Reported by Ranjan Rath
Rayagada, Oct 27:
The Odisha Lok Sangram Manch and the Niyamgiri Suraksha Manch today took out a joint protest rally in Muniguda in Odisha’s Rayagada district to protest the arrest of Haribandhu Kadraka, a tribal leader who has been fighting for the rights of the tribal people of the district for years.
Hundreds of tribal people from Niyamgiri hill and its periphery areas joined the rally, which started from Munikhol and culminated at Muniguda town. The protesters held a public meeting in front of the Muniguda police station.
Addressing the meeting, president of the Odisha Lok Sangram Manch Kusanath Pradhan and president of Niyamgiri Suraksha Manch Lingaraj Azad demanded unconditional release of Kadraka with immediate effect.
“We have demanded immediate release of Kadraka. If the state government fails to meet our demand, we would intensify the agitation”, they warned.
Talking to OST, CPI (ML) national spokesman Bhala Chandra Sarangi said the police have tried to silence a vocal rights activist like Haribandhu by arresting him and branding him a Maoist.
“Not only Haribandhu, there are several other tribals who have fallen victim to the police repression here”, he added.
Apprehending law and order situation, the district administration had deployed four platoons of armed police in the area.
It may be mentioned here that the Muniguda police had arrested Haribandhu, former president of Odisha Lok Sangram Manch, on October 20 this year on the charge of planting landmines at a culvert at Sarabali village, and later forwarded him to the court.