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Archive for November 27th, 2007

Tribal girl stripped and beaten in ASSAM.

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 27, 2007

Jorhat (Assam), Nov 26: As visuals of a tribal woman being stripped and assaulted on the streets of Guwahati drew nationwide revulsion, Assam government today ordered a judicial inquiry into Saturday`s clashes between adivasis and residents there and announced Rs one lakh assistance for her.

Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi told reporters here that the inquiry would go into the circumstances leading to the clash between tribals and local residents and all other related matters and the judge would submit its report within two to three months.

Assam Planning and Development Minister and former Assembly Speaker Prithvi Majhi, himself a tribal, described it as “very barbaric” the assault of tribals and the stripping of the woman.

Tribal students and tea garden workers, demanding Scheduled Tribe status, had gone on the rampage in Guwahati on Saturday attacking shops and other business establishments triggering a clash with local residents. The violence left one dead and over 230 injured.

Tribals being beaten in Assam
Hundreds of tribals were wounded in the attack

Tribal leaders from Jharkhand cutting across political parties condemned the assault on adivasis in Guwahati and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha chief Sibu Soren demanded ST status for them in Assam.

Meeting in hospitals the Adivasi victims of Saturday`s clash in Guwahati, Soren told reporters “the Adivasis work to feed the nation….The state government has to push their demand so that the Centre accepts it”.

Jharkhand`s Congress unit asked Chief Minister Madhu Koda to call upon his Assam counterpart to take effective steps and prevent a repeat of Saturday`s incidents.

CPI(M) accused the Assam police and administration of non-seriousness during the rally that led to the violence.

The Janata Dal(U) also extended moral support to the bandh, said its spokesman Pramod Mishra.

Several other political parties and organisations also deplored the Guwahati incident.

Meanwhile, police arrested three people allegedly responsible for outraging the modesty of an Adivasi woman during the clash.

The three arrested were Prasenjit Chakravarty, Sandip Chakdar and Ratul Barman.

Bureau Report


Posted in Assam | 6 Comments »

CPI-M activists evict Kerala tribal families

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 27, 2007

Web posted at: 11/27/2007 0:54:59
Source ::: The Peninsula/ By John Mary

Thiruvananthapuram • In a Nadigram-style operation minus the violence, Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPM) activists drove out tribal people from Government land atop the Munnar hills today, thwarting their move for a permanent settlement.

Tribal families, who had pitched tents on 1,500 acres allotted to Hindustan Newsprint for its captive plantation at Chinnakkanal, were caught unawares as the CPM cadres staged the takeover operation this morning. The activists, backed by local party reinforcements later in the day, tore down tents and put party flags, declaring the success of the operation.

Local people said tension prevailed in the area since tribal activists have threatened to recover the land and not to leave until the Government honored its commitment to distribute land to all landless Adivasi families in the State.

Tribal families, including children, had occupied the land under the banner of the Adivasi Punaradhivasa Samrakshana Samithy (tribal rehabilitation protection committee).

The provocation had come as the fallout of the deal struck between Chief Minister AK Antony and tribal leader C K Janu. At a grand function, Antony distributed title-deeds but only 540 families out of the 798 families got the land.

“They had waited for more than five years for the land. The Government had forced them to resort to direct action. They have run out of patience and there’s no question of returning without getting the land”, said tribal solidarity leader C P Shaji.

However, the local CPM leaders alleged that Congress and Communist Party of India had instigated the tribal people to occupy Government land so they could grab the land once the dust settled.

Tribal agitation has traversed a chequered course in Kerala. Janu had led many families on a 48-day sit-in in front of the Government Secretariat soon after Antony came to power in 2001.

The agitation ended with Antony agreeing to a seven-point demand, mainly five acres to each landless tribal family and a rehabilitation package to ensure that the land was not alienated.

However, the pact suffered a setback after Janu led a tribal band to the Muthanga wildlife sanctuary in the northern Wynad district two years later, leading to deaths a policeman and a tribal youth.

The most important fallout of agitations has been that both the Government and the tribal activists succeeded in shifting the focus of the nearly 50-year-old tribal struggle in Kerala from the issue of “restoration of alienated land” to one of “land for the landless tribal people”.

In April 1975, Kerala Assembly unanimously adopted the Kerala Scheduled Tribes (Restriction on Transfer of Lands and Restoration of Alienated Lands) Act, which sought to prevent the lands of the tribal people from falling into the hands of non-tribal people. The Act also sought to restore to the tribal people their previously alienated lands.

But that has remained mostly on paper.


Posted in Kerala, Trbals | Leave a Comment »

POSCO going the Nandigram way?

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 27, 2007

Ten people were killed in clashes between pro-POSCO and anti-POSCO villagers.

PROTEST ON: Ten people were killed in clashes between pro-POSCO and anti-POSCO villagers.

Bhubaneswar: In Orissa, battles continue to rage on between pro-POSCO and anti-POSCO activists. The latest clashes have left many people dead. But the state government continues to be wary of sending in police to crack down on the violence.

They are the warring camps of Jagatsinghpur. Villagers from the same district in Orissa with very different opinions on the proposed POSCO steel plant. And their battle is getting bloody.

Ten people were killed in clashes between pro-POSCO and anti-POSCO villagers on Sunday. Two of them are critically wounded. And both sides say the fighting will only get worse.

POSCO Pratirodh Sangram Samiti Chairman Abhaya Sahoo said, “I warn the government to soon stop initiating this indirect war by using local anti social elements against us. Otherwise it will soon take the turn of another Kalinganagar and Nandigram like violence.”

While pro-POSCO supporter Raghunath Sarangi says, “POSCO will give employment to our children. These outsiders are unnecessarily creating trouble here. We will throw them out and will allow POSCO to be established here.”

Villagers against the South Korean steel plant say the Orissa government has been instigating villagers through its local political leaders for a month now urging them to speak out for the Rs 51,000 crore project.

Supporters of the plant have come together under local BJD MLA Damodar Rout. But the state government is doing little to guard against violence. Police have not entered the disputed site for over two years.

Steel and Mines Minister Padmanabh Behera says, “Soon the POSCO supporters will outnumber the people who are opposing the steel plant and the problem will automatically end. We are not sending police there since that might lead to more violence.”

From the reactions of the Orissa government it seems, that the recent violence at the POSCO site is just not enough to initiate any police action.

Perhaps they are waiting for another Nandigram to happen before any action could be taken.

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Melsunka: A haven for Naxals

Posted by Indian Vanguard on November 27, 2007

Tuesday November 27 2007 08:41 IST

Manjunath Hegde
Window2India: Sports News

SHIMOGA: Melsunka village in Hosnagar taluk has neither road
connectivity nor power supply, but people still stay here as KPCL paid
them compensation in instalments after the village became a restricted
area in the backwater of Mani Dam of Varahi Power Project.

Away from the civilian world, lack of facilities and impenetrable
rainforests have made this village an ideal hub for Naxalites. It is
feared that the youth here are slowly turning towards Naxal ideology.

Melsunka village of Sulgodu GP in Hosnagar taluk has 87 families and
they have to walk 18 kms to Yadur to buy something.

They are cut off from the outer world. The only entry to the area is
through Mani Dam, with permission from KPCL.Villagers of Kumribailu,
Ultiga and Melsunka depend on forest products like bamboo and a few
are engaged in agriculture.

After the entry of Naxalites, villagers say that the Forest Department
personnel have stopped harassing them. A village without any civic
amenities, Melsunka has become a favourite hide-out for the Naxalites.
Whenever there is a fight between the policemen and the Naxalites in
Amasebailu area of Udupi district, it is said that the Naxals rush to
Melsunka region which is just a one-hour walk away through the ghat
section. Whenever the police head for the village, Naxals disappear
into the forests.

It may be recalled that a pamphlet was recovered from a camp deserted
by Naxalites near Amasebailu, which showed that they had plans to
blast Mani Dam, which is very near to Melsunka.

However, Hosnagar CIP SK Prahlada said no untoward incidents were
reported from the area so far. Residents of this hamlet do not say a
word either against policemen or favouring Naxalites. Alarmingly, a
couple of Naxalites including Parvati, who was killed in Idu
encounter, were from this village. Police say that the Naxal team
wandering in the surroundings of Melsunka is 'Varahi Dalam', and they
often visit Melsunka whenever they need grain and vegetables.

Interestingly, the village which had roads and electricity 30 years
ago, has nothing but backwater and forests everywhere today. The youth
here get offers from Naxals to join their group.

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