ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Raids and Surrenders

Raids and Surrenders

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Coordination of Democratic Rights Organisations (CDRO) expresses deep concern about the intensifying repression on the Dongria Kondhos of the Niyamgiri mountains in Odisha, whose sustained resistance against bauxite mining is a fight for their survival and livelihood. The midnight raid by the Central Reserve Police Force on 1 May 2017, and the illegal and arbitrary manner in which 20-year-old Kuni Sikaka was forcibly taken to the police station in the absence of women police personnel, let alone any warrant, is deeply worrying. The next 36 hours were most torturous for her and for activists of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti (NSS) present in the police station.

The sustained resistance of the Dongria Kondhos had compelled the apex court in 2013 to hold a referendum in 12 gram sabhas, who voted unanimously against mining the mountains. After losing the battle to hand over Niyamgiri to Vedanta, the government and the corporate behemoth are doing everything possible to overturn the people’s decision. Within a year of the Supreme Court’s rejection of the Odisha Mining Corporation’s plea to review the 2013 gram sabha resolution, the recent annual report of the home ministry has made an unsubstantiated claim alleging that both theNSS and Visthapan Virodhi Jan Vikas Andolan are Maoist party front organisations. The incident of 1 May comes in the wake of this allegation againstNSS, and is a blatant attempt to criminalise popular dissent.

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Updated On : 2nd Jun, 2017

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