This is a guest post by BIJU MATHEW
Tarun Mandal, Narahari Sahu and Manas Jena are dead, blown up by what the media has described as a “crude” bomb. All bombs are crude. They kill. They are meant to destroy flesh and bone. They are aimed at sucking out life. Lakshman Mandal battles for his life in a Cuttack hospital. He knows how crude a bomb is. Hopefully he will live to tell the tale of its crudeness.
This is a partisan piece. But it aims to produce balance. Almost all media reports so far have had a strong spin that the three – Narahari, Tarun and Manas – were killed while making a crude bomb. So says Mr. Satyabrata Bhoi, Jagatsinghpur SP. Nobody has bothered to ask him any further questions. It’s quite understandable. Asking any more questions might make the entire spin untenable. For instance, they could have asked: why is it that something illegal, such as crude bomb making, was being done out in the open and not within the confines of a house? Especially given that for the last month, the police have been constantly in and out of the village? Especially because there are at least a few dozen pro-POSCO folks in the village? Why would three leaders of an oppositional movement sit outside on the porch of a house that is fully identified with POSCO Pratirodh Sangran Samiti (PPSS) and make bombs – openly, for all to see – at 6.30 PM when there is enough light for anybody to see them? Isn’t crude bomb making normally confined to the indoors? How many incidents do we know of where crude bomb making was happening outside in broad daylight? Isn’t the RSS, the most famous outfit that makes crude bombs and occasionally manages to blow up its own, always known to make its bombs indoors? Continue reading Crude Questions about Crude Bombs: Biju Mathew
This memorandum was submitted on 22 March 2012; see full list of signatories at the end
A Memorandum of Demands Seeking Chief Minister’s Immediate Intervention to stop the Ongoing Brutal Atrocities/ Crimes against Dalit Communities in Odisha
We, the undersigned victims of human rights violation, representatives of various mass organisations, Non-Governmental Agencies, Community Based Organisations, Human Rights Activists, journalists and citizens belonging to the marginalised communities would like to draw your attention to the ongoing atrocities against Dalit Communities in Odisha. Continue reading Will Naveen Patnaik please wake up to atrocities against Dalits in Odisha?
This press release comes from the PEOPLE’S UNION FOR CIVIL LIBERTIES
Bhubhaneshwar / Delhi
5th December, 2011
• Appeal to the Odisha Government to withdraw the frivolous cases and RELEASE ABHAY SAHOO NOW!
• WITHDRAW ALL THE CRIMINAL CASES LODGED AGAINST THE ANTI POSCO ACTIVISTS and put a stop to repressive measures.
• PUCL APPEALS TO OTHER ORGANISATIONS TO COME TO TOGETHER AND INITIATE A NATIONAL CAMPAIGN FOR THE RELEASE OF ABHAY SAHOO AND SUPPORT OF THE POSCO PRATIRODH SANGRAM SAMITI.
The People’s Union for Civil Liberties, represented by its National Secretary Kavita Srivastava and Odisha Convenor, Pramodini Pradhan visited the area in and around Dhinkia Panchayat in Jagatsinghpur district on 1st December, 2011, where the struggle against the proposed POSCO steel plant is taking place for the last seven years. We also went to Choudwar Jail in Cuttack District on 2nd December, 2011 to meet Mr Abhay Sahoo the leader of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangharsh Samiti, who has been arrested against FIRs motivated by the administration under sections causing sexual assault, wrongfully confining somebody and causing atrocities under the SC & ST Act. Continue reading Release Abhay Sahoo Now: People’s Union for Civil Liberties
This statement, signed by many individuals and organisations, was released on 29 November by the CAMPAIGN FOR SURVIVAL AND DIGNITY
CONDEMN THE REPRESSION ON POSCO PRATIRODH SANGRAM SAMITI AND THE LIKELY IMMINENT ATTACK ON THE PEACEFUL PROTESTERS OF THE AREA
The undersigned condemn the growing brutality of the state repression being unleashed against the peaceful, democratic protesters of the POSCO project area, who are only fighting for their legal and fundamental rights. This repression has reached a peak with the arrest yesterday (Friday) of POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti leader Abhay Sahoo. The government’s constant announcements of its intention to start construction in the area lead us to apprehend that there will be more violence and brutality against the movement. Continue reading Statement Condemning the Repression of the POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti
The media has by and large focused on the Maoist demand of release of some of their own in exchange of the Malkangiri collector and junior engineer. The list of the total 8 of 14 demands of the Maoists that the Orissa government has agreed to makes for interesting reading:
(1) Orissa government will write to Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh to take action on the extremists demand for release of Maoist central committee members Sheela di (jailed in Jharkhand) and Padma (in Chhattisgarh) owing to their ill-health; (2) ST status for the Konda Reddy and Nukadora communities categorized as OBCs; (3) stopping the multi-purpose Polavaram project of Andhra Pradesh; (4) ‘pattas’ (record of rights) to tribals dispossessed of their land in Malkangiri and Koraput; (5) irrigation in Maribada and Maniamkonda villages in Malkangiri; (6) compensation based on HC order to Tadangi Gangulu and Ratanu Sirika who died of disease allegedly due to torture; (7) relevant laws for mining operations in Mali and Deomali bauxite mines; (8) minimum displacement of tribals and adequate compensation. [ToI]
Guest post by ARNAV DAS SHARMA and SOUMIK MUKHERJEE. Photographs by SOUMIK MUKHERJEE
Peepalguda, Koraput, Odisha: “You see, for the bridge over that rivulet, forty thousand rupees were sanctioned”, the sarpanch of Mossigam gram panchayat starts off emphatically. It is only after a good amount of probing that he confesses that it was foolish of the Public Works Department (PWD) to sanction Rs 40,000 for a bridge when a similar bridge was built seven years ago in another village for Rs 43 lakh. In any case, a slight bureaucratic nudge resulted in even this amount to get diverted to another village in the Lima panchayat. Continue reading The Virtues of Waiting Patiently: Arnav Das and Soumik Mukherjee
Seventeen Adivasi villagers of Samna in Orissa’s Narayanpatna block
claim that they were brutally assaulted in custody last week, an
allegation the police have denied.
According to the villagers, they were picked up on May 9, as part of a
joint operation conducted by the Orissa and Andhra Pradesh police
along the inter-State border, airlifted to a police station in Andhra
Pradesh and held in custody for three days before being released on
“Uniformed policemen surrounded our village on Sunday morning [May 9],
when we were leaving for the market,” said Nachika Jaddo, one of those
who were picked up. “Seventeen men, including two dokras [old men]
were rounded up, beaten up and then dragged to a spot 2 km away.”
Continue reading Adivasis allege torture in anti-Naxal operations
[We publish below a press statement released by Prafulla Samantra and others, received via Biswajit Mohanty, which highlights just how the struggle of the tribal people in Kalinganagar is being met with the most ferocious repression by the local administration acting at the behest of the Tatas. Kalinganagar is emblematic of the many democratic mass movements and struggles that are being crushed by a predatory state in cahoots with corporate capital. – AN]
Yesterday the Collector of Jajpur district assured Dabar Kalundia, a tribal leader of Bisthapan Birodhi Jan Manch (BBJM) that he would come to Baligotha village on 28 March for a meeting with the dissenting villagers and find a solution to the prevailing conflict. But within a day the Collector has broken his word as today about 24 platoons of armed policemen have been deployed in Kalinga Nagar to suppress the democratic and non-violent movement of the BBJM. It is feared that there will be bloodshed at a larger scale than 2 Jan 06 when 14 tribal men, women & children were killed in a police shootout. The villagers fear the police will attack tomorrow morning.
Continue reading Tata sponsored ‘Green Hunt’ in Kalinga Nagar to destroy democratic tribal movement
Guest post by SHAHRUKH ALAM
On Wednesday, I met some young men from Dhule. I am not at all sure where Dhule is and I said as much to them. “There was some violence there. It has been in the news lately,” they said. “Did any bombs go off in Dhule?” said I. “No bombs, no. But there was communal violence. It was on the news.” “I only watch prime time news. I don’t usually manage to view the afternoon bulletins. Nor the eleven PM one (informative though they are),” I explained. “So where exactly is Dhule?” I persisted. “It is a district on the north-western tip of Maharashtra. It’s not so far from Malegaon.” Ah, Malegaon! Where the blasts occurred? Finally I had a co-ordinate. Continue reading Such absurdity on a Wednesday
[We are posting below a statement issued by some of us on the Maoist threats and intimidation in Chhattisgarh and its most recent manifestation in relation to the human shields programme of the Vanvasi Chetna Ashram. It is a distressing but undeniable fact that, by and large, the civil liberties and democratic rights movement has fought shy of condemning Maoist violence. This is a matter of deep concern as the absolutely undefensible, nihilistic violence perpetrated by the Maoists violates all tenets of the great revolutions of the twentieth century that they themselves swear by. Despite their subsequent degeneration (after coming to power), neither the Chinese revolution nor the Vietnamese (the Russian, of course happened without a single shot being fired) made a cult of violence. Never, in any case, did they use violence against defenseless civilians. In fact, revolutionaries have been known to court defeat and annihilation, rather than kill ordinary people – whenever they were presented with the choice between the two. The perverse cult that targets ordinary, unarmed civilians simply in order to have its way can only be seen as, to say the least, a kind of Left-wing Fascism. – AN]
We, the undersigned, are distressed to learn that a peaceful movement in the conflict-ridden Dantewada district, Chhattisgarh to help villagers return to their land has been disrupted by the Communist Party of India (Maoist). The villagers had been displaced earlier by the state-sponsored Salwa Judum campaign that began in 2005 and has resulted in horrific violence against ordinary villagers in the area. Continue reading Maoist disruption of the non-violent Human Shields movement in Chhattisgarh
As Maoists confirm that they were behind the murder of Laxmananda Saraswati and give their reasons, two notes below from Madhu Chandra of the All India Christian Council.
Hindutva forces – Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and Bajrang Dal knew very well that the Maoists have killed their Swami Lakshmanananda on August 23 but intentionally denied it and alleged Christians so that they could do what they have done to Dalit Christians of Orissa.
Orissa Government who runs on mercy of BJP and Hindutva forces believes the allegation and allowed the religious ethnic cleansing of Christians in Kandhamal district of Orissa. Continue reading “India’s Anti-Christian Violence Unparalleled Among World Democracies”
From John Dayal and Madhu Chandra of the All India Christian Council, an update on the continuing violence against Christians in Orissa. Continue reading The Continuing Violence Against Christians in Orissa
As the shadows lengthen along Keonjhar’s main street, the tube-lit sign above Hotel Arjun flickers to life, illuminating both – the front entrance of the hotel and the cigarette seller adjacent to it. A solitary traffic policeman walks up to the junction right outside the hotel, and assumes his position on at the most significant crossing in town.
Fifteen kilometers down the road the ground shivers as a queue, over a kilometer long, shudders to life. Engine after engine revs up as a convoy, several hundred trucks strong, begins the next stage of the 325 kilometer journey from the iron rich district of Keonjhar in North Orissa to the port of Paradip on the coast. Continue reading Welcome to Ore-issa