Background of Alternative Politics in Orissa/Odisha


~ Prafulla Samantra & Rabi Das, Nov 2012


In the first decade in Independent India idealism, service and sacrifice had its impact on politics, which resulted in the process of nation building and strengthening the democratic institutions. The process gradually weakened and corruption affected state policy and administration; the mass discontent created by this was reflected in the anti-Congress campaign in 1969. The leadership was conscious that the country should not deviate from the fundamental principles of the freedom struggle. That is why in the decades of the ‘70s when authoritarianism and corruption raised its head, a mass movement developed against it. The people of the country confronted emergency and expressed a clear-cut opinion in 1977 to re-establish democracy. However, corruption engulfed the entire administrative system and the state and central leaders were neck deep in corruption, which resulted in a serious economic crisis in the country. Taking advantage of this situation, without the knowledge of the people, the economic policies of neoliberalism and globalization were imposed on them.


Under this economic regime, the impact of foreign and Indian capital, including the Indian and foreign companies, increased on politics and economy to the country. The foundation of this economy is dictatorial and the repressive administrative system, which is reflected in every aspect of the country. This is completely against the fundamental principles of the freedom struggle and democracy.


In this, the social, economic and political rights of the people are shrinking and the importance of capital and capitalists has increased. Most of the leaders and parties ruling the country and states work as their agents and have unleashed repression on the common people. Their only aim is handing over the precious natural and common resources to the companies and providing them lakhs of crores of profit and buying the public opinion by the help of their financial power. Due to their policies, poverty is increasing, farmers are committing suicide, colossal economic disparities are created and the natural environment of the country is being destroyed. In this condition, there is a need for creating an alternative politics and organization for re-establishing the values of the freedom struggle and defending the fundamental freedom and rights of the citizens. The leadership who have ruled and ruling our state Odisha for the past fifty years are not free of corruption. There is a gradual degeneration of the state administration due to the corruption of the leadership who have been ruling our state Odisha; the politics is also polluted. Today’s politics is governed by black money. As a result of this, more than 50% of the people are below the poverty line. 70% or 3 crore people of our state are Adivasis, Dalits, agricultural labourers, marginal and landless farmers, who are unable to get the necessary nutritional diet, education and health service. Politics has been gradually reduced to a business by the ruling parties. Democracy has completely vanished from the political parties. The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) has been ruling Odisha for the past 12 years, who’s head Naveen Patnaik is unable to talk to the common voting public and people also do not understand what he says. Though the Chief Minister is getting votes, he is not able to recognize his own MLAs. It is said that Naveen is quite clean and above board, then how come in his rule thousands of crore rupees of corruption is happening in daal, water and mines.


The quantum and rate of corruption in police stations, Tehsil block offices and other departments have increased instead of decreasing. The property of ruling party MLAs, engineers, senior officers and ministers continues to increase. If the Chief Minister is free of corruption, then from where is the ruling party getting thousands of crores of rupees to spend on elections. Therefore, it proves that the corruption of the past 12 years rule is far more than the past 40 years. As a result of this, the politics of ruling BJD revolves around Naveen Pathak. The MLAs are neither free to speak in the legislation assembly nor to the Chief Minister about the problems of the people. Departmental secretaries have been given the scope to work sidelining the ministers, as a result of which there is whimsical governance in the administration and party by the boss. This type of anti-people and undemocratic politics is propagated as pro-development by the mass media who are financially controlled by the companies such that it becomes easy to plunder the natural resources of Odisha by the companies. Now this boss has been projected as a supremo by the mass media.


Now politics is only done for the profit of the companies. Common people have no place in this. The role of the main opposition political parties is the same. There has been severe allegation of corruption against the Centre, which is ruled by the Congress Party. This party blindly follows what is said by the high command. BJP has also adopted the economic policies of Congress, which devastates agriculture and farmers for the benefit of the companies. The BJP shared power with BJD for 9 years in Odisha; most of them are corrupted. The Congress at the Centre; BJD in Odisha; and BJP in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh; are equally responsible for the coal scam today. When agricultural land, river water, forest resources and mines are snatched from the people and handed over to the companies at cheap rates in our state, then the displaced farmers and Adivasis face police lathis and bullets when they democratically protest against these measures. But these main opposition parties are not ready to say a single sentence against these companies. Therefore, while the plunder of mines, water and land is portrayed as development by the Naveen Government in the name of industrialization, the two main opposition parties are unable to oppose the ongoing blind destructive industrialization. Contemporary politics is being corporatized and criminalized. This will drain the natural resources of the state. Mountains and rivers will be reduced to deserts; heat will increase with deficit in rainfall; agriculture will be devastated; farmers and Adivasis will lose their livelihoods, and the state will be become a food deficit state. Therefore, for the preservation of environment and along with alternative development, there is a dire need of a new political power. By a sustainable and balanced development, agro industries, construction of village industries, and small oil, sugar and spinning mills can be prioritized where it is possible to employ unemployed youth. The aim of this politics is to draw a prosperity line and provide the broad masses of people economic, educational and health services equally.


In the mainstream political parties in Odisha, farmers, Adivasi and Dalit leadership is totally absent. Though Adivasis and Dalits constitute 40% of the state’s population, in the political parties there has been no reflection of their voices in the leadership for the past 60 years. Instead of doing justice to agriculture and farmers, there is a conspiracy to finish off agriculture through senseless industrialization. By name, it is development, but in reality, it is the destruction of water, forests, agriculture and the livelihood security of crores of people who are dependent on them. In these parties, there is no place for the politics based on the socio-economic context of Adivasis, Dalits and farmers. In the entire state when the mass movements are going on for the preservation and security of agricultural land along with agriculture and forest resources, the ruling and main opposition parties are refusing to address the issues raised by them. It is because they get black money from companies for their politics. Where is the ruler of the state? He is there to provide security for the companies and for the repression of mass movements by engaging the police force. Today, in every nook and corner burglary, dacoity, murder and rape by antisocial goons are increasing day by day. Why is it not prevented? To save democracy today, it is necessary to unseat the parties and their leaders by 2014 that have pushed the people of the state towards anarchy by making the administration anti-people, undemocratic and corrupt; otherwise, life will be intolerable by the arrogance of this party.


After seeing all these, since the voters do not have any alternative during the elections, it is easy to garner votes using money and muscle power. Therefore, the biggest necessity of today is the politics, which can provide security for agriculture, farmers, fishermen, unorganized labour, Adivasis and Dalits, and create leadership by them. Hence, it is really necessary to create mass awareness for democratic politics in every village. The farmers of the villages have to question the political parties who come for their votes, from where they amass so much wealth? Today, when the condition of agriculture and farmers is precarious, then how MLAs, MPs, Chief Ministers and officials are becoming rich? Why can’t we be provided the pension drawn by a Class IV employee? Why education has been commercialized instead of making provision of common schools and teachers from villages to cities? Why are children discriminated? While asking these questions, politics has to be freed from black money by creating a new political force, which can provide education, health services and livelihood for everyone in Odisha. There is a need for a new political force and party where there will be no high command or a supremo in the party. There will be equal rights for every ordinary worker where there will be a collective leadership of Adivasis, Dalits and farmers to manage the affairs of the party. Gram Sabhas have to liberated from the high-handedness of the political parties.


Financial and organizational assistance will be sought by honest political workers on behalf of the people. To prevent astronomical expenditure in elections, people’s committees have to be constituted in every village. This type of political alternative will be able to implement alternative development policy for the farmers, agricultural labourers, forest workers and slum dwellers of Odisha. Otherwise, a leader like Naveen Patnaik who cannot speak the language of people, who does not have any emotional bond with the people, who runs the state like an emperor by the help of officials will ruin the state by opportunism, companification, commercialization and will pauperize the state by draining its resources and convert the state into a grazing meadow for the companies by corrupt administration and degenerate politics which will cripple our education and heath institutions, destroy our agriculture, land, rivers, oceans and forests. To prevent this, there is a dire need of an alternative political force, which can create an alternative political platform creating a united campaign, for the rights of people along with likeminded mass organizations. The main objective for a mass campaign for alternative politics is creating awareness among people regarding alternatives and developing people’s political organization in every Gram Panchayat. There is a need for a long struggle for the reflection of people’s power in the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha.


[Translated into English by Asit Das]


The Invincible Flame of Narayanpatna: An Interview with Dandapani Mohanty

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The Invincible Flame of Narayanpatna: An Interview with Dandapani Mohanty November 18, 2012

[Amitabha Kar interviews Dandapani Mohanty about the genesis of Chashi Mulia Adivasi Sangh (CMAS), the oppressive conditions that the adivasis and CMAS members have had to face,what the movement has achieved so far and its agenda, CMAS’ differences with CPI (ML) – Kanu Sanyal, and CMAS’ decision to participate in panchayat elections.
– Editors,
[Shree Danda Pani Mohanty one of the interlocutors played a crucial role to solve the recent hostage crises arisen from the abduction of two Italians and one MLA from Laxmipur – Mr. Jhina Hikaka. Here is the excerpt from the conversation held on 3rd June’2012 between Shree Mohanty (DPM) and Shree Amitabha Kar (AK).]
AK: The abduction of two Italians and one MLA in two separate incidents had brought Narayanpatna’s adivasi movement led by Chashi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS ) to the fore in the national arena. Would you please explain first the salient features of this movement?
DPM: Recently a fact finding team of DSU (Democratic Student Union) comprising from the students of Delhi University, Jawahar Lal University and IGNOU published a report in a booklet “The Flames of Narayanpatna” after visiting the area from 11th April 2011 to 16th April 2011. Please allow me to quote the following passage for your query.

“This movement has been variously described as an anti-liquor movement, a struggle for land, a tribal movement and so on…. Though the movement includes all the above mentioned aspects, its aims are no less than a revolutionary transformation of the social relations and establishment of peoples’ political power”. (1)

This struggle started against the liquor manufacturers and traders and then it continued to reclaim what was lost by the tribal people over the years. So basically the land question and landlessness thus came to the fore. So again in the course of this struggle, the people of Narayanpatna and surrounding region of Koraput have to oppose the incursion of big mining corporations. Thus the struggle of the people of Narayanpatna and its adjacent areas is ushering a new era of anti-feudal, anti-imperialist struggle to fulfill the long cherished dream of Indian revolutionary people – the task of a democratic revolution. Against the brutal repression of state machinery and its local agents, this struggle has been forced to take the shape of armed agrarian revolution. In the specificities of India’s soil that “not only reclaim what is already lost or to defend what is in danger of being lost but seek to establish what is aspired for.”(1)
AK: Now please briefly narrate the genesis and growth of the struggle of the people of Narayanpatna and its adjacent areas under the leadership of CMAS.
DPM: In 1968, when armed struggle started in Srikakulam District of Andhra Pradesh, the scared non-tribal landlords and businessmen had migrated to undivided Koraput District. After settling down here, they began to exploit the local toiling masses – mainly the adivasis and dalits at will. The non-tribal and coastal people of Andhra Pradesh and Odisha also joined hands with them. They were united to encroach upon the lands belonging to the tribal people and acquired those in various types of fraudulent manners. They engaged the tribal people on their own land as bonded labourers. In the process of exploitation they gained political supremacy over the poor. According to the “Regulation 2 of 1956” also known as “The Orissa Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property Regulation”, non-tribals cannot acquire tribal lands. But this law has not been strictly implemented. In this context the CMAS was formed and primarily associated with the CPI(ML)- Kanu Sanyal group. It has been working among the tribal toiling masses since last 15/16 years. After the temporary setback of armed struggle in Andhra Pradesh in the 70’s, some youths and students had shifted their base from Srikakulam to undivided Koraput District and its adjacent areas to start their political activities among the local tribal masses.
In 1999, when the tribal people launched agitation for implementing “Regulation 2 of 1956” to get back their lost land under the leadership of CMAS in Gajapati and PSP in Kashipur, the Government forces shot dead eighteen people in Mandrabaju of Gajapati District and three people in Kashipur.
The exploitation of the tribal people has been compounded by several manifolds with the consumption of liquor. Traditionally the adivasis widely use the home made liquor and toddy collected from palm trees. It is an indispensable ingredient in all tribal festivals and ceremonies. It is an ingredient to be sacrificed to their ancestral spirit and supernatural power on holy occasions. But the need for regular excise liquor consumption led to the fast depletion of the earning of adivasi families. Continued consumption of liquor on credit as well as loans for other purposes coupled with a cumulative rate of high interest make it almost impossible to repay the debt or loan – thus transforming them into bonded labourers. So you can consider the excise liquor as one of the main weapons of the landlords-shahukars- moneylenders-traders’ nexus. The government is also hand in glove with this nexus and liberally issued licenses to legally promote this business. As a result, a network of liquor shops and distilleries were operating in every panchayat area.
So in this concrete situation prevailing in Koraput area, the CMAS naturally adopted its first programme against this liquor trade and demanded the government should cancel all the licenses of the liquor producers and traders. The peasants of Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon first resisted this trade under the banner of CMAS. There was a general boycott of liquor and its vendors. The people not only drove away them from their villages, but mobilised themselves also in thousands to pursue those traders in their stronghold – the town. In January 2009 four thousand people went to Narayanpatna town and destroyed liquor factories and shops selling country liquor as well as foreign liquor shops. Also in January 2009, more than three thousand members of CMAS destroyed the shops at Bandhugaon town.
It is this Narayanpatna struggle against the liquor consumption and trade that not only rejuvenated the consciousness of collectivity among the adivasi masses who were weakened and disintegrated by external pressures, but also bolstered the need to unite other oppressed groups such as dalits on class basis.
The CMAS, after its initial success, had intensified and broadened the scope and transformed the anti-liquor struggle into a full-fledged anti-feudal revolutionary struggle. Because the struggle against liquor is inseparable from the question of land alienation and landlessness among the adivasis. This is the another crucial factor that has contributed to the phenomenal success and popularity of CMAS.
The Narayanpatna CMAS initiated and led the struggle for reclamation of agricultural land that was tricked out from the adivasis by the nexus of sundi-sahukar-money lenders-liquor trades. Till date the peasant masses of Narayanpatna under the leadership of CMAS reclaimed about 5000 (five thousand) acre of land. The struggle intensified due to the violent opposition put up by the landlords with the help of the state machinery. They constituted an armed vigilant group ‘Shanti Committee’ (Peace Committee) that held demonstrations demanding the ban of CMAS and the arrest of its leaders including its President Nachika Linga. They also demanded the land retrieved from them by the adivasis. This ‘Shanti Committee’ with the help of government forces has been going on rampage, destroying houses, damaging, destroying and looting the belongings and crops of the adivasis and leaders of CMAS. The CMAS with the help of the masses has been retaliating and repulsing those attacks. On 20th November 2009, while leading the adivasis to protest against police atrocities in front of Narayanpatna police station, comrade Andru and comrade Singhana were murdered by the police.
The Odisha Government being worried that the movement might spread to the other region of the district, clandestinely help the local reactionaries With arms to form “Nagaric Suraksha Committee” (NSS) that took over the same task perpetrated by the “Shanti Committee” in Narayanpatna. The Government intensified the attack by deploying paramilitary force. Combing operations, arrests, destruction of homes, properties, live stocks, grains, tortures, beatings, intimidation have been regular events. One of the most common excuses of doing so is the allegiance and association of adivasis to the CPI (Maoists).
Till date 270 activists of CMAS have been arrested by the administration, 200 have been acquitted or have gotten bail from the court, 70 others are still languishing in jail. Nearly 1000 people including myself have been implicated on various charges. Nachika Linga, an exploited Kui Adivasi and the President of CMAS had been put behind bars in 2006. He was acquitted by the court from all the charges slapped against him and released after one and half years. Now he is absconding for fear of being rearrested for 50 new cases charged against him.
AK: What are the CMAS’s main agenda items now?
(i) Ban on alcohol trade.
(ii) Abolition of bonded labour practice.
(iii) Right of adivashi people on their native land: 95% land that has been occupied by non-adivasi outsiders must be returned to the tribal people. In this respect CMAS demands the proper implementation of 1956 Regulation (II) Land Reform Act. It also demands the repeal of the right of non-tribal people to own the land in the 5th Schedule Areas (i.e. in tribal areas). It also demands to introduce a new law on the basis of Andhra Pradesh 1/70 Land reform Act that was introduced after the Srikakulam armed struggle and Madhya Pradesh Land Reform Act where land in Scheduled Areas cannot be alienated to the non tribal people. The CMAS wants to highlight a landmark judgment issued by Supreme Court in 1997 that is called “Samta Judgement”. In this judgement the SC had banned transfer of land and mining lease and license to the non tribal people in the 5th Scheduled Areas.
(iv) Stop state repression and arrest of common villagers implicating them as Maoists.
(v) Judicial enquiries of police firing near Narayanpatna Police Station in 20th November’2009 where two young protesters were killed. (Com Singan & Andru)
(vi) Withdrawal of all police camps from Narayanpatna Block.
(vii) Those 70 activists who are still being languished in jails must be unconditionally freed.
(viii) Withdraw all the false charges against 1000 people.
AK: Now tell me something about the process of utilization of land that have been acquired by the adivasis under the leadership of CMAS.
DPM: So far in Narayanpatna area 5000 acres of land have been seized from the landlords. These lands have been distributed to the villagers through village committees who are encouraging to organize themselves for collective cultivation on those seized lands.
The gains achieved in the land struggle by the poor and landless people – both adivasis and dalits, under the leadership CMAS are significant. Apart from organizing themselves for collective farming, the people have collectively undertaken development works with their own initiatives. In spite of severe state repression , the villagers has completed seven big irrigation projects in the last two years and three are under construction.
In the process of land acquisition and land distribution movement, an embryonic shape of peoples’ power is gradually emerging by replacing the repressive state power in the form of “revolutionary Peoples Committee” (RPC) that cover some areas in Narayanpatna.
For the first time these oppressed but proud villagers utter with extreme confidence, “We no longer go to the government and beg for aids or its schemes, instead we will depend on our own strength to struggle and survive. We will carry out our own development works in a self sufficient manner through our own collective efforts.”

Apart from digging several canals with their own effort and initiative, the villagers with the help of RPC are trying to create their own educational and health care system. One school is being run by the RPC for seven villages. As there is scarcity of literate person in the area, efforts are on to get the teachers from outside. Young boys and girls are being trained in basic health care to work as barefoot doctors.
AK: Women are said to hold up half the sky. Will you tell something about the roll and contribution of the womenfolk in this movement?
DPM: Like Singur-Nandigram-Jangalmahal, here also women have set an example by keeping themselves in the forefront of the struggle. By using traditional weapons and homemade chili powder they have courageously fought and withstood the onslaught of the state force to save their male comrades. They were also in the forefront in the anti-liquor movement. When all the male members , the CMAS leaders are forced to go in hiding, the remaining children, women are taking up agricultural activities.
AK: Tell me something about the leadership roll of CMAS in Narayanpatna.
DPM: The peoples struggle creates its own leadership, again this leadership pushes forward the struggle – thus elevating it on a higher level. This is a dialectical relationship. The tribal people of Narayanpatna area were attracted towards the activities of the CMAS formed in 1996 in their area under the leadership of CPI(ML) Kanu Sanyal group.
But with the sharpening of struggle since 2009, the ideological and political struggle became intensified between CMAS- Narayanpatna group and rest of the leadership of CPI(ML)-Kanu Sanyal group who was trying to confine itself within the limit of peaceful legal forms and appeals to the governmental administration. Moreover they decided to take part in the 2009 Assembly election that was strongly opposed by CMAS-Narayanpatna group. They called for “Boycott Election” in some panchayats of Narayanpatna and adjacent Lakshmipur and Bandhugaon Blocks. The boycott call is very much successful in this block, and in some villages the boycott was total.
AK: CMAS had participated in the last Panchayat election in 2011. What compulsion did it force to change the decision from “Boycott Election” stand in 2009 to direct participation in Panchayat Election?
DPM: CMAS in Narayanpatna Block had participated in the Panchayat election against the backdrop of some specific conditions prevailing in the rural area. To expose the states so-called development and its repressions, the CMAS-Narayanpatna block had decided to participate in the Panchyat election. It had placed its candidates in 9 Panchayat seats where 6 candidates won uncontested and remaining 3 won after contest. One Zilla Parishad (ZP) candidate – a tribal lady named Juva Mauka was languished in jail for two years and won uncontested after her release.
In the Zilla Parishad both Navin Pattanayak’s BJD and Congress won 14 seats each. The remaining one seat went to CMAS. So both of them approached the CMAS to seek its loan candidate’s support to form the ZP. The CMAS had placed its 10 points ‘Charter of Demand’ to be fulfilled as a quid pro quo for the support. The congress backtracked. But all the 14 ZP members, three MLAs and one MP of BJD from Koraput District accepted this ‘Charter of Demands’ and it had been placed in writing before the CM Mr. Navin Pattanayak. Based on this signed agreement, the CMAS supported the BJD to form Zilla Parishad.
AK: What is the view of CMAS on Assembly or Parliamentary elections now? Will they take part in those elections?
DPM: No, till now its stand is not to take part in Assembly or Parliamentary election, fight against the anti-people policies of Congress-BJP-BJD nexus.
AK: Does BJD government show any initiative to fulfill the agreement?
DPM: No, nearly seven months have elapsed, there is no sign of any desire to abide by its pledge. The intimidation, repression by the government force is unabated. Sometime back I have had a phone call informing me that security forces had entered a village in Narayanpatna Block. The CMAS will wait for some more time and then it will decide whether to withdraw its support from the ZP.
AK: By participating in Panchyat Election how does the CMAS-Narayanpatna Group differentiate itself from the CPI(ML) Kanu Sanyal Group?
DPM: The difference is the attitude towards the class struggle against the feudal and comprador- bureaucrat- bourgeois classes. Till date what the tribal and other oppressed masses has gained is because of their uncompromising attitude of being on the path of militant class struggle under the leadership of CMAS. Their firm resolution of not to deviate from this path despite participating in the Panchayat Election makes all the difference. Till date its leadership and cadres are facing various false cases and charges. Its President Nachika Linga apprehending re-arrest had gone into hiding. Gananath Patra, an ailing veteran septuagenarian leader has been languishing in jail for more than two years. The attack on the people and leadership of CMAS-Narayanptna by the Government forces and Shanti Committees are unabated. Why? Because this leadership is leading the oppressed people of this area to crush the chain of oppression and to establish real peoples political power. Participating in the election is not the only but one of the various forms of struggle including armed struggle to achieve this goal. On the other hand the CPI(ML)-Kanu Sanyal Group considers the Parliamentary path as the only form of struggle. From the very beginning they have been advocating for peaceful solution like demonstrations, appeals to the administration etc. In this process they have been degenerated to become the stooge of the reactionary ruling landlord classes. Take the example of the Rythu Coolie Sangham (RCS) of Andhra Pradesh which is affiliated to the CPI(ML)-Kanu Sanyal Group. The members of RCS in collusion of the Andhra Pradesh police used to enter illegally in the bordering villages of Narayanpatna Block, burned the houses and indiscriminately arrest people. Their leaders are hobnobbing with the corrupt Government officials and landlords. They used to take money from landlords and promise them that they would not allow peasants with CMAS to acquire land.
The people under the leadership of CMAS-Narayanpatna Block will never give up whatever they have achieved through protracted struggle – the land, the political power, the honour. If someone thinks that by participating in Panchayat Election the CMAS-Narayanpatna Block will give up the path of revolutionary struggle that is the main form of struggle to achieve their goal, he is living in fool’s paradise.
AK: you were selected by the CPI(Maoist) as an interlocutor in the recent hostage crises. Do you think that it is justified for a peoples’ party like CPI(Maoist) to kidnap some bureaucrats, politicians, even common people like foreigners to fulfill its demands? Then how does it differentiate itself from a terrorist organization in this particular issue? Does it not undermine the very cause which they are fighting for?
DPM: One politburo member of the CPI(Maoist) issued a statement after the arrest (kidnap) of Mr. Vinil Krishna, District Collector in 2011 stating that when all other avenues to protect the rights of the people, to express their views against state repression had been choked, the arrest of bureaucrats, political leaders is one of the few options left to highlight the demands of the people. It should not be called as abduction or kidnapping as done by the terrorist groups for ransom or release of their members. It should be viewed as “Arrest”. On the contrary it is the state that has been indiscriminately abducting and killing the people violating its own constitution and laws. In this sense this state machinery is actually practising terrorism.
You should notice that after those arrests, the CPI(Maoist) has raised some political and economical issues including the demand of releasing the people abducted by the state. Most of the people whose release is being sought are common adivasis having no link with Maoists and are being languished in jail year after year without any trial.
On the issue of undermining the cause which the CPI(Maoist) is fighting for, your very first question is the best answer of it. You have admitted that the ‘abductions’ of the Italians and the MLA Jhina Hikaka has brought the Narayanpatna movement to the fore in national level. Without these ‘arrests’, would you have been interested about the heroic struggle of Narayanpatna’s adivasi people? After the arrest of the MLA Jhina Hikaka, there were six big rallies in Narayanpatna in one month. The police remained in their camps and thousands of people with their demands participated in those rallies, meetings to expose the state repression and the state’s so called development. In this sense these arrests should viewed as propaganda work. After the release of Hikaka, the police and force have again started the operation against the people and conducting of any further meeting or rally become most difficult. (2)
AK: In their article “The Glorious People’s Struggle of Narayanpatna” the DSU fact finding team after visiting the area from 11th to 16th April’ 2011 elaborately described how the people had actively boycotted the Parliamentary election in 2009. But when updating the movement as on late February 2012 in the chapter “The Unceasing Wave of Narayanpatna Struggle – An Update”, they did not mention anything about the CMAS-Narayanpatna group’s decision to participate in Panchayat Election or to support the BJD in Zilla Parisad. How do you interpret this conspicuous silence? Can it be interpreted as their difference on the issue of CMAS- Narayanpatna group’s decision of participating in the Panchayet Election? Your comment please.
DPM: The DSU fact finding team had been visiting the area before Panchayat Poll. To expose the state’s repression and so called development the CMAS participated in Panchayat Election and after a long debate and for the sake of people’s cause they supported the BJP candidate in ZP election and the CMAS took a strategic decision to break the illusion of people on Panchayat system by participating in Panchayat Election.
AK: The Government and main stream media is from the very beginning trying to depict the CMAS as the peasant front of CPI(Maoist). Your comment please.
DPM: The CMAS is not a peasant front of CPI(Maoist). The CMAS has been working and functioning openly in a democratic way. Whereas the CPI(Maoist) is supporting the causes and spirit of the CMAS, with an understanding that real democracy is possible only through the revolution.
Date of Birth: 7th March, 1951. He had been actively participating in the politics form the school life. In 1967 he joined the Communist Party of India (CPI). But within a year influenced by Nagbhushan Pattanayak and Ramesh Shahoo (who was martyr in 1969) he joined the CPI(ML) in 1968. For his active participation with the CPI(ML) he was several times arrested , released and again arrested during 1971 to 1972. He joined CPI(M) in 1972 for the setback of the revolutionary armed struggle led by CPI(ML) and for the communication gap. He actively took part in nationwide Railway strike in 1974, again arrested and released after the end of the strike. He was arrested again in MISA and released after the formation of Janata Government in 1977. He left CPI(M) in 1990 in protest against the charge levelled on him for spreading the CPI(ML) ideology and politics inside CPI(M). Then he joined the CPI(ML)- Liberation in 1991 and elected as IPF state President in1991. He left CPI(ML)- Liberation in2000 on the question of the path of Indian revolution. The CPI-ML (Liberation) participated in election politics like other official left parties.
In 2002 he started work as Convener of Daman Protirodh Mancha that was banned in 2006 in the pretext of being of a frontal organization of CPI(Maoist). A case is pending in the Supreme Court challenging this ban. From 1978 to till date he is the General Secretary of Odisha Forest Majdur Union (Bamboo Culture). He is a friend and Co-advisor of CMAS and tackling its all legal works, now working as Convenor of Jana Adhikar Mancha, odisha.]
(1) “THE FLAMES OF NARAYANPATNA” – Charvaka Publications. Govindanagar, Chandigarh – 160 014. Page-38, 39
(2) After his “arrest” by CPI (Maoist), Jhina Hikaka served a written undertaking to the people of his Assembly area that he would tender his resignation to the CM from the Assembly seat to protest against the atrocities unleashed by the Government forces. But after his release he backtracked and was shifted to the capital Bhubaneswar with his family. They are being provided with a Z-Plus category security cover. Then the force resumed its usual reign of terror. The people of more than 50 villages were implicated in false and fabricated cases and more than 70 people were detained in Koraput Jail. The CMAS President Nachika Linga’s 80 years old mother had been mercilessly beaten by BSF Jawans. Two adivasi girls were also gang raped.

In the jail the common prisoners supported the “10-Points Charter of Demand” and maintained 48 hours hunger strike from 21 – 23 September’ 2012.
Esteemed Sir,
We the elected representatives of Koraput District bring the following points for your kind notice which needs necessary and swift action at your end.
That, we the elected representatives of Koraput District request for an independent judicial enquiry for the Narayanpatna firing of 20-11-09 and punishment meted out to the culprits of the shenanigans if any.
The general public of Koraput District are facing numerous socio-economic hardships due to liquor trade and also dying premature due to consumption of liquor. So there should be total prohibition in this Schaduled District for the improvement and all round development of the masses as well as locality.
That your responsible Government has already taken step for strict implementation of amendments made to Regulation 2 of 1956. We further request you to implement the same in true spirit of law earnestly.
We request you to move a motion in the State Assembly for inclusion of Nokadora and Kondadora as members of Scheduled Tribe and request the Government of India to insert the aforesaid two creeds in the S. T. list.
Mali and Deomali peaks are our prestigious tourist place bearing our cultural heritage hence request your good self to preserve these and declare the same as tourist places to conserve the ecology as well as flora and fauna.
Your august office has already established many Vigilance Courts in different localities of the state and taken steps to eradicate corruptions. We further request you to undertake steps to curtail P. C. (percentage) to Government Officials in contract works.
It is reported that bonded labourer and Dadan system is still prevailing in certain parts of the State. So necessary steps may kindly be taken for its elimination.
We request you to appoint an independent judicial enquiry on the alleged rape case of Dokapadu. (Tola Dokapadu)
A number of criminal cases are pending against the members of Chasi Mulia Sangha who were acquitted by the Hon’ble Courts and cases against absconding accused persons are pending in different courts. We humbly inform your good self that there is no meaning in proceeding with the cases where co-accused persons were acquitted. Hence request you to initiate steps for withdrawal of the said cases pending in different courts.
We further request you to look into the cases pending against 3 (three) accused persons who were detained in Berhampur Jail for the unfortunate incident of 21-02-2012.
There is allegation of police excess in Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon areas in the name of combing operation. Necessary steps may kindly be taken to safeguard the interest of innocent adivasi villagers.
With fervent hope we remain sir.
With regards,
Sd/- Jayaram Pangi, MP Koraput; Ravi Narayan Nanda, MLA Jaypur; Jhina Hikaka, MLA Laxmipur; Raghu Ram Padal, MLA Koraput and 14 Zilla Parishad Members of Koraput Districts, dated 13th March,2012.
Shreejukta Navin Pattanaik,
The Honourable Chief Minister,
Bhubnaswar, Odisha.
Through Collector.
Dear Sir,
We, all the elected members of Block of Narayan Patna and Bhandhugaon want to draw your kind information on the following facts:
After the last Zilla Parishad election, there was an 10 point agreement between Juva mauka and Korapur Sansad Jayram Pangi, Jaypur MLA Ravi Narayan Nanda, Laxmipur MLA Jhina hakaka, Koraput MLA Raghguram Padal, along with 14 Zilla Parishad Members belonging to your party and it was submitted to you.
Even after the elapse of six months, we don’t find no sign from your end to fulfill any of the demands mentioned in the 10 point charter.
The Government’s proposal for the growth and development in our area is only lying in the paper. It is clear that the government is talking a step motherly attitude towards the Adivasi people in this area. Without any reason, the adivasis being implicated in various cases have been languishing in the jails. Keeping the paramilitary force in Bandhugaon and Narayanpatna area it is trying to create a fear psychosis. The Government’s sole aim is to isolate the CMAS from the masses whom it has been mobilising to fight for the democratic rights. The members of CMAS are being labelled as Maoists, terrorists, traitors. In the midnight the force has been looting the pets like goats, cocks. In both the blocks, the government employees are not present regularly. So the development work has been totally stopped. 66 years after Independence, our local people have no freedom. Due to the police repression, the people are scared to come out from their houses. During daytime they are hiding in the forest.
When this fear psychosis will be stopped?
When the adivasis will become at par with the other people of the society?
When the adivasis will get their Legitimate Rights?
To nominate an educated adivasi for the President Post will not solve these issues. Every adivasi should know the meaning of the term President. To put the common adivasis in the jail in the name of sedition will not solve the problems. It is the duty of the state and responsibility of the Government to make the adivasis as conscious citizens.
We expect the answer of all the above mentioned questions put forward to the Honourable C.M. and we demand the following actions to solve the problems:
I. Deomali and Mali hills, the pride of Odisha must not be handed over to any company to extract the bauxite, on the contrary these should be developed as tourist spots.
II. To prohibit the alcohol trade and consumption in this adivasis area, the Government should enact the Law based on Central Government Excise Law, 1974.
III. The Government should free the occupied land from the clutches of non adivasis and hand it over to the adivasis to solve the land problem.
IV. Withdraw the paramilitary force from Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon area. Stop the state violence and state repression in the name combing operation.
V. To provide drinking water in every village, arrange bore well.
VI. Recruit the local or interested teachers instead of unwilling and irregular teachers in the schools of Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon area.
VII. In Badipeta, Tentulipadara, Kaberibadi as well as in all Panchayats there should be boarding facilities to improve the quality of education.
VIII. Identify the needy person for Indira Abas Yojna.
IX. In Khumbhari Panchayet, canal should be dug for irrigation to facilitate the cultivation. For this a dam should be constructed in Chintaguda. In this way thousand of peasants will be benefited.
X. Complete the trial of the agitating people languished in the jail. Withdraw the false cases against innocent people.
XI. Investigate all the killings in the name police encounters from 2009 as well as the murder of Telika Darka in 19th August, 2012.
XII. To rehabilitate the persons evicted from their lands acquired for NALCO, HALKOLAD, and MACHAKUNDA Projects, the government should enact a law.
In this respect, until the above mentioned 12 demands are not fulfilled, we the elected representatives will start hunger strike in front of Koraput Collector Office from Tuesday, 11th September, 2012. (1)
We expect that the government will consider these demands with due importance and take the necessary steps within fifteen days.
Hopefully awaiting your action.
Sd/- All 14 ZP members of BJD and Juva Mouka dated 28th August, 2012
(1) The hunger strike has been deferred to November’ 2012 due to encircling and severe repression unleashed by the Government forces to the villages of the ZP members so that they cannot come out from their respective villages and assemble in front of the Koraput Collector Office to carry out the programme.


#India-SC to seal fate of Vedanta Group’s Lanjigarh refinery on December 3

must warn readers that the scribe has given half the facts. no mention of notices from state pollution control board, complaints to nhrc, nc saxena, etc. rather makes the case for val . the times of india of course.

By , TNN | Nov 27, 2012, 04.49 AM IST

BHUBANESWAR: The Supreme Court on Monday fixed December 3 as the final date of hearing in the Niyamgiri bauxite mining case. The verdict will seal the fate of Vedanta Group’s Lanjigarh refinery in Kalahandi district.

The Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) went to the Supreme Court in March 2011 after the Union ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) rejected stage-2 forest diversion proposal for the Niyamgiri bauxite mine, having an estimated deposit of 78 million tons, from where the state government had promised raw materials to Vedanta’s refinery.

The Vedanta group is the only private industrial house having done tangible investments in the state during the present Naveen Patnaikregime.

The one mtpa capacity refinery, however, has been embroiled in a series of controversies ranging from environmental activists protesting that it would jeopardise the fragile ecosystem of the region to political parties, particularly the Congress, clamouring that mining on Niyamgiri hill would spell doom for the endangered Dongria Kondh tribes.

OMC had got the lease in 2004. But mining became impossible in the area in the face of PILs that raised questions on the future of biodiversity, water bodies and Dongria Kondhs.

The court battle went on for several years, during which at least three major agencies like the Dehradun-based Wildlife Institute of India, Central Mines Planning and Design Institute, Ranchi, and the Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology (OUAT) examined the charges made by the petitioners.

The Supreme Court cleared the project in August 2008 followed by the MoEF issuing environment clearance and Stage-1 green signal for diversion of about 660 hectares of forest proposed by the state government for the mining project. The MoEF while issuing the stage-1 clearance had put 21 conditions which included deposit of Rs 125 crore for development of wildlife and the tribals.

But the refinery’s problem though was far from over. This time it was the Central government that put blocks on the project. As the time came for the MoEF to issue the stage-2 forest clearance, it started dithering.

MoEF soon appointed an expert committee to study the fulfillment of conditions it had imposed earlier. The state government on its part placed its view before the MoEF that the conditions had been fulfilled, but things still were not going the refinery’s way.

As the MoEF constituted more expert groups to examine the charges against the project, it withdrew the stage-1 forest clearance as well. By August-end the signal was loud and clear that the project was heading to face a raw deal in the hands of the MoEF. And it happened.

MoEF rejected the stage-2 forest diversion proposal for the mining project sent by the state government. As the Centre refused to budge from its stand despite repeated persuasions by the state government, the OMC went to the apex court challenging the MoEF order.

Amid this the net loser has since been the refinery, which has in the meanwhile completed nearly 70% works, though allegedly illegally, for increasing the refinery’s capacity from one mtpa to 6 mtpa.

“We put up the plant believing the state government. Little did we know that the investment would take us running from pillar to post. We have no raw material in hand. We have already lost over Rs 2500 crore,” said a senior Vedanta official.


Mining in rat holes, and a Meghalayan policy

Photo: Shailendra Pandey

Tehelka Blog, Nov 12, 2012

It is said that Meghalaya has a history of no less the 80 years of unregulated and unscientific mining of natural resources, mostly coal and limestone. Due to customary tribal laws and lack of resistance, unregulated mining has turned into a cottage industry of sorts in the hilly state. In fact, though it remains quite unregulated, mining is Meghalaya’s biggest industry.

For instance, you will come across ‘rat hole mining’ in almost every nook and corner, where minors risk their lives to dig out coal. It was after activists rung the alarm bells on child rights abuse in these ‘rat holes’ that the Meghalaya government started to take the matter seriously. Moreover, the presence of large-scale limestone reserves in the state has made way for dozens of cement manufacturing plants, often set up in violation of environmental and forest guidelines. Meanwhile, the state government has drafted the Meghalaya Mineral Policy 2010 and plans to get it approved in the winter session of the State Legislative Assembly – the last time the Assembly would meet before the state goes to polls in early 2014.

The Mukul Sangma government has already started to hard sell the policy, which promises to bring scientific know-how to miners and private investment to the mining sector so that bigger projects can be envisaged, which would also enable infrastructure development. Sources say, since the Congress in Meghalaya is itself divided in opinion about introducing the policy, the government keeps it on hold. There is a desperate attempt to dress up the policy as a holy cow, but it is really going to be that sacrosanct?

All of Meghalaya falls under the Sixth Schedule areas, where, as per the Constitution, the tribals do not need any prior permission to start mining. So there is no need for environmental, forest or pollution clearances, and the industry is tax-free. Many of the tribals in governance and politics are also seen to be involved in unregulated mining. Though labour laws, child rights and safety norms are joke for Meghalaya’s mining industry, Constitutional safeguards for tribal areas in the form of the Sixth Schedule keep the Centre from poking its nose in the matter. Sources claim that all politicians have huge assets in unregulated mining, and the workers in the sector are either migrant poor from other states, or from Nepal and Bangladesh, or they are trafficked minors. So the state government tends to ignore even major mining accidents.
So the policy might have come about because of the pressure the state government came in from the Guwahati High Court on the issue. The HC had imposed a fine of Rs 50,000 on Meghalaya for not having a mining policy, and later another Rs 5 lakh for not regulating mining on tribal land.

Ahead of the election, no political party in Meghalaya would dare to speak against illegal and unregulated mining, and after the poll, everyone will forget the issue and the policy will bite the dust. It is time for the tribal chiefs of Meghalaya, who hold enormous powers, to rise beyond clannish thinking and raise their voice for a regulated mining regime that has respect for the environment, and for forest, labour and child rights.

Ratnadip Choudhury Author: Ratnadip Choudhury works as a Principal Correspondent with Tehelka. A young IT professional by training and a journalist by chance, Ratnadip hails from Tripura and has been reporting out of Northeast India for Eight years, as of 2012. He started his career with the Tripura Observer and went on to work with the Northeast Sun, The Northeast Today, News Live, Sahara Time and The Sunday Indian. He has also contributed to BBC, CNN, NatGeo TV, NDTV, CNN-IBN and TIMES NOW. Before joining Tehelka, Ratnadip worked with the national bureau of the television news channel NewsX. He specializes in conflict reporting and has a keen interest in India’s eastern neighbours. He is based in Guwahati.

‘Can 17 lives be paid for with free rice?’

Kamla Kaka
Kamla Kaka, 25, Tribal Activist

Why were you angry with the CRPF?
At night on 28 June, we were attending a seed festival in our village when CRPF personnel surrounded us and started firing. Many of us lay down on the ground. Those who stood with their arms raised, shouting, “We are not Naxalites, we are villagers,” were killed. In all 17 were killed, including a 12-year-old girl. Then they set our village on fire. So when the CRPF returned later to distribute rice, I could not hold back my anger.

But they had come to distribute food.
Tell me, does the government distribute food to Naxalites? If we are Naxalites, why do they come to distribute relief materials? The rice may last us a few days, but will that really change our lives? Can 17 lives be paid for with this rice?

What do you plan to do?
I met the district collector, and then Chief Minister Raman Singh. I invited the CM to visit our village. However, he said that he will be unable to do it as long as the investigation is on. When I asked him to take some action and move the CRPF out of our village, he left without responding.

Atul Chaurasia is Chief of Bureau, Tehelka Hindi.



Mumbai’s ‘castaways’ still wait for home #tribals #indigenous

5 November 2012

By Zubair Ahmed BBC Hindi, Mumbai

Woman with water vessel on head walking along top of hill There is no water or electricity supply in the settlement and villagers have to walk for miles to get water

On the plateau of a verdant hill range, near India‘s commercial capital, Mumbai, rests a settlement of a small tribal community which has been waiting for five years for a permanent home.

But, its members feel they have been forgotten by the authorities.

At 21, Hemant Dhangar has a big responsibility of explaining the plight of his people to the wider world, because not only is he the only college-going youth in the community, he is also the most articulate.

He believes they have been long forgotten by the outside world.

“We don’t appear on the map, we don’t exist in official records. The administration, the political leaders, everyone seems to have overlooked us. We are a castaway community.”

This indeed seems to be true for the place has no water supply or electricity, it has no village council and there are no latrines, no schools and no post-offices.

It is just a cluster of random huts on top of a hill.

‘Temporary abode’

The tribespeople once had homes and engaged in farming.

But five years ago the administration uprooted them from their village in Thane, 30km (18 miles) away from their present settlement, to construct a dam.

The 200-odd families were offered a monetary compensation of 13,000 rupees ($234.84; £146.83) per acre of land and allowed to resettle on top of a plateau in the surrounding hills.

But Asra Nagar, as the inhabitants call their settlement, was to be a temporary abode.

Three young children at the settlement The community has set up a food co-operative to help feed their undernourished children

“We were told our stay here will be temporary. We were promised electricity, water supply, school and other amenities. But five years on, things have not moved,” says Shantaram, one of those who lost his home.

A woman, balancing a large pot on her head, is making a long trip to fetch water.

She is too shy to talk, but her husband says: “What else can we do? It’s a long walk down to the valley and steep walk up the hill. Some times it takes the whole day to fetch the water we need.”

Most of the men and women here work in quarries nearby, provided there is work.

For days though, there is none, which means many of the villagers are forced to sit around idly.

Food co-operative

Children here look under-nourished as food, specially healthy food, is in short supply.

No help ever reaches here so the villagers have decided to take matters in their own hands.

“We have set up our own little food co-operative for the children. We collect money every week from all the families in the settlement, the collection varies between 200 rupees ($3.61; £2.25) and 400 rupees. This is spent on buying milk and medicine for the children,” says Shantaram, a father of three.

Man sits in his home that is a temporary hut  The community has waited five years for permanent homes

The settlement is barely 150km (93 miles) from Mumbai and yet none of its residents have ever been to the big city.

“Is it true that Mumbai never sleeps? Do you meet film stars?” asks Mr Dhangar.

Mumbai and the region’s rapid economic development have passed this community by and actually, if anything, they are the victims of progress.

A recent visit by authorities to the area raised hopes among the residents that they might after all be able to secure permanent homes.

The tribal welfare ministry did not respond to our queries about the visit and what plans they may have for the community.


Vidarbha -Every 4th house in this village has a mentally ill person shackled in chains #Indiashame #Wtfnews

In Vidarbha, a village of the damned

Sukhada Tatke TNN, Nov 4, 2012

Unmindful of the scorching heat and the iron chains around his legs and hands, Raju alias Rajendra Dhere crouches on the ground, tracing his name in the mud with a finger. Ask him his age and what he does in life and he is quick to respond with One and Class One respectively. Then he begins rambling incoherently.
The 40-year-old’s plight is, bizarrely enough, reflected in almost every fourth house in Vadura, this village of 1,800 people in the Nandgaon-Khandeshwar block in the heart of Amravati district. Elsewhere in Vidarbha, the issue of poverty-stricken farmers committing suicide has taken precedence over all else. But in Vadura, or “paagalon ka Vadura” as it has come to be called, villagers have a greater concern: the silent demon of mental illness that has been afflicting people over the years and is now begging for government intervention.
The villagers are unaware of the draft Mental Health Care Bill of 2010 which prohibits chaining persons with mental illness. Raju’s family says that chaining Raju is the only way to keep him in “control”. “He tends to get violent. We admitted him to the Nagpur mental hospital thrice, but it has not helped,” says his brother’s wife, under whose care Raju has been since his farmer father committed suicide three years ago. Known as an intelligent boy and swimming expert in his teen years, Raju today bears no resemblance at all to his younger self.

No govt intervention as yet 
Fifty-two year old Laxman Satange, better known as ‘Tiger’ in the village, does not reflect the picture of his youth either. He sits in a corner or roams around his house, engrossed in whatever catches his fancy. If it is a piece of paper, he folds it relentlessly for hours; if a pen, he doodles endlessly. His brother Prabhakar is in the same boat. Until two months ago, he would wander around the village and take his clothes off. Now he talks to himself and spends most of his time sleeping.
Despite the enormity of the problem, it was only last year, after worried villagers saw children behaving oddly in school, that they decided to do something. “The teachers noticed that several kids were not paying attention or looked disturbed,” says resident Purushottam Dhere. “They happened to come from families with mental disorders.
That’s when we approached the Apeksha Homeo Society for help, which co-ordinated with the Amravati health department and organised a medical camp. Psychiatrists and psychologists from private groups were also present.”
The camp was an eye-opener—of the 100-odd people who showed up there, 14 were diagnosed with acute mental illness and 26 others with milder variants. A doctor told TOI that most of the villagers suffered from psychosis and schizophrenia;
mental retardation was also prevalent.
Dr C L Sunkusre, district programme officer of the National Rural Health Mission, admits that the problem in the village is grave. “The prevalence of mental illness in this village is far greater than any other village in Amravati,” he says. “We need to give it special importance. The causes may be genetic, rooted in pregnancy problems or stress-related. We need to get to the root of it and think of solutions.”
According to Dr Pankaj Wasadkar, a clinical psychologist associated with the Manas trust in Vidarbha, Vadura is symptomatic of alarger disquietthat governs rural India: an acutelackof awarenessof mental health issues and treatment. Wasadkar had attended the camp and found that there was no reason that could be pinpointed for certain. “The problem is that there is no epidemiological base to the problem in the villageor even in rural India,” he says. “In this particular village, there has been no disaster or trauma. Some patients have been rendereduntreatablebecause treatment has never been provided to them. Some have chronic illness which came to the fore. Therefore, there needstobe governmentintervention where psychiatric treatmentis made available.Buteven after the health camp, the medicines were not distributed properly.”
Villagers too complain that there has been no follow-up by the health department. “The government is not doing anything,” says Dhere. “All we want is for experts to carry out a survey to examine the reasonssothat moresuchcases don’t occur. What scares us the most is that little children might develop the same problems.
“The signs in school are worrying enough,withkidsimitating the mentally ill they see around. It’s high time the government helped us.”

Mentally-ill Rajendra Dhere, 40, in shackles bears little resemblance to the intelligent boy he once was. In Vadura village of Amravati, almost every fourth house has somebody who has lost his/her mental balance
It was only last year, after worried villagers saw children behaving oddly in school, that the health department decided to take some action


#India-Keonjhar tribals up in arms over #mining plans in Khandadhar #Vedanta #Posco

TNN | Oct 30, 2012

KEONJHAR: Fear of displacement stalks tribals inhabiting Banspal block of Keonjhar district abutting the beautiful Khandadhar waterfall with hundreds of companies, including South Korean steel behemoth Posco, applying for lease to mine the Khandadhar hill. A Niyamgiri-type agitation (against Vedanta in Lanjigarh) is already on in the area.

Sources said only two mines, owned by Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC), are operating in Malangtoli region near the hill as of now. Posco has applied for mining lease (ML) over an area close to the waterfall. The hill is about 65 km from Keonjhar. On the opposite side of the hill there is another waterfall by the same name in Banei sub-division of Sundergarh district, where too tribals are protesting against the proposed mining activities.

According to the information obtained from mining department through an RTI query, about 219 prospecting licence (PL) applications are pending with it. Companies and individuals have applied for lease over 1,31,406.8881 hectare of land in 52 villages. Similarly, about 237 ML applications on 1,43,895.2357 hectare are pending with the department. According to the department, no ML has been granted to any company as yet. “Only eight companies have been granted PL in the vicinity of Khandadhar hill,” said Keonjhar mining officer D K Parija.

Surrounded by dense forests, the area is known as the ‘rice bowl’ of tribals, mostly Bhuyans, as they depend on it for their livelihood. They have united under the banners of Khandadhara Surakshya Mancha and Lok Sangathan and have been fighting to save the forest and their livelihood.

“We depend on the forest for our livelihood for over six months a year. Medicinal plants, streams, wildlife, a temple and the beautiful waterfall will be destroyed if mining is allowed here,” said Radhakant Dehury, a Bhuyan tribal of Kadakala area. Mining will not only lead to heavy pollution but also damage the Shiva temple, worshipped by thousands of locals, he said.


#India #Rajasthan -Cheating #tribal patients under the grab of free treatment #mustshare

A compplaint lettre to Medical Council of India

The Chairman,
Medical Council of India,
New Delhi

Dear Sir:

Please find attach a pamphlet circulated by the NIMS Medical College and Hospital
(NIMS University), Shobha Nagar, JaipurDelhi Highway, Jaipur in villages
inhabited by tribal community of Pratapgarh district of Rajasthan.

A team (perhaps not of the doctors) from this college hospital held a camp on 21st October 2012
at village Devgarh of Pratapgarh block and after initial screening asked about 80
patients to come with them to NIMS Medical College Hospital, Jaipur where they
would be provided free treatment as written in the pamphlet. All these patients
were provided free transport in two buses. After reaching at NIMS Hospital, they
were admitted and asked to sleep on beds in wards.

According to the patients, doors of the hospital were locked so that they can not escape. Nobody was given

any treatment and after two days they were again put on two buses and transported
back to village Devgarh in Pratapgarh Dt. In those two days, all these patients
received food only once and tea, a couple of times. One patient said that though
his complaint was of repeated bouts of beathlessness, but a cast with weight was
put on one of his lower limbs. While they were on beds, some people peeked into
the wards but did not come near anybody.

None of the person from the hospital explained to these poor patients from tribal community the reason for not
providing treatment. The only reason, there could be that they did not have money
and they did not fall in first 500 patients who were to be given free treatment as
mentioned in the pamphlet.

From this incident, it looks like that these patients were taken to the NIMS 
Hospital to demonstrate bed occupancy for hospital to seek some kind of 
recognition. Most patients who were taken to the NIMS hospital have given 
notorized affidavits but the local administration is in no mood to do anything. 

It is a serious matter and MCI should look into it immediately.

Thanking you.

On behalf of the duped patients
Ram Prasad meena Devgarh
Naru Meena Sovani
Kanna Meena Devgarh
Jetu Ram, Samli Pathar

Prayas, Dr narendra Gupta
8, Vijay Colony, Near Railway Station,
Chittorgarh 312 001
Tel : +91.1472.243788
Fax : +91.1472.250044


#India- Tribal woman in Prison does not understand court judgement #Indigenous #AP #Chattisgarh #Gondi

Dr Haneef from Khammam in Andhra Pradesh is talking to Sodey Bhimamma
a Gondi Adivasi from Chhattisgarh outside a court. Bhimamma has been
sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment on charges of murdering her
husband. She tells Dr Haneef that she does not understand Telugu so
she can not make our what is going on in the court and what police and
lawyers are telling. She says she is an orphan and have two children.
She needs help. For more Dr Haneef can be reached at 09490353568

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