Fake Encounter Killing of Anti Mining Activists in Orissa

January 11, 2011

Jan 14 2011: Politics of Fake Encounter in Odisha – Dandapani Mahanty, Odisha Forest Mazdoor Union
Jan 11: Anti Mining Activists killed in Orissa – Surya Shankar Dash
Jan 11: Press note on the issue from OFMU , Orissa, and Revolutionary Writers Association, A.P.

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Politics of Fake Encounter in Odisha

By Dandapani Mahanty, General Secretary, Odisha Forest Mazdoor Union

Odisha is full of mountains and hills containing a substantial quantity of nations wealth of minerals. Odishas resources in percent of Indias total mineral resources in parenthesis: coal(25%), bauxite (50%), chromites (98%), iron (27%), nickel(91%), and many other minerals, and exploitation of these mineral deposits is taking place legally as well as illegally at an increasing speed, causing large scale evictions of tribals, dalits, poor peasants from the lands, forests, rivers, mountains etc. In the socalled process of developments the broad masses are denied access to the forests and forest produces, affecting their livelihood adversely as well as causing pollution of entire ecology system. The plundering of natural resources by the national and multi-national companies in the name of mineral based industries is not accepted by the people of state and which has resulted in militant mass movements in different parts of the state.

54 MoUs have been signed with the national and multinational companies and capitalists by the Odisha Govt. to loot the natural resources and minerals. If the said schemes are implemented, around 1,10,000 hectors of agricultural land, 10,000 hectors of forest land and 50,000 hectors of grazing land will be affected and lakhs of poor people will be displaced from their hearth and home. Since long, people are raising their voice and organizing resistance movements against the anti-people destructive projects in the name of so-called developments . From Baliapal to Gopalpur, Gandhamardan to Kasipur, Dhinkia to Niyamgiri, Kaling Nagar to Narayanpatna everywhere the oppressed, poor mainly tribals organizing themselves against the state patronized exploitation and conspiracy , which open the doors for the corporate, multinationals to loot the natural resources . Different forms of of resistance movement are going on including armed struggle led by C.P.I (Maoist) party. Instead of addressing the fundamental political economic issues of the broad masses, the state has been persistently continuing terrorism to suppress the dissent voice, politics as well as peoples militant resistances.

The fundamental issues like life and livelihood of broad masses are treated as law and order issues by the state and the state security forces including Border Security Forces, CRPFs etc are deployed in the movement areas. In the process of state terrorism above 700 struggling people have been imprisoned and most of them are under trial prisoners and languishing in the jails for years together. Custodial violence including deaths in the custody has become a policy of the state. Gang rape of tribal women in the custody is not also uncommon in our state. The complain of a gang rape victim is also not properly inquired by the judicial magistrate of R.Udaygiri in spite of mandatory provision enumerated as under section-176(1-A) of Code of criminal procedure.

In the name of combing operation the security forces have obtained license to kill any person under the cover of encounter with Maoists. It has become a general practice in our state that when an innocent person is killed by the police bullets, at that moment the police create a story that the person was a Maoist who died in the encounter. Very recently during 28-12-2010 to 12-01-2011, twenty innocent persons including ten women were killed by the bullets of security forces in the name of encounter with Maoists. Since the militant mass movements are continuing in Kaling Nagar ,Kashipur, Niyamgiri and Gandhamardan areas, the state has adopted d the politics of encounter to create a reign of terror in the said areas to suppress the mass movements and to serve the corporate interests.

It is not out of place to mention that although a number of so called encounter incidents have occurred in the tribal areas of the state, in no case any independent and credible enquiry has been ordered by the state government. In one case only the victim lady of village Birubai under Rayagada district made a complain before the state human right commission that her husband was killed on 7-7-2006 by the security forces in a fake encounter. The commission decided the case in her favour and came to the conclusion that the husband of victim lady was innocent ,who was killed by police in fake encounter. But the recommendation of Comission regarding taking action against responsible police officer is yet to be carried out.

I have reason to believe that there are only four cases of exchange of fire(encounter) between the arms squad of Maoists and security forces of the state during the period of 2004 to 2011 and which are in Koraput, RUdaygiri ,Gasama and Damanjodi and all other cases are fake encounters and which require free ,fair and credible investigations after registration of criminal cases in the respective police stations .

Under the above facts and circumstances, I appeal all concerned persons /groups/forces to condemn and raise their voice against the state policy of fake encounter to kill innocent persons as a part of repression and suppression of dissent voice/politics/ideology with a motive to serve the corporate interest.

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Anti Mining Activists killed in Orissa

By Surya Shankar Dash

The last few weeks have witnessed the most gruesome and horrific cold blooded murders by security forces of several people including a 12-year-old Adivasi girl from Kalinga Nagar as well as one of the most committed activists of the Niyamgiri struggle. Also anti mining activists of Gandhamardhan have been killed. All in the name of fighting Maoism.

The media is tomtomming the achievement of the security forces as a major breakthrough in ‘crushing red terror’ and hunting down ‘dreaded left wing extremists’. Please find some weblinks below about the shocking incidents. Also find an article that appeared in the Frontline where the Niyamgiri activist Lenju predicts that one day the police will brand them as Maoists and kill them. Sources say that Lenju and others were surrounded and killed while they were sleeping.

In Kalinga Nagar, some sources say that the encounter was styled in the classic fake encounter manner where people already detained by the police where taken to the forest and shot dead. That included 12-year-old Janga from Baligotha village who had gone missing since the police had attacked and destroyed her village in April 2010. This encounter happened a day before the 5th anniversay of the Kalinga Nagar massacre where 14 Adivasi men, women and children were killed by the police for oppossing Tata steel’s project.

While in Gandhamardhan, the slain activists are ironically members of the BJP. It is probably the most emblematic cases amongst fake encounters in the war against the communist guerrillas where people with right wing political affiliations were killed and branded as left wing extremists. Vedanta is one of the companies that has been trying to acquire mining rights for Gandhamardhan hill.

While all this mayhem is unleashed upon people by the police, the corporations have been making major announcements. Vedanta has gone to court challenging the MoEF’s decision. Tata has released statements that they will turn Kalinga Nagar into Jamsedhpur.

To establish the interests of these corporations our Govts are being used to kill innocent children, women and those activists who start moblising people. The Maoists are definitely to be blamed for their dogmatic attitudes towards democratic movements and for endorsing violence more than their ideology. In the absence of a third force in this war of ideologies the possibility of lessening of violence seems unlikely. This third force has to be all of us who want to eliminate injustice, discrimination and exploitation without picking up guns.

To start with we have to register our opinion about the way media reports on these killings, celebrating the death of people as if some big evil force has been defeated. All news agencies without exception have been rendered into propaganda publishers of the Govt and the Corporations. Let’s not forget the shocking expose of the media a few months ago when the Radia tapes were made public. Let’s not forget that it was Nira Radia (PR Agent) who told Vir Sanghvi (Top Journalist) “We (tata steel) are fighting the Maoists in Kalinga Nagar.” Let’s not allow the Nira Radias to brand our movements and pave the way for such horrific brutalities.

Here are the weblinks (some are disgusting the way they report but that is the only media coverage one finds)

Gandhamardhan Fake Encounter:

http://www.sify.com/finance/shutdown-by-anti-mining-group-hits-life-in-orissa-news-default-lbdouhihijh.html
http://expressbuzz.com/biography/fearing-wolves-but-slaughtering-lambs/237644.html

Lenju’s statement:

http://www.frontlineonnet.com/fl2712/stories/20100618271203700.htm

Rayagada fake encounter:


http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/bhubaneswar/Top-rebel-killed-in-Rayagada-encounter-cops/articleshow/7255998.cms

Kalinga Nagar Fake encounter:


http://orissadiary.com/CurrentNews.asp?id=23617

Photo of Janga, the 12-year-old girl:

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1083109082#!/photo.php?fbid=1642674781745&set=a.1642674261732.2081538.1083109082

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Press Note from OFMU , Orissa, and Revolutionary Writers Association, A.P

On 24th December, 2010, the police raided the village of Lundang in Gajapati District, brutally tortured all village people. The Adivasis there belongs to the catholic christian community. Their preparation for Christmas was totally destroyed. From there, they have taken four young men – Somnath Majhi, Pradeep Majhi and two others to the S.O.G camp inside SPs office, Paralakhemundi and severely tortured. Pradeep Majhi died there because of torture but the SP has concocted a story that he committed suicide in the Police lock up with shoelaces. The villagers blocked the road and protested. The district collector announced one lakh rupees ex-gratia from the Red Cross Fund. The other three were sent to judicial custody to R.Udayagiri after fabricating false cases against them.

In the month of October two Adivasi people – Gangul Tharangi ( Chandrapur) and M. Suba Rao ( ward member from Konda Baridi village ) were picked up and tortured, causing their death in custody in Rayagada district ( Gangulu in Chandrapur P.S and Suba Rao in Ramnaguda P.S). Their custodial deaths were also shown as suicides. After the people’s protest blocking the road, Rayagada collector announced ex-gratia for Suba Rao.

On 28th December 2010, two activists of Gandhamadan Surakshya Parishad, Madhab Singh Thakur and Ramesh Sahoo, were killed by Bargarh police in Paikamal and floated the story of encounter. Madhab Thakur is the BJP mandal president.

When the preparations for the anniversary of Kalinga Nagar Martyrs ( 5th January) was taking place, 5 people from different places were forcibly taken by the police on 20th december and an encounter of these five people was shown on 2nd January, 2011 after two weeks of illegal custody and torture. They were not Maoist squad members. They are all innocent villagers and there were 4 girls among the 5 people. One of them is a 12 year girl. The encounters was shown to have taken place near Tamka Forest, Main road.

Since 1969 in Orissa, 130 people were killed in fake encounters. One in Gasma, one in Koraput armoury action (2004) , one in R. Udaygiri (2006) and another in Damonjodi in Nalco (2009) are only the only real encounters. Rest are fake. Even in these fake encounters except in Kopardang, Gotaa, kutinganda and betasing, people killed are innocent people.

In the last 40 years among the 130 people died. But with Operation Green Hunt, the pace of encounter killings has increased. It has become a frequent practice and 30 innocent people are killed during Operation Green Hunt.

Though there is a state human rights commission chaired by a retired high court Judge, no justice is delivered to the kith and kin of deceased nor any enquiry has been conducted into the facts of encounter killings.

There are 700 people in different jails in Orissa including 120 people in Rourkela and 200 people in Koraput.

This kind of state repression and encounter killings are only to suppress the resistance of the Adivasi and democratic forces in the state, who are resisting their displacement and the plunder of resources of this state by the multinational and big companies.

We demand the state government to stop these encounter killings an illegal arrests and stop the displacement of Adivasis in the name of development. And we urge the democratic forces to raise their voices in solidarity with the fighting people.

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Issued by ,
Dandapani Mohanty ( General Secretary. OFMU , Orissa)
Vara Vara Rao ( Revolutionary Writers Association, A.P)