PUCL Bulletin, Feb., 2001

Maikanch Report: Use of lethal force against unarmed adivasis
-- By Guru Mohanty
Convenor, Orissa PUCL

Also see, A letter by PUCL National President

I met the SP and Collector, Rayagada on 22nd Dec. 2000 also visited the office of OPDSC, the injured (five in numbers) in Rayagada hospital. Found police guarding them. In a tent, in front of the ward, in which the injured are under treatment. The OPDSC office is ransacked by miscreants who are supporters of N. Bhaskar Rao, the local BJP leader. As reported, t5he office was first attacked and the workers were assaulted and on the 2nd occasion on the same night i.e. on 15.12., they broke open the lock and destroyed the office and property over rupees 8 lacks but police has not taken any action nor is able to arrest any one. The Collector had no time as he was otherwise busy and the S.P. did not go to discuss matters much.

On 23rd morning I along with B.P. Rath; is a retired Prof in English went to Kashipur Via- Tikiri. We found police deployed at Tikiri. Met the Officer-in-charge of Kashipur P.S. It was ascertained from him that N. Bhaskar Rao of Rayagada and Krushna Mohapatra of Kashipur wanted police help on 3rd Dec. for organizing meeting at Nuasahi to which the police refused to provide police help. They again wanted police help on 14.12. and on 15.12. for the said purpose but proceed to Nuasahi through Maikanch village on 15.12.2000 with their supporters and pressmen; despite police refusal to provide assistance. They chose that path though second path to Nuasahi is available. They were misbehaved at Maikanch chhak when they applied force to cross an adivasi meeting. An F.I.R. was lodged not by the misbehaved leaders but by another person; after the F.I.R. was drafted by a lawyer of Rayagada. As reported by police. Three truck loads of people wanted to attack. Agragami on 15.12. evening but the police prohibited them. But miscreants played mischief by cutting phone line and removing articles. The police cunningly says that such was committed by ordinary thieves. Agragami was provided police help but withdrew on the same day. It was also ascertained that the Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Southern Division was present during the period; in the area.

The named local leaders sought police help on both days but proceeded to Maikanch on 15.12. appears fishy. They being supporters of B.J.D. in power must have got assurance from high level, before proceeding to Nuasahi through Maikanch. The hidden assurance caused all damages and threat but no one is arrested so far.

The police did not arrest any one named in F.I.R. lodged on 15.12.night and hence that proves it self that it was a pre-plan firing. On 16.12.2000 the police went in 2 van and 3 Jeep loads of police with magistrate and proceeded to Maikanch at about 1.30 P.M. after the Circle Inspector of Police reached Kashipur from Rayagada, as it appeared. So it was a planned police action and the C.I., and the R.D.C. to support the local B.J.D. leaders who are henchmen of the Finance Minister, conspired the killing in order to terrorise the people of the area who are fighting for their survival. As reported, the C.I. was earlier posted in the constituency of the Finance Minister and the R. D. C. being the, Southern Division Commissioner, must be supporting the Minister's hencemen to oppease him. It appears to be a big conspiracy and the foreign compainites, their supported local leaders, the police, the R.D.C. and above all the Minister, are all hand-in-gloves in killing the Advasies to terrorize the people to frustrate the 20th Rafkana road block. Now the police takes a peculiar plea of self defence. It is all done in support of the foreign companies in connivance with bureaucrats, police and local political persons and their hoodlums supported by the Minister. Here the killing was the sole aim in support of the foreign Companies.

The aid is also to diminish the gravity of Adivasi movement making the NGOs scapegoats for better propagandas as if they are the kingpins of the adivasi movement: which is a negative way of terrorising people.

No official enquiry can serves the purpose except a judicial enquiry with people's participation which may reveal many a wrong and the whole dispute shall be solved, if the un seen bauxite extraction Mou is cancelled.

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