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Mainstream, VOL 61 No 35-36 August 26 & September 2, 2023

Stop Repression of Peoples Protest Over Mining Leases Near Niyamgiri to Adani, Vedanta Press Release by All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha

Friday 25 August 2023


All India Kisan Mazdoor Sabha, AIKMS

Press Note - 20.08.2023

  • AIKMS condemns bauxite mining leases near Niyamgiri to Adani, Vedanta
  • Condemns detention of AIKMS National Secretary Bhalchandra Shadangi and repression on Adivasis
  • Demands withdrawal of UAPA cases on protesting tribals by BJD govt

CEC AIKMS condemns the brutal repression and indiscriminate arrest of activists and common people opposing Vedanta and Adani’s proposed mining projects in Kashipur area of Rayagada District.

CEC also condemns the illegal detention of AIKMS National Secretary Comrade Bhalachandra Shadangi by Rayagada Dist police on 18th of August night for expressing solidarity with the fighting people of Niyamgiri and Kashipur.

AIKMS has demanded immediate withdrawal of the mining lease to Vedanta and Adani in Sijimali and Kutrumali mountains.

For the last few days Naveen Pattanaik led Odisha’s BJD Govt has been unleashing a rein of terror on the poor Tribals and common people of Kashipur and Niyamgiri to fecilitate the bauxite mining by corporate giants like Vedanta and Adani.

It is to be noted that after being denied mining lease in Niyamgiri due to people’s resistance, Vedanta is now trying to explore bauxite in Sijimali mountain range situated in the border areas of Rayagada and Kalahandi districts. Similarly Adani also got the mining lease in Kutrumali mountains range situated at the adjacent area. Both these area are inhabited by poor people mainly tribals and dalits spreading across more than 120 villages. They will lose their land, forest and livelihood once these mining activities begin. Vedanta has engaged another notorious company Maitry to handle it’s mining operations in Sijimali mountain. In the last two weeks this company along with a huge number of armed police has tried to enter these villages and create their dalals by alluring them with money. But the local inhabitants fearing that they wiill lose their livelihood and resources have resisted the entry of the company-sponsored goons, brokers and armed police thrice. This has infuriated the police and they have started indiscriminate arrests of activists and police. Till now 14 people of that area including some leaders have been arrested. Even those who are supporting the movement are not spared.

On 18th night AIKMS National Secretary Comrade Bhalachandra Shadangi was illegally detained by the IIC of Tikiri police station while returning from meeting the people of Sijimali. Though they were forced to free him but this was part of their repressive tactics to frighten others who are supporting the movement.

A week ago two young tribals from Niyamgiri were picked up by the Rayagada police while they were returning from near by weekly market. When their family members asked the local police station about their where abouts they denied picking them. At last they were forced to gherao the PS. After their families filed habeous corpus in the highcourt, one of them was released and another one was forwarded to court in a false case. On the other hand those who were present in the police station gherao were implicated in false case under UAPA.

AIKMS condemns this corporate-sponsored repression on the people of Sijimali and Niyamgiri.

AIKMS has called for all democratic forces to protest this repression and withdraw the cases filed against these activists.

V. Venkatramaiah, President.
Dr Ashish Mital, General Secretary

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