Skip to main content

Tribals pitted against MNC in Odisha branded Maoists, intimidated, abducted, killed: Human rights report

A Dongria Kondh protest rally against "intimidation"
By Our Representative
The National Confederation of Human Rights Organisations (NCHRO), an apex body of right-based advocacy groups, has taken strong exception to unprecedented “intimidation” of Odisha’s tribals and activists pitted against multinational corporation (MNC) Vedanta Resources’ Rs 5000 crore aluminum refinery venture.
An NCHRO team, investigating into “false cases, arrested, torture and killing” in the name of anti-Maoist operations, said the whole effort to seek reversal of the 112 gram sabhas’ decision declaring the entire Niyamgiri hills area – where Dongria Kondhs, a primitive tribal community, lives – as a mining free zone.
The intimidation is taking place with the help of “various paramilitary forces as Central Reserve Police force (CRPF), Special Operation Group (SOG)… stationed there in the name of curtailing the Maoist activities”, an NCHRO team, consisting of its senior office bearers Prof Amarx Marx, Reny Ayline, Narendra Mohanty, Advocate MA Momen Halder, and Jharkhand student leader Abdul Hannan Jharkhand, said.
Based on visits to the most-affected Kalahandi and Rayagada districts, which are the most affected, a report prepared by the team said, “The holy lands of Dongria Kondhs are declared as Maoist infected areas.”
Giving details, the report said, on May 10, in the wee hours, at about 3 am, about 40 uniformed people reached the village Nachiniguda, forcibly entering each house, and picked up tribal leader Baka Majhi. One of the villagers told the team, “When he tried to release himself they violently broke one of his hands. When we protested, they threatened to kill us with their fire arms. They went away with our Baka Majhi. Nothing known about him till this day...”
When the team brought the “kidnapping” incident to the light of the Kalahandi district superintendent of police Brijesh Kumar Rai, “he replied that he is not aware of it and if details are sent he would take action.”
In yet another village, Dangamati, the team met the tribals who gave details of Manda Katraka (20), who was “killed in a fake encounter by the SOG on February 27”, and later declared him a Maoist.
In a third incident, Dasru Kadraka, the 25-year-old Adivasi youth leader and activist of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS) was arrested on April 7 from Muniguda market. “The local police are falsely presenting him as a Maoist militia leader but they have not recovered any arms-ammunition or incriminating evidence to prove it”, the report said.
Pointing out that this has been continuing for quite some time, the NCHRO said, on November 15, three Adivasis of Nisanguda village were killed by anti-Maoist combat force SOG. Then, in the third week of November 2015, Drika Kadraka, an Adivasi activist, was picked up by the anti-Maoist squad stationed in that area. “Though he escaped from the clutches of police and returned he committed suicide as a result of mental torture within the next few days”, the report states.
The report insisted, local people were “against the Vedanta Resources but they have nothing to do with Maoists. They are concerned only about their future. In order to save and protect the Vedanta Resources the state has declared a war against the tribal population.”
Demanding a case of kidnapping Baka Majhi should be registered against the cops who picked him up, the report sought investigation into “the case related to the fake encounter killing of Manda Kadraka as a death due to a real encounter between the forces and an armed terrorist.”
At the same time, the report sought withdrawal of all paramilitary forces in the Niyamgiri hill areas to ensure safety of the local Adivasi population, adding, “We demand that in the background of the historic May 6 verdict of the Supreme Court the government should ensure the implementation of the Gram Sabhas’ decision of 2013 and declare Niyamgiri as a mining prohibited zone.”

Comments

TRENDING

Why do I lend my support to voices protesting world class renovation of Gandhi Ashram?

By Martin Macwan* One would not expect an activist working on Dalit rights to join such a protest. Dalits carry unhealed trauma that Gandhi caused to Dr BR Ambedkar and the Dalit cause of effective political representation by using violent means of his own definition in the event of the Poona Pact. This apart, Gandhi’s ideas in general, which changed often, on caste were orthodox. I have nothing to add to the subject after the sharpest critique offered by Dr Ambedkar.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Iswarchandra Vidyasagar was a 'frustrated' reformer who turned into a conservative

By Bhaskar Sur "If someone says the Manusamhita was written by all wise Manu and the principal scripture of the land and if he asks me to throw it away, I'll say it is nothing short of atrocious audacity." -- Iswarchandra Vidyasagar

Odisha bauxite mining project to 'devastate' life of 2,500 Adivasi, Dalit farmers: NAPM

Counterview Desk  While the public hearing on mining in Mali hills has been cancelled due to protests by Adivasi and Dalit farmers of the Mali Parbat Surakhya Samiti, Odisha, who have been protesting against the proposed bauxite mining project, India’s top civil rights network, National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) has said it is “deeply concerned” at the decision of the Government of Odisha to push the project in a Schedule-V Adivasi-belt Koraput district against the interests of the people and environment.

Inaccurate gender-relevant data 'spoiling' government policy on Covid social impact

By Simi Mehta*  The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been different across vulnerable groups. They were hit by the pandemic at various stages, whether it was accessibility to medical treatment or financial support. The second wave witnessed human suffering at a level where one can never forget the traumatized faces of people due to the inaccessibility and unavailability of essential medical services such as hospitals beds and oxygen. The probability of the third wave has also been one of the major upcoming challenges.

2002 riots: Gujarat assembly 'misinformed' about dereliction of duty, says ex-DGP

By Rajiv Shah  Former Gujarat topcop RB Sreekumar, an IPS officer of the 1971 batch, has alleged that the Gujarat government gave “totally false information” on the floor of the State Assembly regarding the appeal he made to the Gujarat governor for the “initiation of departmental action against those responsible for culpable negligence in maintenance of public order and investigation of genocidal crimes” during the 2002 riots.

Flamboyant 'demagogues' adjust politics, personality in shadow of democracy

Modi, Erdogan, Bolsonaro By Ajit Singh The terms dictators and demagogues are used interchangeably in various contexts, but there is a difference. The former rule over a totalitarian states where governments are able to exercise complete influence over every aspect of citizens’ life, whereas the latter are a "wannabe dictators" but due to the system of checks and balances they are are not fully capable to create police states.

Celebrating birthday amidst image of 'coerced, submissive' India ruled by a strong leader

Pushkar Raj*  As the weeks long birthday festivity of the leadership was being rejoiced India wide, the Covid was still raging in several parts of India. The carnival was in line with the post-Covid decisions and actions of the leadership demonstrating a pursuit of personal power and glory instead of national interest in times of disease and death.

'Devastating impact': Rural workers suffer as Govt of India NREGA budget down by 34%

Counterview Desk  A civil rights group, the NREGA Sangharsh Morcha has sent a letter to the Prime Minister and the Minister of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj stating that 34 per cent decrease in the fiscal budget of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGA) for year 2021-22 has added to woes on India’s rural population, already suffering from “devastating impact” of the Covid-19 pandemic.