Kalinganagar UpdatePublished by MAC on 2006-02-20
20th February 2006
The well-respected Peoples Union for Civil Liberties(PUCL) in Orissa, has published an account of what led up to the Kalinganagar massacre in early January. It sets out the background to local peoples' discontent with the state government, emphasising that the protests on January 2 stemmed from years of betrayed promises made to those displaced from the industrial colony in which Tata, among other companies, has secured a site. Certain aspects of previous reports - notably the contention that landmines were planted in the path of demonstrators - are dismissed.
However, the use of massive, disproportionate, and illegal force by the police ("behaving like a private army of the Tatas"), and the dismemberment of some victims bodies, are confirmed. Allegations that the protestors were mainly from outside the area (or manipulated by external troublemakers) are firmly dismissed.
As the PUCL puts it : "[How can] the Tatas, Birlas, Jindals, Vedanta, and POSCO - whose only objective is to make profit by exploiting the mineral resources of the state... be considered as insiders, and the tribal people, who have been living there for more than a century, and survive by tilling the land,...be called outsiders?"