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
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
8. Finally, a response from a Non-Resident Oriya illustrating the mindset of a section of oriya elite.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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
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.
THE LAND OF JAGANNATH WHERE BLOOD RUNS CHEAP
"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.
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.
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.
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!
Prof. Banikant Mishra Prof. Prhalad Mishra
Prof.D.P.Dash Prof. Francois George Joseph
(All working at XIMB and their initiative has nothing to do with their institution)
CAMPAIGN FOR SURVIVAL AND DIGNITY
National 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. 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
A LETTER BY DUNU ROY TO THE CHIEF MINISTER,ORISSA
Mr. Navin Pattnaik,
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.
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?
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...
Once again, in caution,
Visit 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)
She 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.
We are on the road taking us into Kalinganagar industrial area, the people have barricaded the road, and let us pass on to this spot, only after verifying our bonafides. We cannot talk to the people manning the barricades. 'only the committee can speak to you, they tell us pointing further down the road. Can we go there we ask. Yes, since you are press it is alright they say. Ravi who is with us is an activist, and has been to the area several times, people recognise him, and so, our identity is not questioned, though we do not carry press cards. Several vehicles of various opposition parties pass us by as we go on. On the way, we pass several young men carrying sticks. Tell Naveen Patnaik, if he kills the police who shot our people we will give him one lakh they shout as we pass by. We eventually come on a large gathering of people. A lot of speech making is going on. Further on, on four beds, the dead have been layed out. How were the women killed I ask; they opened fire suddenly, and shot into the crowd they say, these women were in front. It does seem as if people had not really begun to organise into a march or rally. Hearing reports of work starting, they had begun to gather at the spot, with an intention of stopping the dozers.' There must have been six or seven hundred police men, we were only about 200 they say'. Indeed, this is a fair approximation. Fourteen platoons, according to the police themselves, 27 according to the local reports, had been brought into the construction area on the morning of January second. They had been stationed in the nearby police headquarters in Duburi for about a week. They surrounded the worksite. The firing appears to have been quite indiscriminate. People have been shot on the abdomen, on the face. Even little children have bullet wounds they tell us.
It is difficult to get a coherent story, the trauma is still too fresh in people's minds. But, the purpose and intent is clear, we shall not leave till the Tata Company withdraws and the Government lets us live in peace in our villages they say. People in other villages, 600 families, have been driven out of their land we are told. They eke their living from stone crushing. Stone crusher units are every where. The hills have been carved up for quarrying. these are being taken for the construction work. Leaves of the few trees left standing on the road side have turned grey.
The Visthapan Virodhi Manch is well organised. There is a group at the first barricade. They check ones bonafides, and then let them pass. We shall not let anybody from the Government come here they tell us. Further on, women and men listen to the speech making. Lunch is being cooked a half kilometre down the road, in a hut, with the help of Manch funds, and food is brought to the spot by volunteers. Young women and men move up and down with lathis, there is tension in the air, but, there is no sense of confusion and chaos. Volunteers have also accompanied the injured in Cuttack medical hospital, and they take turns to sit by the patients. Food has also been organised here. We did not have any problem of paying for the vehicle, that is being looked into by the Manch, we are told by the relatives of the sick in Cuttack medical hospital. If there is a law and order problem, it has been created by the government the previous day.
There are many young people carrying bows and arrows. We never used them, they tell us, we carry it for self defence. However, this carrying of traditional weapons only seems to be some kind of a moral booster. All of them agree that they cannot really defend themselves with these in case of a police attack, although they explain very proudly the ballistics of this ancient missile, with feathers twisted around the rear end. The actual site of the killings is completely deserted. The police have also gone, and the people along with the dead have moved onto the road. How long will they campaign on this spot, will the government which one must remember was elected by them, ever listen to them.
In Cuttack medical collecge, all the injured police, they are from the Gurkha Battallion, and some of the more critically injured patients are in the same ward. The police are in four beds, adjacent to each other, the injured people are scattered in different places, and we have to hunt around for them. The police are subdued, quiet, the villagers, are ready to talk, but, we can make little inroad, as TV cameras capture their attention. The injuries are quiet serious, and I wonder if some of them will be able to survive. One frail young man, has an oxygen mask, and is clearly in much discomfort. Medical care has been provided, the serious patients have been attended to at the earliest possible and there is a fair amount of after-care as interns, and nurses come in and enquire after them, and slips are provided for those injured who require blood. But, ones the media and public attention dies down, one wonders will this be sustained.
As we look on, TV cameras, followed by politicians of different hues come in, bend over various injured for photographs, and video clips, and move on. The injured and their relatives are left looking quite bewildered.
Kalinganagar Complex is a massive industrial park with an area of over 12000 acres set up by IDCO in Jajpur District where industries are being allocated land. IDCOL has already acquired the land in the area through the Land acquisition act. The land acquisition by IDCO has only provisions of providing compensation for patta land and 10 decimal of land for homesteads for the landless. However, the local tribal people have been mostly cultivating non-patta land due to faulty survey and settlements and non-regularization of land. Even though they are absolutely dependent on these lands for their livelihoods, they are neither being offered compensation or land in return for the land cultivated for them. Several other industrial units have come up there, including Neelachal Ispat Nigam, MESCO, Jindal, etc.
The threat of forced displacement without any alternative livelihoods and loss of ancestral lands have led to a strong resistance- as long back as in 1996, the local people has successfully stopped the establishment of a plant by Bhushan Steel at the same site. Another major protest was held on 15th May, 2005, where the tribals foiled the proposed Bhumi Poojan of Maharastra Seamless Steel limited.
There are several issues that need to be addressed here. The entire episode is being given various colours by different interest groups. Some say the protests are because of the poor compensation package given to earlier oustees, with the present demand being for improved compensation, on the basis that IDCO would sell the land acquired from the tribals communities at something like seven times the price; other news reports point fingers at Maoists as instigating the trouble. Some people proclaim that the very fact that women were in the forefront of the rally indicates that they have been used! Needless to say the loyalists, and the opportunists will make hay when they can. This whole affair is an effort to de-fame Naveen Patnaik claimed one more-loyal-than-the-king 'Human Rights Activist' on OTV. The Indian Express, in its 4 th Jan Editorial states: 'This incident Tragic should not de-rail the process of industrialisation. Nor should the opposition ….. call the Naveen Patnaik Government Trigger happy. Rather a solution should be sought through an all-party consensus for which the Chief Minister, must take the initiative.' In the hospital people tell us, we voted BJP, but, now, since last year, we have disassociated ourselves from all political parties, and all of us together formed the Visthapan Virodhi Manch.
On the ground, there is little evidence of instigation by outside agencies, or any doubt about what the people want. Everywhere, people were very very clear, specially the women that this was a fight for their land. On the highway, it was local people who spoke to us, pointed out their leaders, and described their experiences. These leaders were from the area, lived with the people, struggled and toiled with them, some tribals, others non-tribals. The organised and orderly conditions that prevailed when we went there, the determination, grim and firm on people's faces, in people's statements, indicated that they were the people in command. This was no instigation. This was a people fighting to live.
It is inevitable, that the government would be on the defensive now. But, I would also point out that now is the time for like minded groups to come together and really really raise the issue of rights of local people: be they tribal, be they dalits, or any ethnic, caste, religious group, a community of local people have a right to decide what they want to do with their land and other natural resources. A government cannot just sell away these to industrialists without a proper process of consultation. And if the consultation results in people saying no, then the Government must honour this decision.
A consultation and consent cannot be manufactured with guns and police force;
A police force cannot be used for protecting and promoting the interests of the Private Sector;
Well, there is no point just a few people articulating this, then it becomes rhetoric. And I am glad there are so many suggestions for having an open letter on the Kalinganagar case. But, even as the Kalinganagar killings are a continuum from Kashipur in Dec. 2000, from Mandrangbaju, Gajapati, 1999, from Raighar, Nawrangpur, 2001, we also need to realise that there has to be strong move from civil society to bring such errant (and I have consciously used a mild word here) governments to book, and much much more: there has to be a counter move to ensure basic right to live and right to livelihood to the people of this country.
First, we need several people who will volunteer to come to Kalinganagar to report on the issues, not just on the killings.
Then, there has to be concerted, and sustained questioning of the rational and overdrive for industrialisation;
Legal support is required, and there is an acute need for good lawyers, who will volunteer help and sound legal advice to the people, who will also come forward to fight people's cases without monetary compensation!
_________________________________Agragamee,Kashipur - 765015,Dt. Rayagada, Orissa.ph: 06865285174; 06742557936; 06742551130
em: email@example.com ;firstname.lastname@example.org
This mail was in response to our first release "It is not firing, it is cold blooded massacre" from a NRO based in US of A. This mail and our responses have created a larger debate within the NRO online forum, which we will share later.
On 1/3/06, Deba Nayak <email@example.com > wrote:
Independent Media:First of all your claim for Independent Media is completely biased andsolely dependent on 1.CPI-M2.CPI, 3.CPI-ML (Liberation) 4.CPI-ML5.CPI-ML (Red Flag)6.CPI-ML (New Democracy)7.SUCI8.Samajwadi Party9.Samajwadi Jana Parishad10.Lok Shakti Abhijan11.Loka Pakshya12.Utkal Sarvodaya Mandal 13.Orissa Krushak Sabha 14.AIYF15. AISF
You did not condemn the barbaric killing of two Police officers by theTribal people. Was not their killing (chopping the body into pieces)Cold-blooded massacre? They were just performing their duties. The resentment grew not because of the tribals are loosing their land orculture, rather the greediness of more money and job in terms ofcompensation fueled by vested political opposition parties as well as Naxalites/Maoist.Where were you when tribals came to protest? Wish I could see you and yourdedicated team all in the front rows to take the bullets. That could havebeen your real fight against injustice.. Where was your honest opinion when the tribals were cultivating the Govtland even after they were compensated twice?Only 800 tribals were displaced. Are you accountable for the rest 7200 whoshowed up with lethal weapons? Where were you, when for last 50 years Orissa's minerals were were looted?Looks at RINL of Vizag, TISCO, IISCO,NGOs and Rest of India love to see Orissa stays as the 'Poorest of the Poor'such that more money would flow in terms of tribal development from different agency. May be you are one of that NGOsWhere is your bolded headlines when Tribals kill thousand of innocentanimals in the name of sacrifice and rituals which imbalance our ecosystem.Animals do have the first on this land and water. Don't fool others by writing provocating articles and dont do any personalattack on anyone. You have already lost your credibility to the audience.