Tribals seek their share of Indravati

NABARANGPUR: Tribals of Nabarangpur have accused the Centre and State Government of depriving them of irrigation facilities. Putting forth their woes at a meeting organised by Akhil Bharat Adivasi Vikash Parishad here recently they said though most dams of Upper Indravati Project have been constructed in Nabarangpur, the water is diverted to other districts.

The Parishad has demanded that provisions be made so that water from the project benefits Nabarangpur. Led by Nabarangpur district unit president of the Parishad and legislator Sadan Naik, they have also demanded to stop the operation of two out of four power generating turbines of the project and set up a hydro-electricity project at Deopali to provide irrigation to the district.

Flaying the Excise Department for failing to check the brewing and sale of liquor, the Parishad sought a complete ban on liquor in tribal areas. It said for revenue, the Government should not mar lives of tribals. The Parishad asked the State Government either to streamline the Excise Department or abolish it besides handing over excise and police powers to tribal women who have been fighting against the liquor menace. The parishad also alleged that government land is being given to non-tribals in the district, in gross violation of constitutional provisions.

The Parishad urged the Government to protect the reserve forests in the district and evacuate persons who have encroached upon it. It also sought that revenue collected from sale of forest products be utilised for developmental activities in tribal areas only.

Alleging that persons belonging to other communities have obtained the ST certificate by changing their surnames, the parishad demanded the Government and district administration to constitute a special squad to investigate such manipulations.

Among others, Member of Parliament Parsuram Majhi, former minister Rabisingh Majhi, former Rajya Sabha member Bhagavan Majhi, zilla parishad president Gopinath Pradhani and Raighar block chairperson Kheduram Jhankad were present.

Tribals, Bangla settlers clash over land: 1 killed

NOWRANGPUR/BHUBANESWAR: In yet another outbreak of violence in South Orissa over land dispute between tribals and Bangladeshi infiltrators, one tribal was killed and 12 others were injured, three of them seriously, at Raigarh in Nowrangpur district on Sunday. Twelve Bangladeshis have been arrested in this connection.

Raigarh and adjoining areas continue to be tense following the incident. Armed police have been deployed and senior police and district administration officials have rushed to Raigarh to monitor the situation.

Inspector-General of Police (Operations) Anup Patnaik told this website's newspaper that some Bangladeshi infiltrators settled in Kumuli village in Raigarh block went to cultivate a piece of land in neighbouring Jamadora village on Sunday afternoon. Local tribals of Jamadora, who were cultivating the land, were asked by the Bangladeshis to vacate which the former resisted.

Meanwhile, police reached the spot and averted a clash between them. An hour later, when the tribals were returning home, a group of about 200 Bangladeshis pelted stones and attacked them with lathis. Though the tribals retaliated, they were overpowered and one of them, Kailash Singh Gond, died on the spot. The injured have been admitted to the district headquarters hospital.

Sunday's incident was the fallout of a long-standing dispute between tribals and illegal Bangladesh settlers over cultivation and encroachment of forest land. The main reason is stated to be the tribals' opposition to illegal activities of the Bangladeshis and inaction on the part of the district administration in this regard.

Besides Jamadora, police presence has also been augmented in the neighbouring villages to avert any retaliation by the tribals.

Nowrangpur collector Usha Padhi, superintendent of police Ghanashyam Parida and additional district magistrate Purna Chandra Sagar are camping at Raigarh while deputy inspector-general of police, South Western Range, Bidhu Bhusan Mishra rushed to the district on Monday.

This is the second such incident in recent times in South Orissa. A few months back, tension gripped Malkangiri following a clash between illegal settlers and tribals.

A large number of Bangladeshis have settled in Southern Orissa districts of Nowrangpur and Malkangiri. While many have obtained citizenship, a majority of them are illegal settlers and are engaged in raising cash crops like maize and cotton.

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Published on: June 27, 2001
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