CIVIL LIBERTY SEVERELY AFFECTED IN ORISSA

OM Bureau

Bhubaneswar:

Civil liberty is severely affected by the plutocratic practices of the state government, according to Deshapremi Jana Samukhya, a confederation of the civil liberty organizations of Orissa.

The Samukhya alleged in a press conference on May 17 that police force is being used to brutally suppress the protests raised by local people against their exploitation by industrialists.

The police brutality against tribal people of Kalinga Nagar industrial complex is an example. The people were demanding minimum compensation against loss of their land and living environment before a Maharastra linked steel industry, to which their land was allotted, starts construction of its plant building. Instead of assuring them of prompt and proper rehabilitation, the State resorted to such oppressive measures that as many as 25 women protesters were arrested and male folks in fear of police action abandoned the villages. This resulted in starvation death of two deserted kids and an aged man.

The Samukhya further alleged that the State has failed to respond to the call for protecting interest of the family of Kartik Maharana, who died electrocuted in the evening of May 16 while unloading sand from a lorry at JindalÂ’s plant site. Administration, it seems, is hesitant to take Jindal to task for lack of care for human life.

The State should bring out a white paper on the status of rehabilitation of the people affected by major industries and also on gains and losses the industries have caused to the local people as well as the State, the Samukhya demanded.

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