Kumar Sambhav S…
Odisha government gets a slew of orders to ensure the order is properly implemented
The ministry of tribal affairs seems to have pulled up its socks to ensure the Supreme Court’s order in the Vedanta case is properly implemented on ground. In a letter to the Odisha government on May 2, the ministry directed the state to facilitate the gram sabhas affected by the proposed bauxite mining project on Niyamgiri hills to decide—independently and in a transparent manner—the veracity of religious and cultural rights claimed by the tribal people on Niyamgiri hill. It has issued several legally binding directions under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) to the Odisha government and has prescribed a timeframe for the entire process.
On April 18, the Supreme Court ordered  that village councils in Odisha’s Rayagada and Kalahandi districts would decide if projects of the metals and mining giant,Vedanta, have infringed the tribal communities’ right to worship. The court made it clear that the religious rights of the tribals must be protected. It also asked the gram sabhas to consider afresh—under FRA—all other individual and community claims of the tribals.
The ministry has now asked the Odisha government to issue advertisements in newspapers, including those in vernacular languages, asking all the tribals and traditional forest dwellers in Kalahandi and Raygada districts to file claims of religious and cultural rights, along with the individual and community rights under the FRA. The ministry has also asked the state to display this notification along with the details of the SC order in all villages in the two districts irrespective of their proximity from the mining site. “This will ensure that there is no allegation of subjectivity in the selection of palli sabhas (gram sabhas) where the meeting will be finally held as per the direction of the Supreme Court,” the letter says.
The ministry has asked the state to prepare a list of all the villages near the mining site and on the Niyamgiri hills where tribal people have made claims of traditional rights. It has given the state government 20 days to prepare the list.
The selected gram sabhas will then have to be sensitised by the state with the help of independent experts working on tribal rights as guaranteed by the FRA as well as by the SC judgement. The decision on the claim will be taken by the gram sabha in presence of a judicial officer, as per the court’s directions.
The ministry has directed the state to involve non-profits in the process to make it transparent. It has also asked the state to submit the audio and video recordings of the gram sabha meetings—replete with all the resolutions passed by the village body—to it right after the meetings. A Bhubaneswar-based analyst said the ministry’s move was welcome because the company has started dividing the community. “A few people who have got some benefits from the project might try to manipulate the whole community. Rights activists are already facing problems in having access to the affected villages. The ministry’s action is certainly timely. Now it it needs proper follow-up,” he said.
Source URL: http://www.downtoearth.org.in/content/tribal-affairs-ministry-gets-cracking-apex-court-s-order-vedanta
Posted by kracktivist on May 3, 2013
PTI | Jan 15, 2013,
BHUBANESWAR: A minor girl, who was gang-raped in Odisha’s Rayagada
town about a week ago, died at a private hospital
“The girl passed away at about 3.45pm on Tuesday in a private hospital at Visakhapatanam,” Rayagada district collector SS Padhi told over phone.
The 16-year-old orphan, unable to bear the ignominy, had tried to immolate herself and had suffered over 80 per cent burns. She succumbed to her burn injuries after battling for life for about eight days.
She was admitted to the Vishakhapatnam hospital on January 7.
The girl was forcibly taken away to a nearby jungle when she was returning home from work on the evening of January 2 and gang-raped by four persons, the police said adding she tried to immolate herself the next day.
The girl was staying with her grandmother.
Meanwhile, the police have arrested four persons in connection with the incident based on the statement given by the girl.
“Four youths have been arrested and lodged at jail in two phases. We will submit the charsgesheet within 30 days of the incident,” Rayagada superintendent of police Rajesh Pandit said.
Posted by kracktivist on January 15, 2013
Dec 28, 2012-
Mr. Prafulla Samantara president of Lokshakti Abhiyan and national convenor of NAPM along with 30 tribal activists of Kashipur Prakrutika Sampad Surkhya Parishad has been acquitted by the District trial court of Rayagada on 18th December 2012.
Mr. Samantara and others had been charged falsely under IPC 307 (Attempt to murder) soon after Police firing on 16th December 2000 at Maikanch of Kashipur took place where three tribals were shot dead and many were injured. On 15th December 2000 supporters of Utkal Alumina International Ltd. had been to Maikanch to force the villagers to accept Alumina plant and mining of buxite but villagers opposed it.
Company supporters got returned back ultimately and on next day they went with the police force to village Maikanch where three tribal youth were shot dead.
To justify the firing, an FIR was ladged against people of Kashipur along with Prafulla Samantara and Achyut Das of Agrugamee. A Judicial Commission of inquiry headed by the sitting Judge Justice P.K. Mishra of the High Court, Odisha, in its report exonerated Mr. Prafulla Samantara & Achyut Das and pointed out that FIR was manipulated by police to charge Mr. Prafulla Samantara in false cases as he was in the people’s struggle against Alumina Company. Even after the judicial commission’s report was published, the police chargesheeted Mr. Samantara and others to suppress the democratic movement against anti people industrialization.
Ultimately Mr. Samantara & Mr. Acyut Das along with tribal activists have been acquitted by the district trial court of Rayagada. Since 10years all of there were on bail by the High Court.
NAPM, State Convenor, Odisha
Posted by kracktivist on December 28, 2012
The struggle of common people continuing. Niyamgiri hill or alternate mining areas are being protested for bauxite mining from Bhawanipatna of Kalahandi district to Gatamalli hill of Rayagada.’NO Mining-No Vedanta‘if this voice of the people is not emphasized in the mainstream media than also people are voicing against mining.it is impossible to run the Langigarh Vedanta project without availing Odisha mining.company’s top official said.their last hope is Niyamgiri hill,because the paper works for first phase for alternate mining has not yet been ready of Odisha mining corporation is passionately waiting for the last decision by supreme court for Niyamgiri. which has been well understood by the protesters.that’s why the common-man are raising their voice’NO MINING,NO VEDANTA’……
Posted by kracktivist on October 28, 2012
Tribals of mandla (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Monday, 09 April 2012 00:21 PNS | BHAWANIPATNA
A public hearing on Niyamgiri hill was conducted on Sunday by hundreds of tribes under the banner of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti with the active participation of Kalahandi and Rayagada tribals at Jagannathpur village of Lanjigarh block. The tribals did not include any Government staff and company officials in the meeting.
The tribals ascertained that they are having their birth rights over the Niyamgiri hill and hence they won’t allow mining on their sacred mountain. Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti president Loda Sikoka welcomed the tribals and said that the hill is neither the property of the Odisha Government nor does it belong to the Central Government.
Loda said when the industries had not come at Lanjigarh, the tribals were living a peaceful life. Police sent many innocent tribals branding them as Maoists as it was anticipated that they would be involved in anti-project stirs.
Among others, Lingaraj Azad, Satya Mahar, Giridhari Patra, and Kumuti Majhi protested industrialisation over the properties of the tribals and vowed not to leave an inch of the sacred mountain.
Posted by kracktivist on April 9, 2012