Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha - Report: Fact Finding team visit to Narayanpatana
OSSA, the team led by veteran Gandhian Sarvodaya leader Dr Ratan Das accompanied by Badal Kumar Tah (Ankuran), Hansraj Mishra(Odisha Sarvodaya, Samaj), Akshya Kumar(Nabanirman Samiti), Md.Ziaudhin(Assart), Manoj Jena (Vinoba Seva Pratisthan), Rajeswari Dalei(Seva Samaj) as team members. They visited the affected villages of Narayanpatna block under Koraput district of Orissa on 7th and 8th june 2009.
Initially the team met & discussed with the peoples of "Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha" popularly known as SANGHAM at Baliput village of Podapadar GP, Sri Nachika Linga, the suave leader of the front narrated how they were first attacked by the ANASANGHM (opponent group consisting of landlords, Sahukars, liquor traders, contactors & politicians) on 5th May'09, equipped with arms the mob attacked the villagers.
Answering a question, Mr Linga cited the various reasons/grievances that the front is rallying behind .The activism for such causes supposedly are also the reason for the opposition from the rival group ANSANGHM.
successfully motivated our people against consumption of liquor which is a lucrative business of Sahukars Mutually settled various disputes that reduced the no. of cases registered in police station, which drastically reduced the unethical way of exploiting money by police officials from tribals. The Govt. apathy to provide the basic facilities i.e BPL card,Job card, Primary health care centre, drinking water, roads etc are factors adding to the present unrest. Land of tribals acquired illegally by Sahukars and landlords by fraudulent means. Minium wage demand of Rs 70/per day labour against the presently prevailing Rs 30/ per day. Deliberate and false case registered to put Adivasis behind bars. Sexuall abuse and assaults to Adivasi girl & women by non tribals.
In this regards, he confessed of restoring 150 acres of land of Anasangham people to tribals that was their ancestors land illegally taken away by them.
Condition laid for the resolution of the present conflict by SANGHAM
Immediate reconstruction of the damaged houses broken by ANSANGHAM Restoration of ADIVASI land illegally grabbed. Facilitation of basic health, education and civic amenities in the area by govt. BPL card for deserving & Job card under NREGA should be provided immediately. Minimum support price for the produced.
The group also visited Gatiguda village, residing hundred families of Adivasi,Kandha Christians and thoroughly discussed with them. When asked a question about their plight, Mr Philka aged 50 said now they are going through horrible days & nights as one Nityananda Moleka aged 40yrs was brutally killed by SANGHAM and as they have also threatened them to attack the village on 16th this month, they further narrated that they have already logged complain against it to Narayanpatna police station which have not yet taken any action in terms of giving protection to the terrified villagers.
PEOPLE STAYING OUTSIDE:
In Tehesil office and Radhakrishna college of Narayanpatna, we saw peoples are staying there in very pathetic conditions in open air, and cooking their food under tree. As reported by them the district administration has only provided 3days of food initially when the incident happened first on 2nd January 2009. On 12th January 09 one group of people from Talagumandi & Uppergumandi fled away from their homes and stayed there being threatened by SNAGHAM. From that day onwards the number has increased to 86 families of both villages and 125 families of Podapadar village. The villages that reportedly vacated are Talagumandi, uppergumandi, podapadar, Balipadu, Bikrampur, Dhamsil, Anchalpur, Gadabagudand & Gotiguda of three GP namely Balipata, Podapadar & Talagumundi.
One Charanlal Kuldip tearfully narrated how the SANGHAM forcefully took away 3.5 acres of his land before ten days and threatened to kill if he did not completely vacate the village and as a result his family has taken shelter there.
Three hours before the team reached the shelter; more than two hundred people armed with traditional weapon, tagged with red ribbon in their head came to nearby shelter & threatened in filthy languages and on their way the mob took away the roof asbestos of Gopal Bidika, while he has gone out for daily labour.
The team decided to meet & discuss the finding reports with collector of Koraput, In this regards he was contacted over phone but as on 7th night the Naxal blasted Baipariguda police station, the DM was busy handling the situation.Hence the meeting could not materialized.
OBSERVATION OF THE TEAM
Difference exist between the two groups i.e Sangham & Unasangham Forgery land acquisition by some rich Harijan and non-tribal People Houses broken and property destroyed at Podapadar village as we have seen. As reported a total of 211 families taken shelter in different locations. 86 of them in Radhakrishna College, 75 in Tehesil Office, Narayanpatna & 50 families out side Collectorate, Koraput. District Administration provided only three days of relief to the displaced. From 12th January the affected families has taken shelter there. Upcoming rainy season will be a major catastrophe for them. Efforts have not been made seriously by the Revenue Deptt. to settle the land disputes as yet Most of displaced families do not want to return to their villages in fear and apprehension. District Administration has not taken adequate step to provide enough security to the villagers of Gotiguda as were given ultimatum of 16th June by Sangham The basic facilities have not been provided by the govt in the villages. Harijans are feeling insecure those who are still in the villages. Even Adivasis are also feeling insecure in those villages that are attacked by Sangham Both groups are categorically denied any involvement of Maoist group. Against popular perception in very less no. of villages few landlord occupied land only 50 to 100 acres.
IMMEDIATE TO BE TAKEN:-
Strictly adherence of OLR acts 1956 & amendment of 2002. The govt. & forest land encroached by landless Tribals should immediately be settled as special case. Govt should provide immediately shelter for displaced families. Govt. should prepare a list of Adivasi families fled away from Narayanpatna block. A damage assessment report including displaced families must be prepared immediately Civil society initiative for land sharing between landless & landlord must be taken. Civil society initiative should be taken for healthy dialogue between two groups. The district administration should take adequate steps to arrest the culprits involved in killing & looting. The govt. must provide land patta as per Tribal & traditional forest dwellers act-2006 One special officer for settlement should be appointed by the govt. to immediately settle the land disputes. Adequate police security should be provided to the victims.
The team visited the area only for two days, and tried to meet as many people as possible. The team also wanted to stay longer and meet more people outside playing role in the present unrest. But due to financial and logistical difficulties the team could not stay longer. However the perception generated in the process may not be a complete one and we look forward to have more insight in the days to come.In this concern it was decided in the sharing meeting on 12th June 2009 at CYSD that, there will be a consultation and dialogue at Koraput among all the party involved towards the end of the month through the facilitation of local organizations.
Note: To post your contents (press release, messages, articles, write-up, issues for public discussions and documentary video) at this website, simply send it to Jharkhand@yahoogroups.com. No sign-up required.
Listen Sadri, Santali, Nagpuri, Khortha, Kharia, Kurukh or Oraon, Bengali, Chhattisgarhi, Oriya, Mundari, Maithili, Hindi, Angika, Bhojpuri and Sambhalpuri Song only on http://jharkhandi.com/music.aspx