www.sacw.net > Victims and refugees of 'Development', 'Nation Building' and Conflict in the Indian Subcontinent | June 21, 2005

India: Tragic Kashipur - Horrible Government
by Debaranjan Sarangi
[18 June 2005]

Kashipur struggle again came under the wrath of Naveen Govt. in Orissa when battalions of police went to village Guguput near Kucheipadar on 15th June at evening hour and indiscriminately lathi charged and tear gased the villagers gathered there. PSSP who is spearheading the struggle against the aluminium giants UAIL (joint venture of Hindalco and Alcan Co.) was conducting its area meeting and villagers of 15 villages mostly from the plant area of UAIL were there. Eleven villagers also were declared criminals and sent to jail.

This is second time in few months when the struggling tribals and dalit people faced the wrath of the Orissaís sold out Naveen govt. This is in the best interest of few corporate houses. In December, 2004 heavy police with district collector went to near Kucheipadar to set up a police barrack and police out post to protect modern Bhagya Bidhatas. People objected and faced gas firing and lathi charge. Many of the activists were sent to jail and were recently returned from jail after spending nearly four months.

This struggle has faced once firing in 2000 and lost three lives and injuring several others.

It is welcoming that several national level forums like PUCL (Orissa), PUDR ( Delhi), APDR ( West Bengal), INSAF ( National level anti-communal forum ), Human Rights Forum ( Andhra Pradesh ) visited during these months the area and condemned the police aggressiveness and appealed the state govt. to cancel the mining projects. HRF led by Mr. Balgopal have the view that these projects any way would not benefit the tribals.

This has no effect on this shameless Naveen ís govt.

On 25th May, 2005 when PSSP called on a rally against police atrocity, later spent sleepless night and moved around the villages in Kashipur to cow down local villagers. Local police head Kishore Mund threatened of firing and dire consequences if any body turned to the rally. Mund was adjudged best police officers on 1st April , 2005 for its pro mining operation but every group visited the area have condemned his role.

Large participation in the rally nearly 2000 people and their shouting against repression by police and companyís goondaism before presence of 10 platoons of police and five magistrates with all highest officials of police and administration is definitely a turning point for this struggle. All most all villagers of five villages and few of many villages around UAIL and Aditya Alumina of nearly five panchayat of two blocks like Kashipur and Laxmipur sent memorandum the Governor and sought his intervention to cancel the alumina projects.

After the rally several other villages started supporting the struggle that were silent because of fear. Many villages also refused compensation given by UAIL after that but police threatened if donít take would be sent to jail. Villagers started objecting and blocking company vehicles in the area as a post rally effect.

On 8th June, 2005 Guguput villagers blocked the company vehicles and forced it to return. PSSP called on a meeting on 15th June at Guguput to decide future course of action. This was intolerable both for the company and police and they resorted to lathicharge.

Not only Kashipur, Lower Sukhtel anti dam project People faced lathi charge on 11th May, 2005 because they are demanding cancellation of dam projects. If the dam is built it would supply water to Alumina Company to be coming to Gandhamardan area of Bolangir district.

Few days back Jajpur, Kalinga Nagar tribals were beaten up severely by armed police because they refused to leave their land to a Iron giant company.

Lanjigada is ruled by the Sterlite-Vedanta goons with help of police and the landed tribals who are not interested to leave their land are beaten up severely. Sukru Majhi was murdered on 27th March, 2005 by company people because he was objecting them. Cases are not even registered unless it is shouted by many.

Orissa has become a police state by this gruesome Naveen Patnaik who has become a pawn in hand of MNCs. Every time the tribals, dalits and small peasants face the wrath of him.

Five custodial deaths in police station from Chandanpur to more recently Dhenkanal witness the attitude of police towards its people. Naveen looks after the home department in the state. Not only this , the police firing at Champua where people demanded police to catch the rapist of a minor girl and as a consequence death of a villager; firing at Paradeep where slum dwellers refused to shift in a demolition drive; death of a doctor in Cuttack by police firings in these few months speak real character of this American learned non oriya speaking self acclaimed writer turned politician Naveen Patnaik.

Truly Orwell said WAR IS PEACE.

The Oriya people choose this non oriya speaking guy for another five years to not only to rule the state but to make natural resources ( 41 % of unexploited bauxite, 68 % of chromite , 26 % of iron ore reserves and 20 % of manganese ) at the disposal of corporate giants like BHP Billiton ( Australia and UK), Rio Tinto ( UK), Alcan ( Canada ), POSCO ( South Korea ), Hindalco ( Aditya Birla of India ) , Larson and Turbro, Vedanta ( UK) and many others to carry forward the American fashism in the state. Nature must have taken thousand years to make these non renewable resources.

Non of the companies coming in the state claims more than 25 years life period of their respective projects. This period is enough to plunder these resources agreed between the company and the state govt. Vedanta claims for 25 years at Lanjigada ó Niyamgiri Bauxite mining and alumina plant and UAIL specify for 23 years as per the capacity of plant and deposit of bauxite. They would give just employment of hundreds of highly technically might be experienced staff not even specified from this state only. Naveen claims it would open the employment opportunity in the state.


The state has not yet slightly progressed against child mortality, pre-intra-post natal death of pregnant women, deadly disease like malaria, anthrax, diarrhea etc, child drop out, death due to dowry, rape and murder, security to women, debt burden, retrencment of employees, etc.

Even an anganwadi worker or blood slide collector of malaria does not work without tips. 30 % of block or panchayat money is really spent by the party worker turned contractor and rest goes as black money.

Naveen claims himself CLEAN.

Vedanta proceeded so much in Lanjigada without any clearance when entire state administration was playing watch dog and Naveen himself visited the Kalahandi district ( where Lanjigada comes ) twice during such period. HOW? How UAIL is getting strength from police? Is it 32 crores party funds? Naveen is the home minister. Why Chilika fishermen are still fighting against prawn mafias? Who are they ? Why farmers are still demanding declared price? Who are these mill owners responsible for distress sale?

Tragically, nearly 40000 tribals of Jhodia ó Paraja community are soon going to loose their tribal identity and are threatened of denotified tribe since 2002 by Naveen patnaik. Simply they are going to loose their tribal identity in Kashipur. This would help all non tribals including company officials to purchase tribal land in Kashipur because official restriction would not be applicable henceforth. This is only in Kashipur. This is only during Naveen who is widely acclaimed ( as per official website) as a writer of The Garden of Life with Indiaís environment and traditional knowledge.

Now the ministers of Naveen govt. are in a tour to US ( like Maheswar Mohanty, Speaker and Dr. Rout, Cultural Minister to Albom city in US) , Japan, South Korea to propagate during Naveenís regime how safety NRI funds in the state, to attract more investment and to kill more tribals.

Should they not be questioned, condemned every where? In India and abroad ?

Gopinath Mohanty , Gyanapeetha award winner in oriya language , in a short story in 70ís on Niyamgiri hills shares a night mare that one day a mining company is coming and devastating entire region and its innocent tribals ( Jantrika Sabhyata madi asi ghotigala, sate ki pralaya, di dinara bichitra paribartan. Au se anchala chihni hela nahin )

Naveen, ëdemocratically electedí by people of the Orissa state, is making the nightmares true.


Please write to me :
Debaranjan Sarangi
Activist, PSSP
Kashipur, Dist : Rayagada, Orissa

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