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Kashipur Solidarity
Latest News,Martyrs' Day and Police Attrocities

This page will keep you up to date on what's going on with the campaign.

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Kashipur Update 16/12/2004
Over 7000 people congregate to remember the Martyrs on the Martyr's
day (16/12/2004) at Baghrijhola, Kashipur, despite intimidation and
coercion by armed police and company goons

All left and Progressive parties Delegation including MLAs prevented
by Company Goons and Police to reach and address Martyr's Days
function at Baghrijhola, Kashipr

Dr. Jean Martinez-Alier and team from London (led by Ms. Noam and four
others) harassed and stopped from participating in the Martyr's day
rally in Baghrijhola, Kashipur

Dharana in front of the Orissa Legislative Assembly, Bhubaneswar in
solidarity with Kashipur

Professor Bhagabat Prasad Rath, noted Gandhian,  threatened by the
police for sheltering Dr. Martinez-Alier

I.      Over seven thousand people gathered at Baghrijhola on Martyr's day
to remember Abhilash, Damodar and Raghunath who were shot dead by the
police in Maikanch on the same date four years back and resolved to
"drive Utkal Alumina out of Kashipur, no matter what the price they
may have to pay". People from all over Kashipur valley came even
though police had established checkpoints in all the villages and were
intimidating people not to go for the meeting. We have only received
this much information through telephone and are waiting for further
information. It is not possible to get fax from Kashipur area as all
the telephone/fax kiosks are under police surveillance.
II.     As reported earlier, the all left and progressive party delegation
was attacked by the goons led by Girish Patro of Kashipur (a paid
worker of UAIL for the last three years), Damburu Naik (local goon and
contractor working with UAIL) and Zilla Parishad member of BJD Binod
Naik (he has been indicted by the JusticeP K Mishra Commission for
filing the false FIR on 15/12/2000, on basis of which the police
reportedly went to Maikanch village on 16/12/2000 and resorted to
firing). The Police led by the SP Sanjay Kumar encouraged the goons
and stood by as the delegation's vehicles were stoned and damaged. All
this happened right in front of the police station. Then the
delegation was detained inside the police station, while the company
goons were standing outside and shouting slogans against the
delegation. Finally the delegation was forced by the police to return
to Rayagada. (the fax message detailing the delegation's experience is
given as annexure)
III.    Reporters who had gone to cover the Martyr's day program were
also attacked in Tikiri by the same goons in the presence of police.
The police than guided the goons to pick up reporters perceived as
being pro-people and manhandle them. Those roughed up included
Sudarshan Padhi of Prajatantra, Smruti Ranjan of Matrubhumi, Sarat
Mangaraj of Dharitri and Arjun Nayak of Pratidin. The camera of
Sudarshan Padhi was also snatched away and they were all sent by the
police to Rayagada. Then the police allowed what they called "pro-
Company reporters" to proceed to cover the Bagrijhola Martyr's day
program. These reporters included Mr. Amulya Sahoo of ETV, Mr. Ranjan
Rath associated with NDTV, Mr. Rakesh Padhi of Samaj, Mr. Subrat
Choudhary of Sambad.
IV.     Dr. Jean Martinez-Alier and a solidarity team form London was also
stopped at Tikiri and their vehicle was also stoned. They were also
manhandled by the company goons in full view of the police and their
passports were snatched away by the goons under instructions by
Police. The entire delegation under the leadership of Narayan Reddy,
MLA, refused to leave the place without the passport being returned to
the foreigners. Interestingly, the police then returned the passports,
clearly showing the nexus between the police and the goons.
Independent Media talked to Dr. Martinez-Alier over phone who was
shocked at the way police and Company has behaved. He said that he had
gone to express his solidarity with the Kashipur movement on behalf of
Alcan't and he never expected that he will receive such a treatment by
the police.
V.      Professor Bhagabat Prasad Rath, noted Gandhian and the main contact
person for the Kashipur Solidarity in Rayagada, was threatened by the
OIC of Rayagada Police station that he will be arrested since he has
given shelter to foreigners (apparently to Professor Martinez-Alier).
He shared this with Independent Media. It may be recalled the
Professor Rath, an venerable old scholar of 75 years, was planning to
go on indefinite hungerstrike in protest against the police atrocities
on Kashipur tribals and was persuaded to withdraw with difficulty by
the leaders of all left and progressive parties.
VI.     A Dharana by  left and Progressive parties and organizations was
organized in front of the  Orissa Legislative Assembly. Dharana was
addressed by the State leaders of CPI, CPI-M, SUCI, CPI-ML, CPI-ML
(Red Flag), CPI-ML (New democracy). CPI-ML (Liberation), Samajwadi
Jana Parishad, Loka Shakti Abhijan, Loka Pakhya and Utkal Sarvodaya
Mandal. The State President of Samajwadi party also attended the
Dharana along with his collegeaues. The sitting MLA of CPM, Shri
Laxman Munda also addressed the Dharana and declared upon hearing the
news of detention of the delegation at Tikiri police Station  that a
statewide campaign will be carried out to expose the brutality of the
State and the administration in Kashipur.
VII.    List of participants in the all party delegation to Kashipur:
•       Narayan Reddy, MLA, CPI
•       Shambhunath Nayak, MLA, SUCI
•       Gananath Patra, CPI(ML) State Secretary
•       Shivram, CPI-ML (Red Flag) State Secretary
•       Abhiram Behera, CPI-M, State Committee member
•       Bijay Mohanty, State Committee member, CPI
•       Budha Gomango, President, Loka Sangram Manch and State leader of
CPI-ML (New Democracy)
•       Tirupati Gomango, CPI-ML(Liberation), State Committee Member
•       Jyoti Ranjan Mahapatra, President,AISF
•       Gangadhar Mishra, Sarvodaya
•       Prashant Paikrai, AIYF
•       Rajendra Sarangi, Convenor, Loka Pakhya
And fifteen collegeaues

Our Comments: The events in Kashipur illustrate the hollowness of
Indian democracy and its domination by the corporate classes. It also
shows how easily the political class and the bureaucracy can turn upon
the very people they are mandated constitutionally to protect and
nurture. Orissa lies at the intersection of corporate globalization
and the struggle for self-determination as no other State in India,
and Kashipur is in the eye of this hurricane. The people of Kashipur
are the vanguard of the struggle against the mercenary corporates and
global capital to save their livelihoods and environment. They deserve
our support.

The present developments in the State indicate that the Kashipur
movement may have finally provided the crucible for a coming together
of left and progressive forces in the State to oppose the forced
industrialization and loot of the natural resources of the State by
international capital and a comprador ruling class.

Independent Media

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