Skip to main content

Dongaria Kondhs demand immediate halt to Odisha police "repression" in Niyamgiri Hills

By Manohar Chauhan
Dongaria Kondhs, under the banner of Niaymgiri Surashkya Samittee (NSS), has demanded immediate halt to police repression and asked for peaceful life in Niyamgiri Hills. Alleging state repression on their peaceful movement towards saving Niyamgiri Hills, Lada Sikaka, president of NSS, accused the Government of Odisha of pushing pro-corporate and anti-tribal activities in the state.
Sharing his experience of "police brutality" on Dongria Kondhs, Sikaka told media in Bhubanesewar, "On October 20 when I had been to Langigarh old market to sell orange, the local police in civil dress came in Bolero and abducted me without any warrant, covered my eyes with a clothe and took me to the local police station where they severely beat me up and tortured me. They released me on the next day after taking my signature on a blank paper."
"They frequently asked me to stop the protest that we had planned before the Ragayagada Collector's office against police repression and Maoist movements in the Niyamgiri Hills", Sikaka added.
Dadhi Kadarka, another senior member of NSS, said, On October 8, I was similarly picked up by the Raigarda Police from Munikhol Panchayat office near Muniguda without stating what was my fault and without any warrant. Police took me to the SP office and was severely physically torture. They released me on October 9.
“In similar manner, on October 18, police abducted Jamu Gauda from village Jhadikhol from Langigarh market and took him to Muniguda police station under Raigarh SP office. They tortured him and compelled him to give information on Maoist links, and threatened to send him to jail. The next day police freed him, Kadarka added.
NSS had called for peaceful protest before the district collector's office Raigarh on October 23 against both police repression and Maoist harassment in the Niayamgiri Hills. They applied for permission it on October 15. Following that, the Kalahhandi SP had called leaders of NSS, including Lingaraj Azad, senior organizer of NSS, and asked them to stop the protest plan otherwise he would take stringent action against them.
“Whoever picked up by the police was either compelled to surrender as Maoist or to give information on Maoist links and get praises from police, and when they would suggest they had no information, the police would torture them and threatened them they would be sent to jail, Sikoka asserted, adding, they would continue their peaceful democratic protest to "save Niayagiri Hills despite police repression and Maoist harassment."
Taking note of police repression, a fact-finding team consisting of Narendra Mohanty (Insaf) Chandranath Dani (Human Rights Defenders Alert), Pradeep Sahoo (Campaign for Survival anf Dignity), Niranjan Mohanty (advocate), and Gaoutam Patra (social worker) visited Niyamgiri Hills, including Muniguda, Lanjigarh and Rayagarda and discussed the prevailing situation with the affected people. They told media about "gross human rights violation by Kalahandi and Raigarda police in the Niyamgiri Hills."
Present on the occasion, Green Nobel awardee Prafulla Samantara spoke out about innocent tribals in Niayamgiri area who, he said, are protected under Schedule 5 of the Constitution and the Forest Rights Act, 2006. He called upon the Government of Odisha to stop "brutal repression on democratic movements in the state in the name of Maoists."
Later in the day, Dongaria Kondh representatives along with several of Odisha's noted activists submitted a petition to the Chief Minister demanding impartial investigation on the alleged incidents of police repression and to take stringent action against those who were responsible for it under the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocity Act, 1989.
They sought a detailed report on all false cases against members of NSS and those who have been put in jail. They said, there should be a total stop to further arrests and torture of innocent people in the name of Maoist repression. In the petition, they also demanded from the Government of Odisha to ensure complete closure of Vedant Alumina Plant in Lanjigarh which they asserted is the main cause of all pollution in the area.

Comments

TRENDING

August 22 to be observed as Apostasy Day: International coalition of ex-Muslim groups

By Our Representative
In a unique move, an international coalition of ex-Muslim organisations has decided to observe August 22, 2020 as the Apostasy Day. To be observed for “the abandonment or renunciation of religion”, the coalition, calling upon people to join the call, said, the decision to observe the Apostasy Day has been taken because of apostasy is “punishable by death in Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, UAE, and Yemen.”

Buddhist shrines massively destroyed by Brahmanical rulers in "pre-Islamic" era: Historian DN Jha's survey

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".

RSS' 25,000 Shishu Mandirs 'follow' factory school model of Christian missionaries

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*
The executive committee of the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences (IUAES) recently decided to drop the KISS University in Odisha as the co-host of the World Anthropology Congress-2023. The decision is driven by the argument that KISS University is a factory school.

India must recognise: 4,085 km Himalayan borders are with Tibet, not China

By Tenzin Tsundue, Sandeep Pandey*
There has as been a cancerous wound around India’s Himalayan neck ever since India's humiliating defeat during the Chinese invasion of India in 1962. The recent Galwan Valley massacre has only added salt to the wound. It has come to this because, when China invaded the neighbouring country Tibet in 1950, India was in high romance with the newly-established communist regime under Mao Zedong after a bloody revolution.

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.

Time to give Covid burial, not suspend, World Bank's 'flawed' Doing Business ranking

By Maju Varghese*
On August 27, the World Bank came out with a statement suspending the Doing Business Report. The statement said that a number of irregularities have been reported regarding changes to the data in the Doing Business 2018 and Doing Business 2020 reports, published in October 2017 and 2019. The changes in the data were inconsistent with the Doing Business methodology.

Delhi riots: Cops summoning, grilling, intimidating young to give 'false' evidence

Counterview Desk
More than 440 concerned citizens have supported the statement issued by well-known bureaucrat-turned-human rights activist Harsh Mander ‘We will not be silenced’ which said that the communal riots in Delhi in February 2020 have not been caused by any conspiracy, as alleged by the Delhi Police, but by “hate speech and provocative statements made by a number of political leaders of the ruling party.”

WHO chief ignores India, cites Pak as one of 7 top examples in fight against Covid-19

By Our Representative
In a move that would cause consternation in India’s top policy makers in the Modi government, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, World Health Organization (WHO) director-general, has singled out Pakistan among seven countries that have set “examples” in investing in a healthier and safer future in order to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

Tata Mundra: NGOs worry as US court rules World Bank can't be sued for 'damages'

By Kate Fried, Mir Jalal*
On August 24 evening, a federal court ruled that the World Bank Group cannot be sued for any damage caused by its lending, despite last year’s Supreme Court ruling in the same case that these institutions can be sued for their “commercial activity” in the United States.