important is that these issues should be debated, taking the potentially affected stakeholders into the process and confidence, instead of imposing some beliefs and models as "fait accompli" on these hapless citizens. \n\n \nWhat bothers us more is that, in the wake of globalization, almost all political parties have become enamored with myths of the so-called advantages of LPG (liberalization, privatization, and globalization). What happened at Kalinga Nagar is not reflective of only the government machinery in the State or the party in power. Unfortunately – and horrifyingly – it is the current political mindset in the whole country. Unless this mindset is reversed, what happened at Kalinga Nagar may not remain an exception, but become a commonplace occurrence. \n",1]
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The State must take the responsibility for death on both sides; no amount of compensation, however, can ever make up for the loss of these lives. It is saddening to see that "industrialization", which is supposed to lead to the welfare of people (especially local people), is displacing them against their will. We wonder whether the government machineries, which thrive on the taxpayers' money, are actually guarding taxpayers' interest.

We do not espouse any violence by anyone. But, it is the State that must show maximum restraint. It must be sensitive to the sentiments of the local people and avoid embarking upon "reckless" industrialization.

Industrialization is a complex issue in general and for a poor State like Orissa in particular. Numerous researches have shown that large-scale industries may hurt Orissa more than they help, if at all. But, what is important is that these issues should be debated, taking the potentially affected stakeholders into the process and confidence, instead of imposing some beliefs and models as "fait accompli" on these hapless citizens.

What bothers us more is that, in the wake of globalization, almost all political parties have become enamored with myths of the so-called advantages of LPG (liberalization, privatization, and globalization). What happened at Kalinga Nagar is not reflective of only the government machinery in the State or the party in power. Unfortunately – and horrifyingly – it is the current political mindset in the whole country. Unless this mindset is reversed, what happened at Kalinga Nagar may not remain an exception, but become a commonplace occurrence.
\n \nWe urge upon the State to review its aggressive policy of industrialization, which is increasingly perceived as detrimental to the interest of the local people and, in the long run, the State at large. We also urge business houses like the Tatas not to throw their Corporate Social Responsibility to the wind and refuse to be a party to reckless industrialization that culminates in the death of citizens. We also appeal to the local people and authorities to refrain from resorting to any form of violence. Peace be to all! \n\n \nSignatories\nProf. Banikant Mishra Prof. Prhalad Mishra \nProf.D.P.Dash Prof. Francois George Joseph \nProf. M.N.Tripathy\nProf.P.P.Patra \n \n(All working at XIMB and their initiative has nothing to do with their institution)\n \n",1]
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We urge upon the State to review its aggressive policy of industrialization, which is increasingly perceived as detrimental to the interest of the local people and, in the long run, the State at large. We also urge business houses like the Tatas not to throw their Corporate Social Responsibility to the wind and refuse to be a party to reckless industrialization that culminates in the death of citizens. We also appeal to the local people and authorities to refrain from resorting to any form of violence. Peace be to all!

Signatories
Prof. Banikant Mishra Prof. Prhalad Mishra
Prof.D.P.Dash Prof. Francois George Joseph
Prof. M.N.Tripathy
Prof.P.P.Patra

(All working at XIMB and their initiative has nothing to do with their institution)
\n _____________________________________________________________________________________________ \n CAMPAIGN FOR SURVIVAL AND DIGNITYNational Convenor: Pradip Prabhu, 3, Yezdeh Behram, Malyan, Dahanu Rd. \n401602. Ph: 02528-221336, 222760 Delhi Contact: SRUTI, Q-1 Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi 110016. Ph:011-26569023.___________________________________________________________________ \nMASSACRE IN ORISSA: 20 ADIVASIS SHOT DEAD WHEN FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS Campaign Condemns Police Atrocity, Calls for Inquiry, Prosecution of Police \nYesterday, at a protest in Kalinganagar, Orissa, the State police opened fire on a protest by local tribals against the takeover and seizure of their land by a Tata Steel plant. Sixteen people died on the spot, four more died in the hospital, and a police constable was also killed in the clash. The Campaign believes that this killing is nothing short of a massacre. The tribals who gathered to protest were fighting for their basic rights - the right to their livelihoods, to their homes and to the peaceful expression of dissent against the use of their lands for private profit and environmental destruction. To fire on them in such a brutal fashion is a blatant violation of human rights. \nFor more than three years, adivasis in this area have been fighting against attempts to acquire their lands for a steel plant, initially for Simplex Corporation and now for Tata Steel. The lands acquired for the factory belong to the tribals of this area, who have till date been given neither adequate compensation nor rehabilitation. \nMost recently, for the last two days more than 25 platoons of armed police have been deployed around the plant in the name of providing security. Apprehending trouble, people from 25 villages spontaneously gathered near the plant. When the factory management began trying to build a boundary wall around the plant, the villagers naturally protested, only to face tear gas and a lathi charge by the police. This was followed by the firing and its tragic results. Fleeing the firing, many adivasis ran into the jungles and are still missing. It is our understanding that more than 50 people were seriously injured and many more have not yet been found. \n",1]
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_____________________________________________________________________________________________
CAMPAIGN FOR SURVIVAL AND DIGNITYNational Convenor: Pradip Prabhu, 3, Yezdeh Behram, Malyan, Dahanu Rd. 401602. Ph: 02528-221336, 222760 Delhi Contact: SRUTI, Q-1 Hauz Khas Enclave, New Delhi 110016. Ph:011-26569023.___________________________________________________________________ MASSACRE IN ORISSA: 20 ADIVASIS SHOT DEAD WHEN FIGHTING FOR THEIR RIGHTS Campaign Condemns Police Atrocity, Calls for Inquiry, Prosecution of Police Yesterday, at a protest in Kalinganagar, Orissa, the State police opened fire on a protest by local tribals against the takeover and seizure of their land by a Tata Steel plant. Sixteen people died on the spot, four more died in the hospital, and a police constable was also killed in the clash. The Campaign believes that this killing is nothing short of a massacre. The tribals who gathered to protest were fighting for their basic rights - the right to their livelihoods, to their homes and to the peaceful expression of dissent against the use of their lands for private profit and environmental destruction. To fire on them in such a brutal fashion is a blatant violation of human rights. For more than three years, adivasis in this area have been fighting against attempts to acquire their lands for a steel plant, initially for Simplex Corporation and now for Tata Steel. The lands acquired for the factory belong to the tribals of this area, who have till date been given neither adequate compensation nor rehabilitation. Most recently, for the last two days more than 25 platoons of armed police have been deployed around the plant in the name of providing security. Apprehending trouble, people from 25 villages spontaneously gathered near the plant. When the factory management began trying to build a boundary wall around the plant, the villagers naturally protested, only to face tear gas and a lathi charge by the police. This was followed by the firing and its tragic results. Fleeing the firing, many adivasis ran into the jungles and are still missing. It is our understanding that more than 50 people were seriously injured and many more have not yet been found.
Meanwhile, the latest news is that arrest warrants have been issued against several tribal rights activists in the State, including members of the Adivasi Kranti Sanghatan and the Visthapit Virodhi Manch. None of these people were present at the scene and were not involved in the protest, which was organized by the local people. The issue of these warrants is simply an instrument of state terror. \nThis kind of brutality fits into the pattern of Orissa\'s recent history, where the government and the police have been acting as agents of mining and industrial corporations. Instead of fulfilling their Constitutional duty to protect the rights of tribals and to ensure that tribal lands remain in the hands of the community, the State government has been selling these lands to the highest bidder and unleashing repression on anyone who dares to protest. \nIf the Orissa government is to retain even a shred of democraticlegitimacy, it must immediately:. institute a judicial inquiry into this incident headed by asitting High Court judge, . register murder cases against the responsible police officials \nand Tata Steel,. withdraw the false cases and arrest warrants against tribalrights activists, . compensate the families of the deceased with a minimum of Rs. 5lakh per deceased,. cancel the grant of land to the factory and return the \nvillagers\' land to them. The State of Orissa has become a by-word for environmental destruction, state repression and police violence. This latest massacre only strengthens the impression that the government has abdicated its responsibility to its own people. \nSincerely,Pradip Prabhu, National Convenor\n \n______________________________________________________________________ \n",1]
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Meanwhile, the latest news is that arrest warrants have been issued against several tribal rights activists in the State, including members of the Adivasi Kranti Sanghatan and the Visthapit Virodhi Manch. None of these people were present at the scene and were not involved in the protest, which was organized by the local people. The issue of these warrants is simply an instrument of state terror. This kind of brutality fits into the pattern of Orissa's recent history, where the government and the police have been acting as agents of mining and industrial corporations. Instead of fulfilling their Constitutional duty to protect the rights of tribals and to ensure that tribal lands remain in the hands of the community, the State government has been selling these lands to the highest bidder and unleashing repression on anyone who dares to protest. If the Orissa government is to retain even a shred of democraticlegitimacy, it must immediately:. institute a judicial inquiry into this incident headed by asitting High Court judge, . register murder cases against the responsible police officials and Tata Steel,. withdraw the false cases and arrest warrants against tribalrights activists, . compensate the families of the deceased with a minimum of Rs. 5lakh per deceased,. cancel the grant of land to the factory and return the villagers' land to them. The State of Orissa has become a by-word for environmental destruction, state repression and police violence. This latest massacre only strengthens the impression that the government has abdicated its responsibility to its own people. Sincerely,Pradip Prabhu, National Convenor

______________________________________________________________________
\nMr. Navin Pattnaik, \nChief Minister,\n \nState Secretariat, \n\nBhubaneshwar. \n \n \nDear Navin Pattnaik,\n \nI have had occassion to write to you before on the subject of the completely misplaced rapid industrialisation of Orissa using brute force. But, fittingly enough, you have chosen to ignore my letters. \n\n \nI say "fittingly" because you are not alone in this matter. The same fanatic belief in "growth" is visible in other organs of the state apparatus including the Honorable President (who poses as a scientist, although many of his pronouncements are as far from science as one can get), the Honorable Justices who preside over the Courts and the Human Rights Commissions (and have forgotten the cardinal principles of natural justice), the Honorable Prime Minister (ably assisted by his Honorable Finance Minister and Honorable Planning Commission Vice-Chairman - all of whom have at one time or the other been in the service of the World Bank), and most of what passes for political leadership in this country today. \n",1]
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A LETTER BY DUNU ROY TO THE CHIEF MINISTER,ORISSA
Mr. Navin Pattnaik,
Chief Minister,
State Secretariat,
Bhubaneshwar.

Dear Navin Pattnaik,
I have had occassion to write to you before on the subject of the completely misplaced rapid industrialisation of Orissa using brute force. But, fittingly enough, you have chosen to ignore my letters.

I say "fittingly" because you are not alone in this matter. The same fanatic belief in "growth" is visible in other organs of the state apparatus including the Honorable President (who poses as a scientist, although many of his pronouncements are as far from science as one can get), the Honorable Justices who preside over the Courts and the Human Rights Commissions (and have forgotten the cardinal principles of natural justice), the Honorable Prime Minister (ably assisted by his Honorable Finance Minister and Honorable Planning Commission Vice-Chairman - all of whom have at one time or the other been in the service of the World Bank), and most of what passes for political leadership in this country today.
\n \nClearly this "eadership" can only see markets, not people. If at all it reconises human beings, it is in the shape of consumers. That is why, I suppose, the "tribal" is regarded as a non-human, almost a non-existent entity, to be brushed aside so that "development" may take place. \n\n \nAnd what is this "development"? To take the latest case in your State, it is the establishment of a giant steel plant at Durburi, Kalinganagar. And what will this plant do? Make steel obviously. And how will this steel "develop" the nation? Well, for one thing it will go into construction of multi-storied buildings, large dams, heavy machinery, tanks and armour, steel rails, and prisons. For another, it will put a lot of money into the pockets of Tatas and their shareholders. And, of course, by exporting the finished steel there will be a lot of foregin exchange to be earned. \n\n \nBut how will all this \'development\' benefit the villages who will be evicted to make way for the steel plant? How will it give them the money to feed their families, send their children to school, obtain better health? How may of them will convert to pulling rickshaws in your capital? How many of them will become slaves out of poverty to liquor and construction contractors and all the other evils that infest that capital? And how may of them will die - some facing the bullets that will be fired out of the rifles made of steel that your policemen will wield against them (at least 12 unfortunates at Durburi, as the new year dawned and your modern consumers danced away at Bhubaneswar), and some out of sheer hunger and dperivation? Or does this lingering death not form part of your dream of development? \n",1]
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Clearly this "eadership" can only see markets, not people. If at all it reconises human beings, it is in the shape of consumers. That is why, I suppose, the "tribal" is regarded as a non-human, almost a non-existent entity, to be brushed aside so that "development" may take place.

And what is this "development"? To take the latest case in your State, it is the establishment of a giant steel plant at Durburi, Kalinganagar. And what will this plant do? Make steel obviously. And how will this steel "develop" the nation? Well, for one thing it will go into construction of multi-storied buildings, large dams, heavy machinery, tanks and armour, steel rails, and prisons. For another, it will put a lot of money into the pockets of Tatas and their shareholders. And, of course, by exporting the finished steel there will be a lot of foregin exchange to be earned.

But how will all this 'development' benefit the villages who will be evicted to make way for the steel plant? How will it give them the money to feed their families, send their children to school, obtain better health? How may of them will convert to pulling rickshaws in your capital? How many of them will become slaves out of poverty to liquor and construction contractors and all the other evils that infest that capital? And how may of them will die - some facing the bullets that will be fired out of the rifles made of steel that your policemen will wield against them (at least 12 unfortunates at Durburi, as the new year dawned and your modern consumers danced away at Bhubaneswar), and some out of sheer hunger and dperivation? Or does this lingering death not form part of your dream of development?
\n \nDreams have a way of becoming nightmares. Asoka learnt that the hard way many centuries ago on the same battlefields of Kalinga. But will you? \n\n \nFirst there was Kashipur, then Lanjigarh, now Kalinganagar. How many deaths will it take to be known that too many people have died. That song was part of the struggle that unseated the mightiest empire the world has known to date. Do you think that you (and those others who worked for Washington) are mightier than that empire and the man who presided over it? \n\n \nAnd you might remember in passing that the Vietnamese who sent the Americans home were little puny people, without tanks and artillery, without rockets and IT, but with a spirit so fragile that they had nothing to lose but their chains. \n\n \n",1]
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Dreams have a way of becoming nightmares. Asoka learnt that the hard way many centuries ago on the same battlefields of Kalinga. But will you?

First there was Kashipur, then Lanjigarh, now Kalinganagar. How many deaths will it take to be known that too many people have died. That song was part of the struggle that unseated the mightiest empire the world has known to date. Do you think that you (and those others who worked for Washington) are mightier than that empire and the man who presided over it?

And you might remember in passing that the Vietnamese who sent the Americans home were little puny people, without tanks and artillery, without rockets and IT, but with a spirit so fragile that they had nothing to lose but their chains.

History was never your strong subject. I dont think Bush paid much attention to it either. But history will come calling at your door sooner than you think... \n\n \nOnce again, in caution,\n \nDunu Roy\n\n \n_____________________________________________________________\n \nVisit Report by Vidya Das (This mail by Vidya Das based on her visit to Kalinganagar was circulated on the Forestrights listserve and we are forwarding it for your information) \n\n \n \nReport:\n \nShe is my sister, and these are my nieces he says, as we stand by the dead of the Kalinganagar massacare. The trauma is still etched on his face. My companion takes out her camera and clicks several shots. The people standing by helpfully draw back the cloth from the faces of the dead. The first woman looks like she is sleeping, not, so the second woman. The bullet has shattered her nose and upper jaw. The cloth on her face is stained black. How long did she struggle for their life, I wonder. The other two dead are men. "We do not know how many bodies the police dragged into their jeep, and disposed off on the way they say, but, we know for sure 13 people are dead." Reports from the medical hospital, we visited indicate that two more people have died, one person on the way, and another person in the hospital. \n",1]
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History was never your strong subject. I dont think Bush paid much attention to it either. But history will come calling at your door sooner than you think...

Once again, in caution,
Dunu Roy

_____________________________________________________________

A report by Nachiketa,Independent Media

MEMORANDUM

To:

The Resident Commissioner,

Government of Orissa,

New Delhi

1 February 2005

Sir,

Re: Police Repression of Movement Against UAIL, Kashipur

 

We, the undersigned individuals and organizations, are extremely concerned by the continued and ongoing police repression in Raygada district, Orissa. As you know, local tribals, and individuals organized under the banner Prakrutika Sampad Surakhya Parishad (PSSP) have for many years now been intensely opposing the setting up of an aluminium plant, UAIL, in Kashipur.

 

The situation has deteriorated for local residents recently with intensified police presence in the area, and with plans to set up a police post and police barracks in village D. Karol near Kucheipadar. On 1 December, a group of about 300 protestors peacefully opposing the setting up of this police post were targetted by assembled police. The protestors were abused, tear-gassed, and lathi-charged. A number of them were injured, some seriously. And instead of being treated for injuries, a number of these protestors were sent to police custody. All of this happened in the presence of the District Collector, Rayagada, Pramod Kumar Meherda, and the Superintendent of Police, Rayagada, Sanjay Kumar.

 

Following this incident, protests have been held in the area. Once again, instead of engaging with the people’s demands, a hallmark of a healthy democracy, your government has simply been using fear and intimidation. The CRPF has been deployed and has been holding flag marches in the area. The Indian Reserve Battalion and the Orissa State Armed Forces have also been deployed. Huge numbers of police have been deployed for the last few weeks, at Tikri police station and at Karol near Kucheipadar.

 

Police have been roaming the villages even at nights and picking up people, hence causing fear in the area. Private goons employed by the company have been terrorizing people in the area. A number of people have been picked up and detained from the villages around, both on 1 December and in the days that followed. For instance:

1.      On the night of 2 December, the police force picked up Naveen Nayak and Loknath Nayak , both committee members of PSSP from their homes.

2.      Bulka Miniaka, president of PSSP and convenor of the Basundhara Suraksha Samiti, was picked up from his village Barigan, Laxmipur Block, Koraput district.

3.      On 5 December, Duryodhan Dora of Tikrapada and Bhobani Goud of Lachhuguda were picked up by the police from Dongasil market place. They are still in custody.

4.      Later, Jagannath Sahu and Chitrasen Bag of Bagrijhola were arrested from Tikri and Rayagada respectively.

5.      On 18 Jan 2005, Trinath Majhi, Umashankar Majhi and Samrendra Majhi of Kucheipadar were detained by the police while returning from a local market.

 

In short, people have also been detained both in democratic protests and in everyday situations of daily existence. People are now terrified even to go to local haats, an age-old market institution central to people’s economic lives and well-being. To the best of our knowledge, eighteen people from Kashipur and Laxmipur are still in custody.

 

We believe that police and state repression has been intensifying in the area because plans by UAIL to start mining operations are imminent. The powerful corporations Birla and Alcan, along with the authorities, seek to ride roughshod over opposition in the area to mining operations. That opposition is based on the fact that such bauxite mining operations will displace people on a large scale, destroy their homes, forests, means of sustenance, and the environment. Historically, such mining both in India and abroad has only benefited corporations and urban elites, and local tribals and the poor pay the price.

 

PSSP, local tribals, and other supporters have instead been articulating a completely different vision of development, an understanding that places locals and the poor at the centre. For instance, the movement has instead been demanding from your government schools and hospitals, surely a reasonable demand in a country that claims to be one of the largest democracies in the world.

 

Hence, we demand:

1.      All those who have been taken in custody in Kashipur and Laxmipur be released immediately.

2.      Any charges placed against them be dropped unconditionally.

3.      An enquiry be held against the lathi-charge and police repression in village Karol on 1 December and subsequently in the area. Cases be launched against the police and the company’s goons who have been terrorizing people around.

4.      All the police and paramilitary forces currently deployed in the area be withdrawn immediately and the police post and barracks be dismantled.

5.      That your government cancel the MOUs given to UAIL to carry out mining operations in the area. Such permission also be withdrawn to Sterlite’s alumina project in Lanjigarh.

 

 

 

 

Rabi Shankar (PSSP), Yogendra Yadav, Harish Dhawan, Ranjana Padhi

72, Deshbandhu Apts, I.P. Extension, Delhi 110092

 

And the following organizations present at the demonstration:

1.      Prakrutika Sampad Surakhya Parishad (PSSP), Orissa

2.      People’s Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR), Delhi

3.      Saheli

4.      Sandhaan

5.      All India People’s Resistance Forum (AIPRF)

6.      Jagori

7.      The Other Media

8.      Democratic Students Union (DSU)

9.      Amnesty International (India)

10.  All India Coordinating Forum of Adivasi/ Indigenous Peoples (AICFAIP)

11.  Samajwadi Jan Parishad

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

New Delhi, 1st February 2005: Protesting against the state-sponsored violence against indigenous and dalit peoples in Orissa to facilitate the entry of mining companies into bauxite rich forest lands, members of Orissa-based struggle group Prakrutik Sampada Surakshya Parishad (PSSP), alongwith New Delhi-based youth and human rights activists, writers and intellectuals today submitted a memorandum to the Resident Commissioner of Orissa after a peaceful demonstration in front of the Orissa Bhavan in New Delhi this morning. The memorandum demanded the immediate and unconditional
release of 18 PSSP members who have been illegally arrested since December 2004 and to stop the human rights abuses by the state police on the villagers around Kashipur who have been for years peacefully resisted the moves by bauxite mining consortium Utkal Alumina International Ltd (UAIL) to take over their land and forests for a 100% export oriented alumina mining and refinery project.

The Rs 4500 crore UAIL is a joint venture of Indian company HINDALCO (55% share) and Canadian company ALCAN (45%). TATA, HYDRO (Norwegian) and ALCOA (America) who were earlier part of the venture, were forced to withdraw from the project due to the mass struggle and opposition by the villagers. The project will source bauxite from a 195 million ton deposit in Baphli Mali, a sacred hill for the adivasis. The promoters also plan to set up an alumina refinery near Kucheipadar, from where it will be exported. At the refinery’s capacity of consuming 9 million tones of bauxite per year, the Baphlimali deposit will be exhausted within two decades.

The mines and refinery are slotted to come up in adivasi-majority areas that are protected by the Fifth Schedule of the Constitution. The Fifth Schedule guarantees the right of land to adivasis, and prohibits the transfer of these lands to non-tribals for any purpose. “The Government of Orissa is in the hands of the mining companies. Since early December, the Government has unleashed a reign of terror in the villages near the proposed mining
project, and is keen on evicting the people at gun-point,” said Rabi Shankar of PSSP.

On November 25, 2004 Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was quoted as saying that anti-mining struggles will be firmly dealt with. From late November, villages that are protesting the Utkal Alumina project proposed on their lands have been under siege by the police.

On  December 1st , 2004, the state police launched a brutal lathi charge on 400 adivasis, mostly women, who had gathered to protest the inauguration of a road to a proposed bauxite-mining site in Baphlimali owned by ALCAN. As a result, 16 people were critically injured and three women were beaten unconscious. Since this incident, platoons of armed police with firing orders have occupied Kucheipadar village – the center of the adivasi struggle. Eighteen activists of PSSP, the umbrella organization of adivasis
spearheading the struggle against bauxite mining have been picked up from their villages mostly in the night in separate incidents and are now in jail without access to bail.

“This is not the first time that adivasis of Kashipur are facing such state repression and police brutality,” said Rabi Shankar. On December 16, 2000, three adivasis were killed in Kashipur when police fired on unarmed villagers associated with the people’s struggle against bauxite mining. Following international outrage at the incident, one of UAIL’s original stakeholders, Norsk Hydro of Norway, withdrew from the project in a move
that clearly implicated both the UAIL and the Orissa government.

The situation in rest of Orissa is not very different. As many as five bauxite mining and alumina projects are in the pipeline, covering 5 blocks of 3 districts -- Kashipur ( Rayagada district) , Luxmipur and Dasamantpur ( Koraput), Lanjigada and Thuamulrampur (Kalahandi). Sterlite is proposed to source bauxite from Sasubohu mali of Kashipur block. Larson and Tubro from Sijimali and Kutrumali ( Kashipur block), Birla from Kodinga Mali ( Luxmipur block) and Vedanta from Niyamgiri and Khandual mali of Kalahandi district.

“The total investment in the Orissa bauxite projects is to the tune of Rs 20,000 crores. Taking into consideration the present price of even just UAIL, the joint venture will reap a profit of at least Rs 2,88,000 crore during the 22-23 years of the project life, whereas the government will get Rs. 1300-1400 crores as royalty during that period. And the adivasis and dalits of these villages will get state repression, and a lifetime of misery
and slum life,” added Ranjana Padhi of Saheli Women's Resource Centre, Delhi, a group supporting the Kashipur peoples’ struggle.

For more information, contact: Ranjana Padhi 9811150884; Harish Dhawan  9811667776 Visit: "Alcan't In India"  http://www.saanet.org/alcant
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JUHAAR

      JAWAHARLAL NEHRU UNIVERSITY

NEW DELHI-110067

# 257, Kaveri Hostel, JNU,New Delhi-67

 

Call to Stop State Repression in Orissa in the name of  Development

 

New Delhi; 01.02.2005:

 

               The voice of people of Kashipur block of Raygada district of Orissa protesting against the HINDALCO Alumina Company which has been given the lease to extract bauxite and against the state repression got echoed in JNU campus on the 29th of January. In a public meeting organized by the organization JUHAAR in JNU, the president of Orissa Rajya Krushaka Sanghathan and a former student of JNU, Lingaraj, spoke on the unleashing the reign of terror on the peaceful tribal people by the HINDALCO Alumina Company with the connivance of the Orissa government. He also questioned the existing model of development where there is no concern for the rich bio-diversity and the life and livelihood of the people of Kashipur.

 

               Braving the chilly winter a large number of students participated in the interactive session following the talk.

 

               The meeting was chaired by the president of the organization  Sujit Kumar Pruseth and assisted by Narendra Padhan and Prakash Chandra Dash and was attented by Booker prize winner Arundhati Roy, documentary film maker Sanjay Kak, noted social activist from Benaras  Aflatoon and many academicians from JNU and BHU.

 

                                                              

                                                                                                  

 

                                                                                                               Sd/-

                                                                                                Sujit Kumar Pruseth


Photos

We may include a photograph of the candidate we are supporting in this area, along with some biographical information.

 Reign of terror in Kashipur
 People pay the price as the CM wants to inaugurate
 UAIL Plant in January, 2005


 Kashipur Update 03/12/2004

 District Administration and police have unleashed a
 reign of terror in the Kashipur area. The whole
 proposed project area and the villages opposing the
 mining project have been sealed by the administration
 and police, with no press people and others being
 allowed beyond Tikiri on the road to Kucheipadar and
 the other proposed project affected villages. The
 situation seems to be very tense with armed police
 moving around and beating up people without much
 provocation. Three people namely Nabeen Naik, Lokanath
 Naik and Vibhu Gouda were called by the Collector to
 Kashipur in order to have discussions. However, on
 reaching Kashipur, they were arrested and sent to jail
 on charges of creating disturbances as far back as on
 14th September, 2004..

 Interestingly, it also reported that after the brutal
 lathi charge on Dec. 1 (where many people, including
 women were injured, some critically), the Collector,
 on reaching back to Rayagada, was seen dancing in a
 party. A typical case of "fiddling while Rome burns".
 It also shows with the contempt with which Orissa's
 bureaucrats hold the tribal people.

 Construction work for Police Station, Armed police
 Barrack and a Company Camp office is continuing in D.
 Karal village. A Police Surveillance post is also
 being created at the top of the hill near Nuapada Chak
 to monitor the physical movement of local people. It
 has been reported to us that all these developments
 have taken place because Shri. Nabin Pattanaik, Chief
 Minister wants to inaugurate the UAIL project in
 January, 2005.

 We have received this dispatch from an activist in who
 is near the site. He   wants to remain anonymous in
 order to avoid  harassment ( received at 08.15 PM, 3rd
 December):

 "The police has turned very aggressive. At the
 slightest provocation they are beating up people.
 After the first dec. incident, I believe, they even
 chased and beat up people who were returning from
 their fields;
 The Collector and SP are camping here, in Kashipur.
 They came to Tikiri  again yesterday( December 02),
 and camped in Kashipur IB. Today, they have arrested Nabeeno and another boy
 from Khorigaon last night. The police are all over the
 place, and it is anybody's guess who they will pick up
 next.
 The administration has issued instructions /
 declaration that any body coming in the way of the
 mining will be dealt with in no uncertain manner.  The
 decision is that they will not fire at people, but,
 they can do anything else!! ((How kind));
 They are also targeting Dec. 16th.
 On the people's side, there is fear, and anger. The
 things might heat up after 7th Dec. as people plan to
 take action against the lathicharge on that day.
 The administration  are planning to book people
 beginning with Bhagwan Majhi under NSA (Does that act
 still exist? in any form, what have they done to
 POTA);
 The injured apart from the ones arrested have been
 taken to the Dongasil Health Centre according to
 reports. There are broken bones, etc.
 The work of the police outpost construction is
 going ahead with the connivance of D.Karala- the only
 village where some people support the project. It is a
 Rs.7 lakhs construction project, so not something very
 big.

 The 7th Dec demonstration /rally is a crucial event
 people are planning, as it is going to teach them
 whether they have the strength to withstand this kind
 of an onslaught. There is intention of having a jail
 Bharo in solidarity with the people who are already
 there. They need to plan all this very carefully, and
 think what are the possible fallouts /aftermath, and
 how they will take it forward from there. There is
 likely to be violence as people are bent on breaking
 the police outpost construction. Which is why they
 have planned it for the 7th, and not immediately, as
 there is little construction on the ground as yet!!

 From the support side, there has to be a good press &
 media coverage, which is my intention of writing to
 you. This has to be covered on camera, and by
 newspapers, local/ national  etc. The state is not
 going to stop unless it is completely discomfited. On
 the other hand, people are risking much. The leaders
 and people will be getting arrested / courting arrest
 in large numbers. This is more than just the Dec.16th
 show. It is quite a do or die situation for the
 people, and there has to be substantial support from
 outside. Please do your bit"

 The situation seems to be getting out of hand with the
 administration bent on breaking the anti-mining
 movement by any means possible. It seems the
 Government has forgotten  the valiant history of the
 tribals of Koraput who had fought the British with
 Laxman Nayak and were least cowed by the killing of
 the three tribals in Maikanch firing. Sooner or later
 the matter will come to a head and the blame will be
 laid on the doors of Shri Nabin Pattanaik and the
 District Collector for deliberately provoking the
 tribal people for the benefit of a private company.

 It seems that a confrontation is inevitable on
 December 7th. The people are angry and will not back
 down in front of state terror.  They see the Project
 as a basic infringement of their fundamental rights
 and dignity as human beings and are willing to die to
 oppose the same. The administration must desist from
 this game of "chicken", for it is going to end in
 bloodshed of innocent people.

 It seems so ironical that a CM who swears by his
 "tribal friendly" identity has turned so "corporate
 friendly" at the cost of the tribal people.  He should
 do well to remember that we still live in democracy,
 however flawed it may be, as one of his co-student
 from his illustrious school reminds him.

 Nachiketa
 Independent Media
 Bhubaneswar
 

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