Adivasis Commemorate 14 Killed by Orissa Police at Kalinga Nagar
Posted by Ka Frank on January 4, 2010
This article appeared in Kalinga Times on January 2, 2009
Kalinga Nagar relives memories of police firing
Jajpur: A large number of tribals rallied in Kalinga Nagar, the steel hub of India in Odisha’s Jajpur district on Saturday to mark the fourth anniversary of the killing of 14 tribals including three women in police firing while protesting against Tata’s proposed steel project there.
Four years ago, the police had fired on tribals protesting against forcibly displacement through the construction of a boundary wall by the Tata Steel for its 6 million tonnes steel plant in the steel hub. The anti-industry groups under the banner of Bisthapan Birodhi Janamanch (BBJM) assembled today at Ambagadia, where the tribals killed in the police action were mass cremated in the morning.
The tribals, mostly women and children, brandishing with sword, lathis and their traditional weapons took out a 7 km long rally from Birbhumi, the firing spot to Ambagadia. Carrying posters and banners, the tribals marched towards the memorial pillar where the victims were cremated en masse in the Kalinga Nagar industrial complex shouting slogans against the Naveen government and Tatas.
Other than local tribals, various groups from Jagatsingpur, Keonjhar, Niyamgiri and Puri where the locals are opposing land acquisition, expressed their solidarity with BBJM, which is spearheading the anti industrialization movement in the area sine inception of police firing on 02 Jan 2006.
“Police have been torturing us both physically and mentally for the last couple of months. We won’t tolerate any torture on the innocent tribals. There shouldn’t be any industry at the cost of tribals and their livelihood. Our fight against industrialisation will continue till the government changes its decision to set up industries on farm land.” Many BBJM leaders said in the meetings.
“Fourteen of our fellow men sacrificed their lives for tribal’s cause. We are ready to die even in en masse, but will not spare even an inch of land for industry,” said Rabindra Jarika, secretary BBJM.
President of BBJM Chakradhar Haiburu (Senior) and Secretary Rabindra Jarika, tribal leaders Sukra Munda, Narayan Hembrum, Radhasyam Sethy, Biswanath Chatar and Khandagiri Ghatikia, NAPM leader Prafulla Samantara, CPML (New Democracy) Bhala Chandra Sarangi, CPML Sivaram, Niyamgiri Surakhya Samiti leader Lingaraj Azad, Sheikh Abdul Waliand and others addressed the meeting. The star of the BBJM show was Sukra Munda, grandson of the legendary tribal freedom fighter Birsa Munda.
In another incident, around 300 people under the banner of Visthapita Parivar Unyayan Parishad participated in the pro-industry rally at Danagadi to mark the anniversary function. Veteran tribal leader and noted social activist Tulasi Munda graced the occasion as guest there.
Kalinga Nagar: Police arrest 2 of anti-industry brigade
Express Buzz, January 2, 2009
JAJPUR: The Kalinga Nagar police yesterday arrested two core committee members of Vistapan Virodhi Jan Manch (VVJM) ahead of fourth anniversary of Kalinga Nagar police firing on Saturday.
They were forwarded to court of JMFC at Jajpur Road and later remanded in judicial custody after their bail pleas were rejected, officials said. The arrested–Kunja Gagarai and Budansingh Jamuda of Gadhapur–were allegedly wanted by police for the last couple of years. Reports said apprehending a huge gathering of tribals on the fourth anniversary of police firing, the district police conducted a massive raid at Gadhapur village and arrested the duo last night.
The anniversary function is being organised by VVJM which has been spearheading the tribal agitation in the area since police firing on January 2, 2006, in which 14 tribals died while protesting land acquisition by the Tatas. As many as four platoons of armed police force led by DSP Bipin Behari Mallick conducted the raid.“ About 200 armed police led by a DSP picked up eight persons, including six children, from the village at gunpoint.
The arrests were made while all were deep asleep,” said VVJM secretary Rabindra Jarika. The arrests were in violation of human rights, he said. District authorities are planning to break the unity of the tribals ahead of the anniversary celebration, he added. Police will have to pay a heavy price if they proceed further, Jarika threatened.
Contacted, Jajpur SP D.S.Kuttey said, “Both Gagarai and Jamuda were wanted by police for the last two years. While seven cases and two NBWs are pending against Gagarai, two NBWs are pending against Jamuda. Though we arrested eight persons, including some minors, only two of them have been forwarded to court. We are verifying the antecedents of others.”