Friday, July 24, 2009

Naxal roots ruled out at Koraput

;Statesman News Service

BHUBANESWAR, 23 JULY: A fact finding team, which returned from trouble-torn Narayanpatna block of Koraput district today said that the tribal movement has nothing to do with Maoist upsurge and any attempt by the administration to repress the movement may lead to further violence.

The team comprising Mr Prafulla Samantara, of Lok Shakti Abhijan, Lingaraj, Mr Mahendra Parida Satish of PUCL, Rayagada and others said the state must identify tribal land under possession of non-tribals and restore tribal land within a timeframe. Organise camp courts to dispose land disputes, hold dialogue with tribal outfits of Narayanpatna and Bondhugaon etc.

They urged the government to desist from causing
displacement for setting up the Cobra battalion in Koraput district. Police repression and deployment of forces at the expense of tribal land is being resented by people, they observed.
Forest Rights Act 2006 should be implemented on war footing and deployment of forces in schools and colleges must stop immediately so that children do not suffer in terms of education, they said.
Giving details of their findings, they said the tribal population in Narayanpatna block is over 31,000 which is 82 per cent of the total population. But 85 per cent of tribal land is being enjoyed by the minority non-tribal sections.
The fact finding committee also came across reports of police repression against tribal farmers opposing displacement in Koraput for the proposed Cobra battalion project.

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