The The New Year was ushered in by the mowing down of 12 tribals
in Orissa. While the elite spent crores celebrating in the fashionable
malls the poverty stricken tribals of Orissa were being massacred
for demanding their rights over their own land and forests. The
contrasts are vivid: TV channels blaring film stars and 5-star culture;
the half-hungry tribals struggling for survival against police acting
on behalf of the mining companies.
On Jan. 2 the police gunned down 12 tribals and seriously injured
another 40 who were opposing the construction of the boundary wall
of the proposed steel plant of Tata Steel at Kalinga Nagar of Jajpur
district. The demand of the tribal people who would be affected
by the proposed project was that the government allows the construction
of the boundary wall only after the company paid them adequate compensation
and ensured proper rehabilitation. Instead of discussions they were
sought to be silenced with brute force by the government.
On that black Monday, nine platoons of policemen came in vehicles
and took positions at the construction site to counter any protest
by the tribal people. Some policemen, armed with semi-automatic
rifles, surrounded the site. With the obvious intention to shoot
to kill; the top officers who have the authority to give the order
to fire were present from the very start. The Executive magistrate,
the District Superintendent of Police and the Collector were all
The tribal people had started assembling at a distance to thwart
the construction work as they had done on at least two previous
occasions. When the bulldozers roared into action the men and women
closed in on the site demanding stoppage of the work and negotiations.
No attempt was even made at discussions and instead the tribals
had to face rubber bullets and tear-gas shells. This infuriated
the tribals and they fought back heroically. They hit back with
bricks and bows and arrows. In the battle a policeman was captured
and hacked to death.
The police, panic stricken, began to fire directly into the crowd.
The firing went on for about an hour killing 12, including a 13-year
boy and three women. But this did not deter the tribals, with the
bodies of some of the dead they blocked all roads to Kalinga Nagar.
The protesters started a dharna on the main Daitri-Paradip expressway
with four corpses that they had recovered, demanding that the remaining
bodies be handed over to them by the police.
Tension built up further on Jan.4 morning when the tribals discovered
that five of the bodies returned had their palms chopped off and
their genital mutilated. The tribals were horrified to find that
five males penis cut off and one female had her breast cut off.
Though the doctors were accused for this, it was clear that they
were not killed in firing but had been arrested, brutally tortured
and then killed. The government tried desperately to diffuse the
crisis but they continued the dharna with the 12 bodies. Finally
though the dharna continued the bodies were cremated. At the cremation
grounds the tribal leaders vowed not to part with even an inch of
their land ancestral land.
On Jan.7th there was a statewide bandh which crippled life in Orissa.
Roads and even rail traffic was disrupted due to blockades throughout
the state. In Bhubaneshwar the activists attacked the BJD office
and the residence of the finance minister, Prafulla Ghadei, who
is the MLA of the region and has been in the forefront of organising
the repression. The bandh was also held in Jharkhand.
On the 10th day of the dharna Sonia Gandhi led a high-level team
and visited the tribals amidst much media attention. She promised
the kith of the dead 5 lakhs in compensation (the tribals had earlier
rejected the Rs.1 lakh compensation from the state government) but
said not one word on relief and rehabilitation. Ironically she was
accompanied with not the welfare of mining ministers but with the
Home Minister and the Union Home Secretary. Her intentions were
obvious, try and make political capital and yet warn against any
further actions. This is not surprising as the Prime Minister himself
has been personally involved in pushing the mining deals in Orissa.
So, though the BJD government at the State level has been in the
forefront of these mining deals, it has got strong backing from
the Congress government at the Centre.
On the other hand in a PRESS STATEMENT issued by the CENTRAL COMMITTEE
of the CPI(MAOIST) stated that it: severely condemns the brutal
massacre of twelve tribals by the Orissa police on Jan 2nd. The
tribals were protesting against the construction of steel
plants on their lands near Kalinga nagar industrial complex near
Jajpur, Orissa. The Kalinga Nagar killing has surpassed the
two other incidents-the Maikanch firing on tribals in December 2000
and Raigarh firing by Naveen Patnaik government. The killing of
policeman is but natural and we hail people’ s continued resistance
despite facing cruel repression….. The BJD government who is opening
Orissa to the rapacious and greedy Goliaths for the exploitation
of invaluable mineral resources is caring a hoot to the poor and
downtrodden. Naveen Patnaik bent upon crushing the continuing agitation
with an iron hand already brought additional 27 platoons of Orissa
State Armed Police (OSAP) force. Imposed curfews and prohibitory
The vast stretches of adivasi areas ranging from the Dandakaranya
to Jharkhand are threatened by the monstrous MNCs and Indian Compradors.
In Jharkhand the Raman Singh government recently signed 42 agreements
in mining, steel and power…. These plunderers are determined
to throw out form the homes and hearths of these indigenous people.
These 21st century shylocks hand in glove the Central and state
governments are trying to go any cost. Apart from the massive deployment
of paramilitary and other armed forces the governments are going
on with fascist gangs like “salwa judum and sendra”. The salvwa
judum fascist gangs so far killed 100 adivasis people and raped
many women, destroyed 40 villages. Around 20000 people had to leave
their homes because of this State sponsored terror.
……………We appeal to the people of all walks of life to condemn the
on going repression on Kalinga Nagar tribals’ struggle and appeal
to stand in their support. Our Central Committee also appeals to
support all the struggles of adivasi of this region where people
are going losing their livelihood in the name of industrialization
List of Martyrs in Kalinga Nagar Massacre:
1. Rangalal Munduya 2. Janga Jarika 3. Sudam
Barla 4. Ram gagrou 5. Ati Jamuda 6. Bana Pradra
7. Deogi Triya 8. Landu Jarika 9. Ram Chandra Jamuda 10. Mukta
Bankira 11. Govind Daguri (Student) 12.Bhagaban Soy.
A memorial is also planned on the spot in honour of those killed.
Two organisations involved — the Jharkhandi’s Organisation of Human
Rights and Jharkhand Mines Area Coordination Committee — have also
planned to launch a campaign to counter the centenary celebrations
of Tisco, beginning later this year. They have called on the Yatas
to accept responsibility for the massacre and call off the programme
and donate the money to build a memorial.
On January 31st the tribals held a massive rally close to the spot
of the firing. It made its intention clear by taking on the government
by launching a “shahid yatra” and sprinkling the ashes of the tribals
killed in the police firing throughout the state. They refuse any
cooperation whatsoever with the government. Now it over one month
into the road blockade of the Paradeep-Daitari expressway which
has resulted in a loss of over Rs.1 crore so far. The blockade has
badly hit the movement of goods and mineral to and from Paradeep
port. But even if the blockade is lifted the tribals are determined
not to concede to even a inch of their land to any industrial project
in the area in future.
Discontent Sweeps the State
The seed of the discontent were sowed in the region in the 1990s
when the government started acquiring land in the early 1990s as
part of the globalization policies being pushed by the imperialists.
From then itself the privatization of mines was high on the agenda.
The Biju Patnaik government acquired 12,000 acres of land in Kalinga
Nagar in 1992. But in these years only two companies, NINL and MISL,
set up plants. Simplex Industrial concern withdrew after facing
stiff opposition from the tribals. Though they were paid a measly
compensation of Rs.37,000 per acre the tribals did not leave their
lands. But in 2004-05 when the government handed over 1960 acres
to the Tatas and began to push the tribals out the resistance began.
They refused to go saying the compensation was worthless. Besides,
most tribals though they have been ploughing their land for generations
they have not been given pattas for it; but the compensation would
only apply to the ‘patta’ lands.
In the period of 1992-97 alone around 1 lakh crores of foreign direct
investment came to exploit the vast quantities of natural resources.
The big mining projects will usurp 1,10,000 acres of fertile agricultural
land, 10,000 acres of forest and 50,000 acres of grazing land in
the region of Raygara-Koraput-Kalahandi.
The government then paid a mere Rs.37,000 per acre and the State
government started work on the NILN (Nilachal Ispat Nigam Ltd) steel
project in 1998. The Mesco Group followed it up with a 0.5 million
tonne steel plant. Until now the industrial complex of Kalinga Nagar
spread over 12,000 acres has attracted 13 steel projects including
the one by Tata Steel.
The protests have been continuous against all projects that seek
to displace the people with out any proper R & R. In 1997 two
people were killed in police firing during land acquisition for
the now shelved Tata Steel project at Gopalpur. The same company
had to back out of a prawn culture project at Chikla following protests
by local fishermen in the early 1990s. In December 2000 three persons
were killed in police firing at Manikanch, near Kashipur in Raygada
district, while protesting against the Rs.4,000 crore alumina project
by Utkal Alumina International Ltd. The Vedanta Group (UK) which
is setting up a Rs.4,000 crore alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in
Kalahandi too had to face tribal protest in 2004.
The experience of the NINL plant has shown that the government is
just out to rob the tribals of their land without any real R &
R (Relief and Rehabilitation). Here 634 families were displaced.
While the displaced families were paid Rs.37,000 per acre NINL paid
the IDCO (Industrial Development Corporation of Orissa) Rs.3.5 lakh
per acre. They were given a plot of land 12 kms away with each family
getting one-tenth of an acre. The government promised jobs but not
one person was given any. They were promised free medical facilities,
free electricity and various other sops. Nothing materialized. In
this Gobarghati Rehabilitation Centre six people, including two
children, have died of water-borne diseases in the last five months.
None of the six tube-wells installed were functioning. The nearest
primary health centre is 20 kms away to which they have to walk.
There is one school and no teacher. Most of the families have disappeared
and none settled on the undeveloped plots. At the Trijanga rehabilitation
Colony, where families displaced from Siari and Basipur by Mesco
and Jindal, it is the same story.
Seeing this experience the tribal people have now continued to occupy
the lands that were acquired from them. Unsure of an alternative
livelihood, they protested whenever any new projects were started.
Subsequently the government paid some more to the tribals but this
had little effect as there was no rehabilitation plan. On May 9th
2005 the tribals were lathi charged while opposing the bhoomi puja
of a steel project of Maharashtra Seamless. In the clash the Jajpur
ADM (Additional District Magistrate) and two police officers were
seriously injured. This was followed up by midnight raids on villages
in a bid to terrorise them. They arrested a large number of tribals
including 25 women and 14 children. All were harassed and humiliated
and detained for 22 days. The villages involved were primarily from
those in which the 12 were killed in the present clash. In the present
case too while Tata has paid Rs.3.75 per acre to IDCO, the displaced
have only been given Rs.62,000 per acre.
This action was directed by the MLA from the region and the State’s
finance minister who had come there on the occasion. Praful Chandra
Ghadie is a powerful trade union leader of the area and a mafia
don. Recently, at his instance and financed by the mining mafia,
some local youth of his electoral area of Sukinda have formed a
private army to defend the industrialists who are putting up plants
in Kalinga Nagar.
But the tribals are not cowed down. In October 2005 the tribals
again obstructed the bhoomi puja of another private company. A big
police force was called in. after this tension increased and the
tribals gheraoed the Kalinga Nagar police station. This was only
lifted after the government gave an assurance of proper compensation.
During this agitation the president of the Front was arrested and
has since been languishing in jail.
But NINL is not the only experience. Since 1947 none of the three
million peopledisplaced — 50% tribals — in the tribal and coastal
areas have received adequate compensation and rehabilitation. Uprooted,
often forcibly and violently, from their lands, most have been reduced
to penury. Many have even died of starvation. It is not surprising
therefore that the outbreak at Kalinga Nagar has now inspired protests
from those ousted from earlier projects like the Hirakud dam in
Sambalpur district, the Nalco project in Angul and Koraput, the
Rourkela Steel Plant at Sundargarh district and the HAL factory
at Sunbeda in Koraput district.
In mid January in two major actions the tribals blocked all entry
points to Rourkela demanding that the plant’s surplus land, taken
from them about 50 years ago, be returned to their original owners.
Three trucks, two dumpers and a three wheeler were set on fire at
Panposh and Deldih on the outskirts of the city. There were a number
of organisations (including the Rourkela Local Displaced Association
and the Anchalik Surakhya Committee) involved in the indefinite
blockade. Tribals, armed with bows and arrows, took to the streets
to enforce the blockade. Boulders were kept on the roads and tyres
were burnt at the entry points to the city, while a large crowd
squatted on the railway tracks on the Howrah-Mumbai route and the
railway line was closed down for three full days. 22 platoons of
armed police were called in. Pitched battles took place between
the tribals and the police and the blockade continued for a fortnight.
It is reported (Outlook) that revolts have flared up like bush fires
all over Orissa and many of the industrial ventures are having second
thoughts about their investments. People opposed to Posco said “if
the project is not scrapped we will set up barricades, we will stop
paying revenue and if necessary blow up bridges to cut off all connection”.
They are being led by the Pratiordh Sangram Samiti whose president
is Abhay Sahu.
Orissa’s Gold Rush
So far 43 MoUs have been signed for steel plants and three for aluminum
refineries. To set up Greenfield plants, and many of the companies
are all set to mine in Schedule V areas, where tribal people enjoy
protection against land alienation. To set up these industries 60,000
acres of land has to be that if all the projects are implemented
about 10 lakh people will be displaced. The State’s New Industrial
Policy has rolled out the red carpet for these companies by exempting
them for sales tax, entry tax, electricity charges, and other taxes
for 20 years. The land is being leased out to these industries at
very low rates. Reservoirs, rivers, and hydroelectricity plants
are being handed over to the industrial houses while farmers do
not have enough water for irrigation. Fishermen are being pushed
out for prawn cultivation and what is left of the forests will be
These will involve an investment of Rs.1.4 lakh core to produce
58.4 million tones of steel per annum. This is a part of the New
Steel Policy unveiled by the Union cabinet recently which seeks
to take the per annum steel production up from 30 million tones
today to 100 million tones by 2020. Of these 43, 17 have started
construction and 10 are nearing completion. Orissa’s estimated iron
ore reserves are 5.4 billion tomes. Of this 3.1 billion is in mines
leased out and 766 million tones are with the government. The government
is busy seeking to sell of the balance 1.5 billion tones. Rampant
mining of iron ore is already going on in Keonjhar and Sundargarh
which have some of the best forests. The Niyamgiri hills of Kalahandi,
home to a variety of medicinal plants, are also facing the threat
of mining. In these places there are no basic health care facilities
and pollution is already a serious problem. Here there are also
no proper schools and the interior villages have no roads and electricity.
The areas that would witness mining of iron ore and the setting
up new steel plants and captive power plants are Keonjhar, Sundargarh,
Jajpur, Dhenkanal and Angul districts. The Orissa Steel plant plans
to make hot rolled steel. At present 600 families are squatting
within the plant site. They are the original owners of the land
who have refuse to accept the compensation.
With the diversion of large forest areas in Lanjigarh, Kashipur
and Keonjhar, people have become refugees in their own lands, their
livelihood and their lands snatched away from them overnight. In
spite of such a massive plan for mining projects the State government
has not even drawn up a plan for R & R. the draft R & R
policy is gathering dust and even after the firing at Jajpur there
are no plans to sytematise it. Obviously the government wants no
such policy and mere to throw out the tribals at the lowest possible
cost, depending on the level of their agitation.
Orissa is one of the richest States in the country in mineral resources,
yet it is one of the poorest. Orissa has 33% of the country’s iron
ore, 60% of the bauxite, 98.4% of the chromite, 25% of the coal
and 68% of the manganese. As the rush for iron ore hots up in the
Northern Orissa districts, the queue for bauxite is getting longer
in the Southern belt.
Four alumina refineries have been planned to be set up by the Anil
Agarwal owned Vedanta Alumina, the Indo-Canadian joint venture Utkal
Alumina, the Adity Alumina and a joint venture of L & T and
the Dubai Aluminum Limited in the Kalahandi, Rayagada and Koraput
districts. Construction of two of them has started — in Lanjigarh
in Kalahandi and Kashipur in Rayagada — despite massive opposition
by the tribals. Some of these have already come up in spite of massive
opposition from the local tribals. The Utkal Alumina project which
will displace 22,000 people loss of pasture land will doom about
40,000 cattle to famine, will only create 400 “non-technical” jobs.
The project is expect to last for only about 25 years. In the proposed
projects at Kashipur, Laxmipur, and Dasmantpur about 80,000 people
face loss of livelihood, but only 3,000 will get employment. Companies
like Vedanta in Lanjhigarhar operating illegally are operating illegally
without environment clearance, mining permit and consent of the
gram sabha; hundreds acres of forest are being cut down in Sambalpur
district by Bhushan Steel and other sponge iron factories.
Tribals constitute over 22% of the total population of the State
(the all-India percentage is 7%) Of these 73% live below the poverty
line. The main reason for this is deprivation of land. Only 13%
of the total land under Schedule V is owned by them. The State owns
approximately 74% of the lamd in these regions where the majority
of the tribals are either landless or marginal farmers.
But Orissa is not the only place where the government is handing
over the land to the mining mafia. Massive project of iron ore and
steel, coal, bauxite, uranium and many other metals are coming up
in many other states, particularly Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. The
Rape of Jharkhand
The Jharkhand government has also already signed 43 MoUs with 43
domestic and overseas investors against the commitment that the
State government would be providing the land and other infrastructure
to the mining mafia at excessively cheap rates. The Arjun Munda
government has blindly signed on the dotted line. The major problem
it faces in taking over the land and handing it over to the industrialists.
The Jharkhand had initiated work on the formation of a land bank
to provide land to industries. The investments involved in all these
projects here amounts to a massive Rs.2 lakh crores by various Indian
and foreign companies, needing 52,000 acres of land.
So deeply involved is the Jharkhand BJP government in gigantic mining
contracts that the governor, immediately after the Jan.2 firing
went rushing to Delhi. He met the President and the Union Home Minister.
He told the3 latter that “rehabilitation will be an important issue
in the execution of about 40 million tonne steel plants and 5,000
mega-watts captive thermal power plants.
Just four major steel plants plan to invest $ 30 billion (Rs.1.5
lakh crores) in Jharkhand. Mittals has signed a MoU for a 12 million
tone steel plant. Tata Steel has signed an MoU for a 10 million
steel plant , besides expanding the Tatanagar plant to 7 million
tonnes. Jindal and Essar too have signed MoUs fo a 10 mt and a 5
mt plant respectively. SAIL (IISCO — PSU)has plans to invest Rs.4,000
crores to develop the Chira mines.
Jharkhand has 1.5 times more reserves of iron ore than the present
estimates. In fact all the big houses are primarily eyeing the Chira
mines. Chira is considered one of the richest iron ore mines in
the world with over 1.5 billion tones of deposits. Earlier the mining
tribunal ruled that the State government should restore the mining
of two major blocks of the Chira mines to SAIL as the Jharkhand
government had revoked to leases in order to privatize them.
Besides Jharkhand is home to the biggest uranium mining project
in the country at Jaduguda in East Singhbum district.. With eight
new nuclear reactors under construction there is going to be a huge
spurt in the demand for uranium. At present the project produces
220 tonnes of the yellow cake per year as against a yearly consumption
of 300 tonnes. The UCIL (Uranium Corporation of India Ltd) has plans
for the massive extension of these East Singbum mines (at Jaduguda,
Narwapahar, Bhatin, and Turamdih) given the large deposits in the
area. The Narwapahar mine which was started in 1995 produces as
much as 1,500 tonnes of ore per day. The Turamidh mine was opened
in 2002 and another mine is planned here. Also mines are planned
to be started in Banduhurang and Bagjata.
Also a number of power projects have been sanctioned like that of
the Eastern NGA Mines Ltd. The company has signed a MoU with the
State government in Feb 2004 regarding the setting up of a 1000
MW-power plant at Patratu. The state government failed to provide
the land and coal (agreed to 100 acres of land and coal blocks)
to the company as agreed in the MoU and so this has not progressed.
The villagers in Gamharia Block of Jharkhand district have been
up in arms against plans to mine uranium at Mohuldih. In August
an attempt by the UCIL to hold a public hearing on environmental
questions associated with the project was thwarted by villagers
of the area. The villagers said that they neither needed uranium
nor a hearing. Residents of the area have declared that they will
not let go of their land under any circumstances. Among those opposing
the proposed project are the Jharkhand Organisation Against Radiation
(JOAR) and a newly formed association of Ranchi-based lecturers
and academics. The protesters allege that the UCIL and the local
administration have been using coercive methods to push the project
The local villagers have been vociferously opposing these mining
Other Mining Plans
It was soon after the globalization initiative that the mining
sector was sought to bed opened out to the loot and rape of our
people. It was as early as 1993 that the National Mineral Policy
(for non-fuel and non-atomic minerals)
Besides Jharkhand large deposits of uranium have been found in Nalgonda
district (Lambapur and Pedagattu) of Andhra Pradesh and in Meghalya.
There are massive plans to develop these mines due to the increasing
demand for uranium. At present the government has eight new reactors
coming up in different parts of the country.
Tata Steel has planned to increase its production from the present
5 million tones to 30 mt by 2015. its major expansion plans are
in Jharkhand where it plans to expand its Tatanagar capacity to
10mt and add a new plant of 12 mt. In Orissa it plans a 6 mt plant
and in the Bastar district of Chhathisgarh it plans a 5 mt plant.
The total investment plans in these projects are a huge Rs.1 lakh
crores. To clear the path against the resistance of the tribals
massive repression has been unleashed in Bastar under the name of
“Salwa Judum”. So far about 40 villages have been burnt down, 100
killed and forty women activists gang-raped. Huge para-military
forces continue in the area on the rampage with local goons led
In addition the centre is in the process of setting up four Special
Purpose Vehicle (SPVs) to pilot four mega power plants with initial
capacities of 800 mega watts each — at Champa, Chhathisgarh, Singroli
at MP, Karwar Karnataka, and Surat in Gujarat.
Chhathisgarh too has huge plans for mining projects with massive
iron ore deposits still to be extracted. Essars has already completed
a 267 kms pipeline to take the iron ore to the port in the form
of slurry at a fraction of the cost that the railways would entail
— from Rs.550 per tonne to a mere Rs.80 per tonne. The pipeline
passes through the three states of Chhathisgarh, Orissa and Andhra
In Andhra Pradesh the planned Polavaram dam will displace over 2
lakh people from the vast backward regions of Telanagana (chiefly
Khammam district) while sending the water to the rich fields of
Krishna and Godavari districts. The bulk of these our poor tribals
of this vast belt. Lakhs of people have already come out in agitation
against this dam.
In Madhya Pradesh the government planned the ‘relocation’ (in other
words eviction) of 75 villages in the forest areas Piparia in Hoshagabad
district to set up three National Parks and Wild Life Sanctuaries.
Thousands of tribals have been protesting against these projects
under the banners of Samajwadi jan Parishad, Kisan Adivasi Sangathan
and the Shramik Adivasi Sangathan. The protestingrofits from these
projects? These rich mineral deposits are mostly in the most backward
regions of the country. Having depleted the mineral resources in
many other parts of the world the imperialists are now pushing a
‘liberalised’ mining agenda in order to rob the country of its natural
resources. The rate at which the MoUs have been signed the mines
will finish our entire iron ore, bauxite, etc within a couple of
decades. But, worse than that is the human tragedy that such rampant
mining will cause to the local inhabitants, particularly the tribals.
On has only to see the displaced of the projects like the Hirakud
dam to witness the extent of their suffering and trauma.
Development is no doubt a must for the growth of the welfare of
the people. But this development must be such that gives the local
people jobs, helps develop their land and forest, and bring industrial
development that serves their needs primarily. Such real development
can only be achieved by developing the purchasing power of the people
locally in order that this can act as the motor for growth and development
of the market. For this also the land and forest must fully belong
to the people who till and inhabit it. It is then that the fruits
of their labour will come to them and not be robbed by contractors,
bureaucrats, politicians, traders, industrialists, moneylenders
and landed elements.
In these backward areas it is the Naxalites who have a strong presence.
Also many other organisations are mobilising the tribals against
this rapacious loot. The Naxalites are the only force that can withstand
the government’s terror and giving a fitting reply to the mining
mafia. The entire administration, police, courts and even the para-military
act as the private army of the mining companies — many of which
are foreign or that of the big comprador bourgeoisie. Yet, there
is need for all these forces to come together to fight a common
The stakes are enormous. The amount of money planned to be invested
would be around Rs.5 lakh crores (roughly $100 billion). The profits
they hope to may are gigantic. They will not easily give up such
loot. The ferociousness of their attacks at Bastar, where Tata plans
to set up a steel plant, is an indication of the extent to which
they will go to secure their huge investments.
But the people are fighting back. They have seen from past experience
the nature of this so-called development and know what it means
for them. Also they see some hope in the coming battles with the
armed Naxalite force present to take on the mining mafia and their
paid henchmen — in uniform and out of it. For an effective fight
against this new monster there is a need of all forces, Naxalite
and others, to conduct a joint uncompromising struggle to defend
their right to life and a livelihood. Development must be people
oriented, not imperialist oriented. Or else India will be ravaged
by a new civil war of the mining mafia and their henchmen vs the
local inhabitants. Kalinga Nagar would be just be a dress rehearsal
of what is to come.
On dec.16th 2005 the Kasipur tribal observed their 5th Martyr’s
Day in memory of the three who lost their lives in police firing.
This year was the 12th year of the ongoing struggle of the Kashipur
tribals against the mining companies. Last year repression increased
manifold. There was balnk firing, tear-gas shelling and lathi-charges
three times in Kashipur and 52 people were arrested. Till today
13 people are in jail and 250 more are on the police’s ‘warrant
list’. The local police pick up people whenever they want, on the
village roads, in the weekly bazaar, on the river banks, and even
when the Adivasis are working on the fields. The CRPF, the Indian
Reserve Battalion and the Orissa State Armed Police are being used
to crush the people’s resistance.
The entire system, the district administration, the police top brass,
MLAs, MPs, the ruling BJP and BJD leaders, the Congress politicians,
the contractors and dalals — they are all aligned with the profit
machine of the UAIL. It is the Adivasis vs the might of the bureaucracy,
the political establishment and big business.