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Accept All The Pro-People Demands And Take Steps To Release The Hostages

Posted by Indian Vanguard on May 29, 2007

We post it here for the archive.The statement is related to the Udayangiri operation.

AS you know, on 24th March around five hundred people along with one hundred armed cadre under the leadership of C.P.I.(Maoist) encircled R.Udayagiri of Gajapati district, Orissa. They attacked on police station, sub-jail, treasury and Orissa State Armed Police (OSAP) camp. The armed battle at OSAP camp continued more than an hour, in which 3 armed police and 2 cadres of Maoist named Suresh and Satish were killed. Ultimately state armed force surrendered before the Maoist. Maoist had taken away all the armed and ammunitions from the Govt. forces. They broke the Jail and made free to all the prisoners. They also took away the Jailer and Police OIC with them as hostage. They had left one letter for govt., in which they cleared their intension of this attack. They described it as an armed reaction against this anti-people Govt., who has been continuously attacking on democratic people’s movement through lathes and bullets. They also placed five points demand list to the Govt. to release the both officers. Demands are:

1. Stop the plundering of natural resources in the name of development and industrialization and accept the right of the people over land, water, forest and natural resources.

2. Stop state repression on people’s movement and booked all the officials and politicians in murder cases, those are linked in people’s massacre like in Mandrabaju, Kasipur, Soran and recently Kiling Nagar.

3. Ensure the minimum right to all the prisoners and give political prisoners status to Maoist.

4. Release all the political prisoners of Malkanagiri, Baripada, Mandrabaju and others.

5. Withdraw all the cases against the struggling people. Withdraw the armed forces from struggle area. And stop police modernization.

Instead of accepting all the people’s demand of Maoist and clearing the roads for the release of hostage officials, Govt. is speeding up the combing operations. It is a well known fact that all the demands put forth by Maoist are not new and have already been agitated by various democratic forces. But the anti-people Govt. never considered these demands and rather attacked on people to safe guard the interest of the exploiters. The R.Udaygiri incident cannot be considered different from the political and economic situation of the state in general and Gajpati and Rayagada district in particular.

R.Udaygiri is a tehsil head quarter of Gajpati Dist. Gajpati Dist is a part of the undivided Koraput Dist., in which during 40s more than 80% was the tribal population. Although it is a scheduled area, but in 2001 census it reveals that only 35% is the tribal population in Gajpati Dist. There is a regulation of Governor being given assent of the president prohibiting tribal land transfer to non tribal in scheduled area since 1956. But while more than 80% of the tribal either do not have land for cultivation or although posses land but do not have lands right. On the contrary hundreds of non tribal landlords and moneylenders operating in this area exploiting the poor and innocent tribals. There is a money lending law since the British colonial rule and a special regulation has been enacted for scheduled area during 70s. But the research proves that more than 90% of the tribal population are not aware of the enactment, what to talk of it’s implementation! Money lending business in the locality is the important factor for transfer of tribal land to the hands of non tribal landlords. Bhudan movement has served very little in this area. Land reforms is only in political slogan. So the tribal people finding no way out formed an organization named as “Chashi Mulia Samiti” in 1995. The struggles of tribal under the banner of Chashi Mulia Samiti got the momentum by occupying lands of the non tribal landlords in this area. The Govt. instead of taking steps to regularize the lands occupied by the landless tribal, tried to suppress the land struggle, more popularly known as Basadhara land struggle, deploying O.S.A.P, I.R.B.F and C.R.P.F in different points in the 5th scheduled area. The state Govt. when failed to tackle the movement through security forces wanted to demoralize the tribal population by adopting method of humiliating the tribal ladies by outraging their modesty or committing rape on them through the security forces. The state Govt. also adopted a method to divide the tribals and dalit communities by terming the movement as anti dalit movement. The state Govt. also adopted an evil design to divide the tribal communities forming ‘Shanti Sena’ under the leadership of lumpen tribal elite. The said ‘Shanti Sena’ at the behest of the state committed atrocities in different tribal villages and tribes. During the Basadhara land struggle, about 1000 tribals in 20 Gram Panchayats of two block area in Gajpati district have implicated in serious criminal charges including murder, attempt to murder, docoity, keeping arms, etc and are send to jail. It is said that the tribals have traditional right over the forest and forest products. But before the Naxal movement starts in the area, the tribals were indiscriminately implicated in the forest cases.

As per the Govt. version, transacting of forest produce worth of rupees within one hundred which constitute also offense, cases numbering 11,400 are pending against tribals. The tribals are not getting minimum wages. They are also not getting minimum support price for the produce. It is also admitted by the C.M of Orissa during his recent visit to R.Udaygiri after the incident that no development has been made in the area since his last visit to the area during 1997, when he was a minister under central cabinet.

Instead of addressing to the basic issues like land, right over forest and forest produce, minimum wage, heath, education, poverty, the state power always adopted repressive measures against any form of democratic movement. That is from Maikanch(Kasipur) to KalingNagar via Mandrabaju, Raigarh, Chhilika, Baripada etc.

On 30th Dec. 1999, Police fired on the struggling people of Mandhrabaju of Gajapati district and killed 8 tribal. Instead of giving justice to the tribal, struggling for their land and booking the notorious officials responsible for this killing, Govt. booked the tribal in false cases and now four are in jail for life imprisonment, out of which two are in wrong identification. On 16 th Dec.2000, at Maikanch of Kasipur area of Rayagada district Police killed 3 tribal in firing, those were struggling against their displacement in favor of Aluminum big houses. Similarly, 5 dalit fishermen of Chilika Lake were killed at Soran in Police bullet, those are fighting for their traditional fishing right in Chhilika which is in danger from prawn mafia. Of course, Kaling Nagar Adibasi massacre is fresh in everybody’s mind, where 13 tribal were brutally killed in favor of Tata Company.

Their cause and demands, the number of people participated in the incident and more over their responsible behave strongly indicate that they are not terrorist as the state characterized. And their activities cannot be checked through repression. It is a historical fact that whenever and wherever there is attempt to suppress the genuine cause through bayonet, in a natural way, the people’s movement turns into a violent form and any form of repressive measure shall be termed as state terrorism.

It is also significant to note that police, paramilitary forces, army are said to be inexistence for the protection of general people, general mass and country. The cops earn their livelihood from the public exchequer which is created out of the revenue collected from the common mass. The members of the security forces belong to the families covering workers, farmers, lower middle class and middle class people. But in every case we find they are deployed against the democratic movement of the people and to suppress people’s voice to safeguard the interest of national and international monopoly industrial houses who are plundering natural resources of the state .The members of security forces though belong to the class of toiling masses but engaged to protect the interest of landlords, capitalists and their political agents. The same toiling mass mostly from which class the members of security forces have come are totally think them as their enemy. The game plan of ruling class to divide the oppressed class and engaged one against another is a serious matter of concern, which the common mass and the members of security forces should understand. Now it is high time that the police should not demand for sophisticated arms and ammunition ultimately which will serve the interest of capitalist, landlords and lumpen politicians accelerating the hostile atmosphere between the police and struggling mass .The police now should demand they shall not be engaged against any people’s movement. The callousness of the Naveen’s Government towards considering the demands of Maoists for release of the hostages clearly indicate that as if they have waited to give tribute to the dead bodies of the hostages as martyrs only and to shift blame on the Maoists. It is to be noted that the hostages belong to lower cast and also lower ranking officers. And they are not kith and kin of any political leaders nor are any top bureaucrats.

Daman Pratirodh Manch

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