Rajaram Satapathy, March 21, 2012
Maoists kidnapped four people on March 14 from a jungle on Kandhamal-Ganjam border, including two Italians, Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo, both of whom remain untraceable. Continue reading
Rajaram Satapathy, March 21, 2012
Maoists kidnapped four people on March 14 from a jungle on Kandhamal-Ganjam border, including two Italians, Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo, both of whom remain untraceable. Continue reading
CPI (Maoist)–Odisha State Organizing Committee–Statement, 16 March 2012
The government – both at the Centre and the state (Odisha) – has reduced adivasis into mere exhibition items in attempts to lure domestic and foreign tourists. On one hand, the government while inviting multinational capitalists to plunder natural and mineral resources in the adivasi heartland is trying to repress voices of resistance by unleashing Operation Green Hunt on adivasis and the common mass at gun-point, and on the other, it is intensifying its efforts to turn innocent adivasis into exhibition items. Although the government claims to have amended the so-called laws in February 2012 to put certain checks on tourists visiting adivasi areas, it has turned out to be a blatant lie. In the same breath as the power centres in Delhi and Shahid Nagar are implementing the much-debated industrialization and displacement laws at gun-point, they are sending tourists to adivasi areas to click naked pictures of the adivasis, and turning these areas into tourism-friendly commodities. In Ganjam and Kandhamal, such inhuman activities are going on through unwritten permission by the district SPs in corrupt connivance with the said power centres. The same government that is sending police forces to these areas to ablaze forests, to burn down heaps of dry turmeric leaves, and to destroy people’s properties and lives is sending foreign tourists to click barren hills and bare bodies of adivasis: this is an insult to the people.
Because of all these, we have arrested two Italian tourists (one of them is a tourism trader licensed by the state government):
By doing so, we are exposing the real face of the government bereft any shred of humanism that has taken adivasi areas as some tourism commodity, as though these places are habitats of apes and chimpanzees. We are requesting the common mass to raise voice against turning adivasi areas into tourism commodities. Having arrested these two Italian culprits, we are also releasing two Odia slaves of theirs—Santosh and Kartik.
If the government is serious about freeing these two visitors, central and state governments should as primary condition stop all repression and combing operations in Odisha by 18 March 2012, and come forward to discuss our demands with us. If this is not done, we cannot take this government into confidence; and we will not be responsible for the loss of lives of the two visitors, rather the government that is unleashing terror without heeding to our demands and the state machinery that is running an illegal tourism trade will be.
Some sections of the local media said that the three interlocuters were Narayan Sanyal, who is in jail in Jharkhand; Dandapani Mohanti, who helped negotiate between the state government and Maoists to facilitate release of former Malkangiri collector; And Biswapriya Kanunga who is an Odisha based lawyer and human rights activist.
Said Mohanti, “Three of us have been nominated by the kidnappers to hold negotiation with Odisha government for safe release of the two Italian hostages.”
According to the local media, the Maoists have given a deadline till Tuesday for the government to act on their demands.
The Maoists reportedly want the government to stop their operations against the Naxals in the state. They also want some of their leaders to be released from jails.
Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, while speaking to reporters, said, “The Italian hostages are safe. We have appealed to the Odisha government to clearly declare halt to combing operations.”
He further said that all the “Maoist colleagues” had been asked to not to resort to violence. The Maoists have reportedly announced a unilateral ceasefire and appealed to other naxal groups to do the same.
The development is seen as a positive sign towards resolution of the crisis since Puri-based tour operator Paolo Bosusco and Italian tourist Claudio Colangelo were abducted while trekking in Kandhamal on March 14.
Selection of mediators came shortly after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asked the abductors to nominate their representatives without any further delay and announced halt to coercive action by security personnel if Maoists stop violence.
India has, meanwhile, assured Italy that it will seek the hostages’ early release. Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi spoke to his Indian counterpart SM Krishna who assured him that the Odisha government was taking all steps to secure their early release.
With additional information from PTI
Release of ‘innocent’ tribals may be key demand of Maoists
Priya Ranjan Sahu, Hindustan Times
Bhubaneswar, March 18, 2012
The main issue that might come up during the impending discussion between the Odisha government and Maoist-chosen mediators following the abduction of two Italian nationals on Saturday will be the release of “innocent” people in jail. Many social activists agree with the Maoists that a large chunk of poor tribals in jail have been arrested on false cases.
When Maoists abducted the then Malkangiri collector, R Vineel Krishna, on February 16, 2011, the main demand of the Maoists was the release of 627 “innocent” prisoners, mostly tribals. The state reached an agreement with three mediators engaged in facilitating Krishna’s release on looking into the issue with “compassion”.
Talking to HT, Odisha home secretary UN Behera said: “After Krishna’s release from captivity, we reviewed all cases against the tribals which also included those relating to excise and forest violations. In about 150 cases, we have started the process of releasing them.”
However, Jan Adhikar Manch convener Dandapani Mohanty, one of the three mediators, said the state government did nothing on that front.
“At least 430 people are still languishing in various jails. Except a very few hardcore Maoists, the rest of them are poor and innocent tribals and democratic rights activists such as Gananath Patra,” Mohanty said.
Patra, a CPI (ML) leader and advisor to the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha, has been in jail for the past two years.
Mohanty said after the Krishna episode, the state government’s intervention helped in the release of just five people — Ganti Prasad, Gokul, Roja Mandangi, Padma (top Maoist leader Ramkrishna’s wife) and Iswari. On the other hand, a total of 200 people were acquitted by various courts due to lack of evidence and the state government had no role in the matter.
Social activist Rabi Das concurred with Mohanty that the state had done little of what had been agreed upon with the mediators for Krishna’s release. “This time the state should send a clear message that it is sincere about tribals and honour demands relating to tribal rights such as land.”
Debabrata Mohapatra, TNN | Mar 18, 2012
BHUBANESWAR: Bosusco Paolo, one of the abducted Italian tourists, had been a pathfinder for scores of tourists, both domestic and foreign, in dense jungles and hilly terrains of tribal districts in Odisha. But little had Paolo imagined that his nearly 20-year-long bond with tribal Odisha will land him in trouble. He and another Italian Claucio Colancero were kidnapped by Maoists in a forest in Kandhamal district.
Fifty three-year-old Paolo from Turin in North Italy had been staying in Puri since the past 23 years on a tourist visa with multiple-entry (into India) facility. Going by multiple-entry visa rules, one can stay for 180 days at a stretch in India. After the time period one has to exit the country for some time and then return for a valid stay.
Paolo speaks Odia, though not fluently, and used to take tourists to forest and hilly areas of the state for expedition, police sources said. “Like other days, he set out on an adventure on March 12. We were stunned to know that he, along with his friend, was kidnapped,” said Saroj Rath, a Puri-based hotelier and acquaintance of Paolo. The second kidnapped Italian Colancero had arrived in Puri on March 9. Continue reading
BHUBANESWAR: Efforts to ensure safe release of two Italian tourists abducted by Maoists in Odisha’s Kandhamal district did not yield result till Sunday evening, even as external affairs minister S M Krishna spoke to chief minister Naveen Patnaik and Italy’s consul general in Kolkata Joel Melchiori met state government officers here.
Maoists have claimed responsibility for kidnapping Bosusco Paolo and Claudio Colangelo from a forest on the Kandhamal-Ganjam border on March 14 and demanded the state government to fulfill their demands by Sunday evening. The matter came to the fore on Saturday night following the extremists letting off Sontosh Moharana, a cook, and Kartik Parida, a helper, who had accompanied the Italian duo.
“Around 30 Maoists took us hostage on March 14 morning when we were preparing food near a stream in Gazalbadi forests. They took us blindfolded and made us walk for about five kilometres,” Moharana told journalists in Puri. “Maoists did not cause any harm to us and treated us well,” he added.
Kandhamal SP Jayanarayan Pankaj told TOI: “We have information the foreigners are safe. We hope Maoists would release them soon.”
This is the first time Maoists have targeted foreigners in Odisha, sparking hectic deliberations at the Central and state government levels. Naveen condemned the kidnapping and appealed to the abductors to free the foreigners on humanitarian ground. “Odisha government is open to any kind of negotiation with the kidnappers under the law,” he said. “I reiterate my appeal to the Left-wing extremists not to take any drastic step. I also condemn this heinous crime. No one will condone this kind of act in a civil society,” he added. Continue reading
BHUBANESWAR: With increasing concern about voyeuristic foreigners embarking on tribal safaris, the Orissa government on Saturday imposed strict rules for trips to areas inhabited by vulnerable tribal groups, such as Bondas and Dongaria Kondhs and even book those found contravening official guidelines. Tourists permitted into the area would not be allowed to stay night, stand close to tribals or enter their homes.
The government had, following a row over tourists’ visits to interior tribal zones in December, ordered a probe by IAS officer Usha Padhee.
The new guidelines say no foreign tourist/researcher can visit areas inhabited by these groups without the collector’s permission, which would be marked to the local police station. The cops have to ensure the conditions in the permission letter are strictly followed. “In case of any violation criminal cases should be lodged against the tourist/sponsor/tour operator under appropriate sections of law,” the chief minister’s office said in a media release. No night stay, videos or still pictures would be allowed.
Orissa has the second highest tribal population in the country and is home to 62 tribal communities, including 13 categorized as Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTG), numbering around 90,000. The PVTGs, namely, Bonda, Didayi, Lanjia Saura, Juang, Kutia Kondh, Chuktia Bhunjia, Saura, Paudi Bhuyan, Lodha, Dongria Kondh, Hill Khadia, Mankirdia and Bihor, spread over 12 districts, fascinate many because of their interesting rituals and customs. A similar incident had occurred in the Andamans. Continue reading
PLGA Week: Maoists recruit 5,000 youth in Malkangiri
Thursday, 22 December 2011
LALMOHAN PATTANAIK | JEYPORE
During the recent observance of the Peoples Liberation Guerrilla Army (PLGA) Week, about 5,000 youth and adolescent girls were recruited by the Maoists particularly from Malkangiri district, sources said.
Challenging the joint combing operation of police, CRPF, SOG and paramilitary forces, they were able to hold open meetings for membership drive in the cut – off and remote pockets of the district. They held Prajamelis in around 10 villages, including in several village haats in Alampaka, Similibanki, Kusuguda and Kurmanur areas along the AP- Odisha border.
The Maoists made the tribals aware of the significance of observing PLGA Week, its aims and objectives besides corruption by the Government agencies in the integrated tribal development programmes. About eight Maoist organisations, including Korukonda, Kalimela, Podia and Chitrakonda Dallam of both Andhra Pradesh and Chatishgarh participated in the Prajamelis, sources confided.
They demanded declaration of area encompassing Bihar, Jharkhand and Dandakaranya area as free zone so that the tribal development can be possible and the aboriginal tribes are not deprived of their rights. They appealed to the tribes to join their hands with them for the revolution, sources revealed.
Orissa govt seeks Centre’s help to counter Maoists
New Delhi, June 15 (ANI): Orissa Government has sought from Home Ministry additional security personnel to counter Maoist menace in the state. After his meeting with the Home Minister P Chidambaram in New Delhi on Tuesday, Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said that the state needs additional security force to deal with increasing Maoist attacks.
NEW DELHI: As naxals intensified their attack in Chhattisgarh killing 18 security personnel in three separate incidents last week, the Centre will hold a special meeting here on Tuesday to discuss ‘counter-offensive’ measures with the state chief minister Raman Singh and his Orissa counterpart Naveen Patnaik.
The meeting, to be chaired by the Union home minister P Chidambaram, will discuss how both the states can further intensify operations against left wing extremists along the Orissa-Chhattisgarh border in a much more coordinated manner.
An official said, “Though we have had instances of naxal attacks in Dantewada and Narayanpur last week, Chhattisgarh has eliminated a number of Maoists in the past couple of months during joint operations. The need of the hour is to further intensify it, taking help from bordering states.”
COMMUNIST PARTY OF INDIA (MAOIST)
June 15, 2011
Fight back the new state offensive in Chhattisgarh and Odisha
as part of Operation Green Hunt – Phase II!
Any fascist offensive aimed at looting this country is bound to be defeated by the courageous resistance of the self-respecting people of India!
On 14-06-2011 the Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram had a high level meeting with the chief ministers of Chhattisgarh and Odisha and announced a new brutal offensive in these two states to contain ‘Left Wing Extremism (LWE)’. In the guise of his oft-repeated two-pronged mantra of ‘development and police action’, the HM promised full support of the centre for these states in their cruel offensive and egged them on to go ahead in full swing. Naveen Patnaik, the blood-thirsty CM of Odisha whose hands are already stained with the blood of hundreds of people of Odisha offered as human sacrifices for this ‘God of development’ right from Kalinga Nagar to Niyamgiri is now asking for helicopters to bomb the hapless adivasis. Raman Singh who would perhaps go down in history as the saffron fascist who sounded the death knell for one of the most ancient inhabitants in the world in Bastar, tried to cover up his growing alarm at the increasing heroic armed resistance of the people in his state with high-sounding rhetoric on how to go about decimating Maoists. A few days back in the first week of June (within a week of another meeting with the chief ministers of ‘Maoist affected’ states led by the PM and HM) an announcement had already been made by the AP and Odisha governments that a three-month long big offensive is ready to be launched on Andhra-Odisha Border region (AOB) to decimate the Maoists there. They announced that they would use modern technology and new methods and tactics of attacking utilizing ‘water, air and land’. They said paratroopers may also be used. And now the whole country knows that the army had already been deployed in Chhattisgarh under the pretext of ‘training’. Continue reading
OrissaDiary.com, Friday, June 03, 2011
Report by Orissa Diary correspondent; Jagatsinghpur: At least 17 persons including PS member, Female arrested for obstructing land acquisition for proposed Posco Project and they have been released from Kujanga Police Station. On the other hand 41 bittlevine farm has been demolished and compensation paid Rs 66 lakh .
As per the information the Police arrested PS member Basudev Behera, Jagu Behera,Fagu Behera, Rangadhar Behera, Sachikanta Mohapatra, Gyan Mohapatra, Sarat Mohapatra, Laxmi Mohapatra, Charu Mohapatra, Beena Mohapatra, Sabita Mohapatra, Rashmi Ranjan Mohapatra, Harihar Behera, nakula Behera, Manoranjan Mohapatra, Meera Behera etc 17 persons were arrested for obstructing land acquisition. Latter they have been released from Kujanga Police Station.
On the other hand POSCO Pratirodha Sangram Samiti in a statement alleges that on 3rd June 2011 (today), at around 9 am, the Odisha police and administration have brutally beaten villagers of Nuagoan who opposed the forceful acquision of their land to be handed over to the POSCO Company. Basu Behera, the Panchayat Samiti member of Gadkujang Panchayat and vice President of PPSS (POSCO Pratirodha Sangram Samiti) bled owing to the attack. The police destroyed their betel vines.
17 people including women and 6 children (5-12 years old) have been arrested. Police platoons, numbering about 20, are creating an atmosphere of fear to terrorise and force us to obey their dictates. Now the police is threatening, by using loud speakers, that if the villagers do not leave their betel vines voluntarily, then force will be used indiscriminately to destroy them. The administration incited pro-POSCO people to burn down the betel vines of Natha Samal, PPSS member from Nuagaon village.
MANOJ KAR, The Telegraph, Calcutta
Paradip, Feb 2: Makeshift bamboo gates are back in villages that lie on the site for the proposed Posco project. Registering their protest against conditional clearance accorded to the Posco project, villagers today erected barrier gates at six places in Jagatsinghpur district’s Dhinkia gram panchayat, which falls in the steel plant’s area.
Pro-plant activists and government officials, however, said areas where villagers are for the project — in Gadakujang and Nuagaon gram panchayat — there would be little hurdle before the steel plant.
Yesterday, protesters participating in a rally had vowed to stop government officials, police and Posco personnel from gaining access to the villages earmarked for the steel plant.
“This is our final phase of resistance against the South Korean steel project. People here will call off the movement only if the government shifts the project from this fertile land,” said Sisir Kumar Mahapatra, a prominent anti-plant leader and sarpanch of Dhinkia gram panchayat. Continue reading
Tribals opposing ongoing anti-Maoist operation in Koraput district, where most wanted rebel Ramakrishna is suspected to be in hiding, staged a demonstration at Narayanpatna, about 70km from here, today.
The rally was organised by the Maoist-backed Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS), which had recently forcibly grabbed money lenders’ lands and attacked a police station at Narayanpatna. The demonstrators also demanded immediate release of tribal men and women who were lodged in jail on charge of being rebels and attacking the police station.
About 100 tribals allegedly involved in the two counts are lodged in Koraput jail. Two of them have died in prison. The demonstrators submitted a memorandum addressed to chief minister Naveen Patnaik to local block development officer.
Meanwhile, the police have launched a manhunt for Ramakrishna, who is suspected to have taken shelter in Narayanpatna jungle along with his son Prithvi. The search operation has been stepped up since the arrest of Ramakrishna’s wife Padma on November 14 from an area near Koraput, bordering Andhra Pradesh.
Cultural Resistance: War on People in Corporate Resistance, Bhubaneswar, Odisha (Orissa)
21st November 2010.
Today, the mineral resources, the earth, the water, the forest of Odisha- the source of livelihood of the common men- are being taken over by the corporate with the naked support of the state. Rather, the state has raised its gun to defend the interest of the corporate against the poor.
So, we witness the blue water of Chilika turning red with the blood of fisher folks; the spill of adivasi blood unto the earth of Kashipur and Kalinganagar for Birals and Tatas; the destruction of Niyamgiri mountain of Dongria Kondh for Vedanta; attacks on the peasants in the plains of Jagatsihgpur for POSCO; threat to the jungle land of adivasis in Keonjher for Arcelor Mittal; diversion of Hirakud dam water to a number of companies leaving the peasants high and dry.
And, when people are trying to defend their only source of livelihood, resisting not to be eaten up by the corporate greed, they are being brutally suppressed, jailed, implicated in false cases, even `encountered and raped. The entire South Odisha, -from Mandrabaju to Narayanpatna- is reeling under state terror. Again, communal riots (like Kandhamal) are being engineered to break the unity of the people. Continue reading
By Devinder Sharma
09 September, 2010
The startling figure still resonates in my memory. Some 25 years back, I remember reading a report in one of the major dailies which said that some 5,000 children die every day in India. Today morning, my attention therefore was automatically drawn to a news report: 1.83 million children die before fifth bithday every year: Report (Indian Express, Sept 8, 2010).
I immediately took out a pen and paper to find out the per day child mortality rate. I wanted to know whether the child mortality rate has come down, and by how much, in the last 25 years or so. My disappointment has grown. The calculations shows that every day 5,013 children are succumbing to malnutrition. Given that a half of all children in India are under-nourished as per the National Family Health Survey III (2005-06), of which over 5,000 die every day I think every Indian needs to hang his/her head in shame.
Globally, 14,600 children die every day. This means that India alone has the dubious distinction of having more than a third of the world’s child mortality. This is ironically happening at a time when food is rotting in the godowns.
Yes, India is surely an emerging economic superpower, but building an Empire over hungry stomachs! Mera Bharat Mahaan!! Continue reading
by Latha Jishnu
Sep 15, 2010
FOR months there has been speculation in Delhi about an imminent clampdown on metals giant Vedanta’s bauxite mining operations in Orissa.
However, when the final forest clearance for Vedanta’s proposal to mine bauxite in the Niyamgiri Hills was rejected by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) on August 23, there was surprise at the speed at which matters had moved the preceding week.
The ministry’s stop-order came in the wake of a flurry of committee meetings as officials compiled a detailed dossier on the environmental and forest rights violations by the London Stock Exchange-listed metals firm. The ministry’s decision was based on the findings of the N C Saxena Committee set up to examine the mining proposal. The N C Saxena committee submitted its report on August 16. Four days later, its recommendations were accepted by the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC) of MoEF.
Minister of state for environment Jairam Ramesh also had to double check the legal implication of his order on Vedanta with the Ministry of Law and Justice and the Attorney General of India since FAC had given in-principle clearance to Vedanta for diverting 660.74 hectares of forestland for mining to the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) in 2007. The Supreme Court had also cleared the proposal in August 2008. Continue reading