KALINGA NAGAR MASSACRE: CM FIDGETS IN THE HOUSE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took so many days. But he could not convince the Opposition that he is not guilty.

Trying to defend his Government in the Kalinga Nagar massacre matter, Patnaik told the House on 17 Feb.2006 in the evening that he has more than compensated the victims through posthumous financial aid at the rate of Rs.5 lakhs per deceased over and above offer of job to an heir of the bereaved family, Rs.50,000/- per wounded including treatment of one of them in the AIIMS, New Delhi at government cost, critical as was his condition. For wrongful post-mortem examination conducted on the bodies of the 12 gunshot tribals on 2nd Jan.2006, three doctors have been put under suspension and the matter of chopping off of breasts and penes of dead tribal females and males has been drafted to the State Human Rights Commission for needful action. The violence proper has been referred to a Judicial Enquiry Commission and action as per its finding would be taken. Besides this, the government is all set to frame up a rehabilitation policy, which, he claimed, would be the best in the country.

The Chief Minister’s reply provoked Deputy Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, while wrapping up the debate he had initiated, to reprimand the Chief Minister severely for shying away from the charges he had made.

The Opposition had wanted you to tell: why there was so massive deployment of police force at Kalinga Nagar on 2nd January 2006? Why have you not answered this question? He asked the CM.

The Opposition had wanted to know if there was any information filed with the Police by the Tata concern expressing apprehension of any attack by the tribal community necessitating the deployment of armed police in so many packs. Why have you preferred to shy away from this question? He asked the CM.

The Tata establishment has in the mean time clarified that none of its officials was present on the spot on the day of the massacre. The government is not showing if there was any FIR filed by the Tatas. It is clear therefore that it is the State government that had masterminded the massacre on Dec.28, 05 under direction of the CM in the meeting he had taken in his chamber, as earlier alleged, after intelligence report reached him about the rising discontentment amongst the tribal habitants, which the CM has failed to refute, Mishra said.

The question was specific: why school-going children and women taking their bath were gunned down? Why have you not answered that? Tribals going away from Tata’s wall building location were shot at from behind. You were asked to tell the House: who ordered this firing? Why have you not answered that? The Collector as well as the S.P. had talked through their respective mobile phones before and after the massacre. The Opposition had wanted to know as to with whom they had held their conversation. Why have you kept mum on this? There was no apprehension of any assault from the Tatas. There was no FIR from anybody of Tata establishment indicating any apprehension from any tribal to justify so heavy deployment of armed police. Therefore the Opposition had wanted to know as to who had ordered for this deployment. Why have you not told the House of it? Admittedly three doctors have been suspended for wrongful post-mortem. The Opposition had wanted the details of the wrong committed by the said doctors and the post-mortem report. Why have you not laced them in the House? Mishra grilled the CM.

Instead of answering the question raised by Opposition, the CM has tried to escape under the canopy of judicial enquiry. The House must not be allowed to be hoodwinked like this, Mishra warned.

When the Deputy Leader of Opposition was dwelling on such pertinent points, the Chief Minister ventured some comments as the Speaker allowed. Mishra took strong exception to this blatant transgression on the decorum of debates. The Speaker forthwith expressed regrets and clarified that he erred under confusion and allowed Mishra to continue. But the Chief Minister did not relent. He continued uttering incomprehensible words despite vociferous protests from the Opposition members, some of whom even rushed into the well in disgust.

We shall not hear this transgressor of democratic decorum and as long as he has not owned up responsibility for the Kalinga Nagar massacre, we will not participate in any discussion whenever he is on his leg, declared the Deputy Leader of Opposition.

But why Naveen was in a state of fidgetiness?

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