MAC: Mines and Communities

Kalinganagar Massacre Update: 'govt Acting On The Dictates Of Mncs'

Published by MAC on 2006-01-09
Source: Statesman News Service

Kalinganagar massacre Update

'Govt acting on the dictates of MNCs'

Statesman News Service

9th January 2006

The Kalinga Nagar police firing reflects the attitude of a government which is working on the lines of what had happened during the gold rush in the US where a "good Red Indian was a dead Red Indian" as here the government is acting upon the dictates of the MNC's in ejecting tribals, observed Mr BD Sharma, leader of the Bharat Jan Andolan.

Talking to reporters after visiting Kalinga Nagar for two days, Mr Sharma, a former bureaucrat, said shockingly there has been no land settlement in the area since 1928 and vast stretches have been declared deemed reserved forests without any concern for those living in the area.

It appears as though these people do not exist as far as the government records are concerned, he added.

Tribals who migrated to this forest region after 1866 famine from Sareikala, now in Jharkhand, still hold land in the name of their ancestors and the land acquisition taking place is all based on fake records, he alleged.

The ignominy of monetary compensation is meaningless for a tribal who blows it away within no time.

Referring to a Government of India guideline issued in 1974, Mr Sharma said it makes clear provision for an equal deal for all people falling in the zone of influence of the industrial and mining complexes and ensuring a place of honour on terms of equality in the new economy. Nobody seems to have bothered to even read this guideline, he decried. Citing instances of unrest at Kashipur and Keonjhar, Mr Sharma said Orissa is sitting on a veritable volcano and unless effective measures in terms of community ownership in industries were taken such violence and conflict will take place.

A high-power committee should be set up to recognise the claims of the unrecognised tenants and expose spurious claims and all people in the zones of influence must be assured a place of honour in the new economy, he said.

Mr Sharma met Governor Mr Rameshwar Thakur and discussed the problem with him yesterday.

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