A delegation draws attention of Governor S. C. Jamir to their pitiable plight
The Naveen Patnaik government has declared a war on tribal communities with every tribal being branded as sympathiser of the Left Wing Extremists (LWEs), allege five Left parties here on Saturday.
Drawing attention of Governor S. C. Jamir about deaths of innocent tribals, who were killed by security forces in alleged anti-Naxal operation at Gumudumaha village in Kandhamal district, these parties said the incident was highly deplorable and instead of addressing their livelihood plights, the State machinery had almost declared war on them.
“Tribal pockets of Odisha have been fortified with Central and State security forces. They are denied entry inside the forest they have been depending on. Innocent tribals have been caught between the Maoist violence and repression by the State,” said Suresh Panigrahi, member of State secretariat of CPI(M) here.
Left parties said five innocent tribals and Dalits were killed from a close distance of 50 to 60 feet on the fateful night of July 8 last when they were returning home in an auto-rickshaw from Baliguda after withdrawing their MGNREGA wage dues.
“Gumudumaha incident is not an isolated case. Last year, two such incidents of killing had taken place. First it was under Kotagada Police Station limits of Kandhamal district and the second one took place at Karlapat forest in Kalahandi district. Since, no action had been initiated against the security personnel responsible for the killings, such incidents are on the rise,” said Dibakar Nayak, CPI State secretary.
The Left parties have warned the State government that excessive force would further alienate the tribals.
They also drew attention on the pitiable condition of Juanga tribes in Nagada, a hilltop village in Jajpur district. It is alleged that 19 children, who have been suffering from chronic malnutrition, died of different diseases in the past few months.
“Worst sufferers of poverty and backwardness in Odisha are tribals and Dalits. The government is paying scant attention to address their basic needs. The fund being allotted under Tribal Sub Plan head is being diverted to non-tribal areas,” they said.
The Left parties demanded that the family members of victims of fake encounters be paid Rs 50 lakh in compensation and criminal proceedings be initiated against guilty officials. They also demanded provisioning of housing and drinking water facilities for all households in Nagada village.
Leaders of CPI (M-L) Liberation, SUCI (C) and AIFB had also joined the delegation, which also apprised the Governor of the situation of tribals.