Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) rally in Bhubaneshwar: Halt mining leases, MNC landgrab, free prisoners
October 21, 2009
The Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS), which held the Koraput district administration to ransom for months and forced non-tribals out of Narayanpatna, on Tuesday threw a challenge to the Government right in the capital.
The Sangha, its leaders announced in a rally, would carry out land grabbing movement by the tribals in other areas of the State. The organisation, considered a Maoist-backed outfit, had created a flutter by forcibly ploughing over 2,000 acres of land belonging to non-tribals in Narayanpatna block. The aggressive posture of the CMAS had sparked off protest and there were rallies demanding the arrest of its leaders at least in five places in the district.
The tribal rally was organised here amidst unprecedented security. The CMAS threatened that if their demands for amendment to the Land Reforms Act and halt to mining lease in forest areas were not accepted by the Government, the agitation will be extended to more areas.
“Give us our genuine rights. Get prepared to be killed if there is any negligence,’’ said a poster at the meeting venue at the busy MG Road, which connects the railway station and the state secretariat. “We will forcibly free tribal land in the possession of landlords in other tribal dominated districts as the authorities have failed to give justice to the people,’’ CMAS adviser Gananath Patra told the gathering.
Criticising the Government for trying to “suppress democratic movements” in the name of Maoism, Patra alleged that even journalists and common men are not spared. He demanded immediate release of all innocent tribals languishing in different jails. Orissa Forest Mazdoor Union leader Dandapani Mohanty alleged that multinational companies are acquiring tribal land for mining and setting up industries. Social activist Prafulla Samantray demanded that cases should be lodged against police officials involved in false encounter cases.
Bhubaneshwar, Orissa: Tribals take to the streets against police atrocities
Amidst unprecedented security arrangements, hundreds of tribals gathered in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday to warn the state government that it must be ready to face consequences unless it changes policies.
At joint rally here, the tribals shouted slogans. The posters they were carrying read: “Kana kholi kari suna sarakar. Ama hak, adhikar amaku dia, na deba jabi mariba pai prastuta hua,” (Government listen carefully. Give us our rights or be ready to die).
The tribals, mostly from southern districts of Koraput and Rayagada, asked the state government to stop police atrocities on the people in the name of curbing Maoist activities. They demanded that the government stop allotment of cultivable and forestlands to industrial houses and said they will continue their land-grabbing spree until their rights were restored. They also demanded inclusion of changes in the Land Act and full rights over forestland.
“This is an integrated, anti-feudal and anti-imperialist movement against land lords, liquor mafia and multi-national companies, who have grabbed everything that belongs to the poor. This rally is a reminder to the government that time is running out,” advisor of Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) Gananath Patra said.
Also a member of CPI (ML), Patra said, the CMAS has so far captured 2,000 acres of land from the people and have re-distributed them to the poor and landless tribals in the nine panchayats of the two districts. The movement has already spread its tentacles into Keonjhar, Dhenakanal and Mayurbhanj districts.
“The government has admitted that there are at lest three lakh landless people in the state. But the government still gives away hundreds of acres of land, rich forest and water to the MNCs,” Raisun Habuda, a tribal from Narayan Patna block, said.