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Jail bharo by tribals: Sec 144 clamped in Odisha’s Rourkela

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Reported by Malay Ray
Rourkela, May 14:

Apprehending law and order situation in the wake of the jail bharo agitation launched by the Sundargarh  District Adibasi Mulabasi Bachao Sangh (SDAMBS), the Sundargarh district administration in Odisha today clamped prohibitory orders under Section 144 from Nuagaon to Panposh bridge on the outskirts of Rourkela.

jail bharo in rourkela

The tribal outfit, led by Biramitrapur MLA George Tirkey, had given the call for the jail bharo stir in protest against the arrest of some tribals by the police on the charge of demolition of a compound wall of a company.

“The arrest of the tribals by the police is grossly unfair. We won’t tolerate this,” Tirkey said while condemning the action of the district administration in clamping prohibitory orders.

Earlier in the day, hundreds of tribals, led by Tirkey, gathered on a field at Chikatmati area where they had a meeting.

The Rourkela police had conducted a flag march last evening in the troubled areas under Brahmani Tarang police station limits.

As informed by TK Jena, DSP, Zone II, 15 platoons of police have been deployed in the area to ward off any untoward incident.

The tribal outfit has been protesting the handover of their homestead and arable land to the land mafia and corporate agents by the state government.

“As per rules, the state government cannot and under no circumstances transfer the land of the tribals in the scheduled areas. Considering that Sundargarh is a scheduled district, the government should have refrained from such illegal activities which it has not done. If the government continues such practices, there would be a bloodbath in the district in the coming days”, Tirkey had pointed out.

Citing the instance of Chikatmati panchayat of Sananuagaon revenue village under Lathikata
block, he said the former tehsildar of Lathikata on November 11, 2011, to change the nature of the land, had handed over 16.5 acres of barren land and 2.08 acres of scheduled land to Industrial Development Corporation of Odisha (IDCO)  which transferred 4.54 acres of land to the Veritas
Corporation.

“In spite of the vehement opposition by the tribals, the company constructed its compound wall over the land in the presence of armed police. As the helpless tribals sought the help of the police the latter threatened them of dire consequence if they oppose the compound wall construction.

Enraged, the irate tribals had demolished the compound wall of the company a couple of weeks ago.  Later, police arrested 20 tribals.

Protesting the highhandedness of the police, the Mahasangh had warned that it would launch jail bharo stir if their fellow mates were not released by the police.

As decided, the tribals today congregated at Chikatmati today.