Shri Muralidhar Chandrakant Bhandare
Sub: Citizens Appeal on Kalinganagar Situation
April 7, 2010
With deep shock and disbelief we share the following quite avoidable tragic happenings in the proposed industrial city of
The aggrieved, anguished, humiliated and agitated villagers revealed to the team that:
1. It was the administration which initiated a dialogue with them on the common corridor issue on the 28th 0f March. They welcomed the district collector and shared with him their concerns and apprehensions in a clear language. The collector also promised to take up their issue with the state government particularly on the question of land for land compensation. He also assured the villagers which had been telecast on that day itself that no work will begin before the matter was resolved. But to the utter shock of the villagers the road work near Baligotha was started on 30th March, 2010 with heavy deployment of armed police. Under section 144 of CRPC entry to the construction site was declared unlawful but the goons supported by the ruling party and the Tata Company were allowed to dominate the scene. The firing started without any provocation and village Baligotha was attacked without any reason as the victims after the firing were rushing in to village to find a safe shelter. The village was deliberately looted and food and food grains stored in this tribal village which they had earned after hard labour was destroyed to force them vacate the place.
2. The villagers of Chandia, Baligotha, Garhpur and other hamlets have been subjected to continuous police repression and criminal intimidation at the hands of people sponsored by the Tata Company. So far 21 people have been arrested on false and fabricated cases. Even people fear to go out for emergency medical care. Pregnant women have been the worst sufferers and on 4th of April, 2010 Balema Goipai 65 of Gobarghati died because she could not get medical treatment as she was suffering from cerebral malaria.
3. According to villagers which sounded convincing no developmental work particularly on sectors such as health, education or drinking water is taking place in the villages in Kalinganagar. Even the elected Sarpanch of Chandia is not allowed to function as a Saprpanch.There seems to be a deliberate plan to force the people to migrate.
4. As people allege, all the lands in the area including the site for common corridor and industrial sites come under FRA 2006. No process has been initiated to settle claims of people over forest land. People in the area have been kept in dark about such an important act.
5. Tribals like Raju kalundia , the Saparpanch of Chandia claim that the land in common corridor site is patta land and his grand parents still have titles over those lands. Others too have similar claims but no one has been consulted about it.
The honorable Governor may please intervene and ensure that:
- The common corridor road must immediately be stopped, the demands of the tribal agitating under the banner of Vistapan Virodhi Janmanch taken seriously.
- The Hon’ble Governor may please visit the area personally and see the untold miseries of the people which have been caused to them by an irresponsible and dehumanized administration which is working hands in glove with the companies in the area.
- The right to life and livelihoods of the tribals guaranteed by the constitution must be ensured.
- The judicial commission enquiring in to the killings of 14 tribals on 2nd Januray 2006 must be expedited fast and the scope expanded to include the police and private atrocities on agitating tribals in the region after that incident till the firing of 30th March 2010.
- Section 144 imposed in controversial construction site be withdrawn along with withdrawal of armed police from the region which will create conditions for restoration of peace.
- All media persons, human rights activists and concerned citizens must be allowed free access to the conflict and firing site.
Forestrights act 2006 must be implemented in Kalinganagar area with letter and spirit.
Justice Pratap Mishra ( retd)
Braja Kishore Tripathy ( Ex-MP)
Rabi Narayan Panigrahi( Ex-MLA)
Chita Mohanty Political Activist
Praffula Samatara, Activist and editor
Manoj Jena, Social activist