India: Maoist bandh paralyses Narayanpatna

Bandh (shutdown) of Narayanpatna. Mass actions included downing trees to block roads.

KORAPUT/JEYPORE: The two-day bandh call by Andhra-Orissa Border Special Zonal Committee (AOBSZC) of CPI (Maoist) paralysed traffic in several areas of Narayanpatna on Friday.

Trees have been felled to disrupt traffic with communication from Laxmipur to Narayanpatna and towards Bandhugaon completely blocked. Though the bandh was called on short notice, the impact has been unprecedented in the backdrop of kidnapping of Jhina Hikaka. The mediapersons covering the event too are hauled up in the jungles of Naryapatana.

The Maoists are protesting the entry of military from Chhattishgarh and have demanded withdrawal of the forces. Besides, they have asked for a ban on liquor in tribal areas, land rights for tribals and closure of paramilitary forces camps in the region. On Thursday night, the Maoists had set construction vehicles of a contractor afire at Pendajam village under Semliguda police limits.

SP Avinash Kumar said the road blockade will be soon cleared.

INDIA: Caste-based discrimination and corruption pushing 83 families to death in Orissa

1 April 2011
The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received the information that 83 Dalit families of Ranapada village have been deprived of their food security by non-Dalits from about 54 neighboring villages. It is reported that the reason for the aggressive discrimination against the Bauri families (Dalits) is because three women from Bauri community tried to enter the Hindu temple on August 28, 2010. The temple priest and non-Dalit villagers refused to allow the Dalit women to worship in the temple and even charged INR 50,000 as a penalty from the women. When the Dalits refused to pay the penalty, non-Dalit villagers who had leased their farmland to the Dalit families for sharecropping promptly took the land back. Furthermore, non-Dalit villagers from 54 villages collectively went to Dalit hamlet of Ranapada village and threatened to kill and assault the residents. The police have failed not only to take any affirmative actions in the case, but also were assaulted by non-Dalit villagers. The police have arrested only four of the accused, allowing other accused to freely threaten the victims. 83 Dalit families who depended on the farmland of the non-Dalit villagers have lost their only source for food and face hunger. Continue reading