Guest post by DEBA RANJAN
On 25th August 2014 large number of armed police including CRPF with magisterial power reached at the top of the Baphlihill, where Utkal Alumina of Aditya Birla – Hindalco is continuously transporting bauxite through trucks to its Doraguda Alumina Plant. They started beating the villagers of Paikakupakhal. “They were in 25 four wheelers and one bus” Padman Nayak of the same village said. Many got the injured and three dalit villagers namely Mangaldan Nayak (30 years), Kalendra Nayak (30) and Ms Kiyabati Nayak got seriously injured. Kalendra got treatment outside but again was lifted from the Medical by the police so that he may not speak about such action of police to the outside world. Both print media and TV channels (except one newspaper) did not cover the incident. The local journalist of that newspaper later on was harassed by the goons not to write more on it.
I had been to Siju Mali few days before and went to the top of the Hill. It falls in Kashipur area of Odisha just behind the Niyamgiri hill. For last few months this Siju Mali and its adjacent Kutru Mali, two bauxite hill ranges, have been in news because the Vedanta International Limited (VIL) has kept its eyes on it.
After the Lok Sabha election, between April and November 2014, Anil Agrawal, director of VIL has met Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik thrice and every time he comes out with fully glowing remarks that the latter assured him of transferring the bauxite hills to the Company. It is quite possible too. Election experts have highlighted corporate funding behind Biju Janata Dal’s election campaign and the State Election Commission is unmoved on such complaints. Continue reading Why Should Adivasis Bear the Burden of ‘National Development’? Deba Ranjan