Archive for the ‘Orissa’ Category

Orissa State seeks more funds to contain ultras

February 18, 2007

State seeks more funds to contain ultras
Sunday February 18 2007 10:02 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The State Government has decided to seek more financial assistance from the Centre to tackle the problem of growing Left-wing extremism in Orissa.

Among others things, the State Government would raise the issue of Central funding for Vijayawada-Ranchi highway which would go a long way in containing the Maoists activities. The highway would pass through 12 tribal dominated districts.

The Government has made an estimate of Rs 184 crore for the road project during the 2006-07. Besides, the demands include more funds for training of security personnel and modernisation of the police force. The Government has already sought two more platoons of Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) following increased Naxalite violence during the recent months. Besides, the State Government would also ask for inclusion of two more districts in security related expenditure (SRE).

These issues would be raised by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at the first meeting of the empowered group of Ministers (E-GoM) on naxalism, headed by Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil, in New Delhi on February 19.

Among others, the meeting is likely to be attended by Finance Minister P Chidambaram, Law Minister H R Bhardwaj and other Union Ministers, besides Chief Ministers of over half a dozen affected states including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar and Chhattisgarh.

The meeting will discuss all issue relating to Left wing extremism. The Centre has already suggested streamlining of inter-state operations against Naxalites by use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), sharing intelligence and fine tuning action plan.


Ultras, police exchange fire: Minor injured

December 31, 2006

Ultras, police exchange fire: Minor injured
Saturday December 30 2006 12:10 IST

MALKANGIRI: A seven-year-old girl, Basanti Madkami, sustained bullet injuries during an exchange of fire between police and Maoists in Jinelguda forest area under Motu police limits on Friday.

She has been admitted to the district headquarters hospital. On a tip-off, the cops reached the forest and raided a Maoist camp.

Around 200 rounds of fire were exchanged between police and Maoists. Later, the ultras fled the spot. Some Maoist uniforms were seized.


Maoists on the prowl, cops had a tough time

December 31, 2006

Maoists on the prowl, cops had a tough time
Saturday December 30 2006 12:11 IST

BHUBANESWAR: It was a year law-enforcers of the State would like to forget. Kalinga Nagar bloodshed, one among the string of tragedies, sent ominous signals for Orissa. Or was it just for Orissa Police?

If the men in khaki were in for some serious battering after the firing that claimed lives of 13 tribals in Orissa’s emerging industrial hub in Jajpur, it only got worse afterward.

Chairman of Rairakhole block Harekrushna Pradhan was shot dead when a police officer was ‘aiming’ at a wild bear in a forest. The incident led to Sambalpur bandh and the State Government had to order an RDC probe.

On the wee hours of March 24, more than 500 Left Wing extremists swooped on an OSAP camp at R Udaygiri, gunned down three policemen before freeing the inmates of a sub-jail.

While retreating, they took an SI and the jail superintendent hostage, virtually cocking a snook at anti-Naxal operations. It was not before 11 days that the two officials were set free by the extremists.

Entirely on their own terms. Little over two months later, ultras shot dead the officer-in-charge of Motu Police Station Durga Charan Mishra in a local market during the daytime.

The spate of Naxal violence prompted the State Government, so far reluctant, to impose a ban on seven outfits including the CPI (Maoist) on June 9.

But the ban, as experience showed, never stopped the Red radicals. They were on the offensive as usual. They shot dead a village headman in Malkangiri on October 13 and two days later, three locomotives were torched at Tampardihi in Sundargarh district.

However, the worst, was yet to happen. Jaswinder Singh, DIG of South Western range, was killed while on his way to a media conference on October 23.

At first, police termed it a handiwork of Maoists, but it turned out to be an ‘accidental firing’ by one of his personal security officers.

How it happened and under what circumstances is still being probed by Crime Branch Police. Seven days later, Naxals gunned down Bandhu Behera, a trader, in Malkangiri who they termed a police informer.

Similarly Baideswarpur, a small village under Tangi police limits in Cuttack, hit the headlines when a police constable allegedly killed his wife, son and a daughter. Orissa Police possibly could not have had it any worse.

But security personnel had their share of success. Deogarh Police pushed the ultras on the defensive. In two encounters, the cops gunned down at least nine cadres of the CPI (Maoist) leaving their local unit in tatters.


Encounter with Maoists, high alert sounded

December 28, 2006

Encounter with Maoists, high alert sounded
Wednesday December 27 2006 11:44 IST

BARIPADA: Police on Tuesday sounded a “high alert” in areas of Mayurbhanj district bordering Jharkhand and West Bengal after an encounter with Maoists on Monday.

Police said the Special Operations Group (SOG), engaged in combing operation, had an hour-long encounter with five Maoist rebels at Ghatiduba in Sarisapal gram panchayat, about 55 km from here.

The SOG team, especially trained in anti-Naxal strategies, launched the combing operation after receiving a tip-off that the Maoist rebels, in their uniforms, were moving in and around the village.

Mayurbhanj SP Ravi Kant said the Maoist activists fired first at the force which fired back. He said at least two Maoist rebels had been injured in the encounter.

The Maoists, however, taking advantage of darkness disappeared into the dense cover, taking the two injured companions with them.

The SP said the combing operations had been intensified and the Central Reserve Police Force, Armed Police Reserve and the Orissa State Armed Police had joined the SOG in the operations.

Kant, who rushed to the spot, said some incriminating documents had been seized by the force from the place of encounter. These included a container of explosives, kit bags containing Maoist literatures in Hindi and Bengali, VHF wireless mode equipment and magnetic compass.

Meanwhile, wildlife lovers have expressed apprehensions that the Maoists might sneak into the Simlipal Tiger Reserve (STR) and make it their hub.


Cops destroy Naxal camp in Orissa

December 26, 2006

Cops destroy Naxal camp
Monday December 25 2006 11:24 IST

MALKANGIRI: A Special Operation Group (SOG) team destroyed a Maoist camp in Puluguda reserve forest under Kalimela police limits on Sunday afternoon. The security personnel seized huge amount of detonators, transistor systems and Maoist literature from the camp, about 18 km from Kalimela.

A team led by Malkangiri SP Himanshu Lall detected the camp and an exchange of fire ensued. While the ultras fired 50 rounds, police fired 200 rounds in retaliation.

There was no report of any injury or casualty. Lall said, a VHF set too was recovered from the camp. This is the second such camp to be destroyed.

A couple of days back, police had gunned down two ultras at Tendimetla and nabbed two other Naxal cadres.

Two Maoists killed in Orissa

December 23, 2006

Two Maoists killed in Orissa
Saturday December 23 2006 00:00 IST


MALKANGIRI: At least two Maoists were killed and two injured in a shootout with police in Orissa’s Malkangiri district on Friday afternoon, officials said.

Acting on a tip-off, a special party of the local police and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) raided a Maoist camp in a forest near the Motu police station in the afternoon where the rebels were holding a meeting, a senior district police official told IANS.

The Maoists opened fired on the party which retaliated and shot two ultras dead, leaving at least two injured, he said.

Police suspect the death of more Maoists in the shootout although only two bodies were recovered from the site, he said.


Guerrilla week puts cops on alert

December 4, 2006

Guerrilla week puts cops on alert

Statesman News Service
MALKANGIRI, Dec 3: The People’s Guerrilla Army Week (PGAW) celebrations and suspected influx of radicals from neighbouring Andhra Pradesh and Chattisgarh have caused concern among local people, particularly after the brutal killing of a person a couple of days ago.

Sibananda Jena (28) was killed by the Maoists at midnight two days back as the radicals suspected him to be a police informer. It is suspected that a huge number of bombs and explosive materials have been planted in the interior pockets and the state highway-25 in view of the celebration of PGA Week.

Today, both the government and private buses remained at Malkangiri bus-stand without plying to Motu, Kalimela and MV 79, the Naxalite-infested pockets. The Motu-Malkangiri section of the state highway wore a deserted look as heavy vehicles remained off road and very few four-wheelers took the “risk”. As many as 35 labourers destined for Bhadranchal area were held up at Malkangiri bus-stand for the driver of the bus refused to go to Motu town.

Some individuals were taking utmost precaution as they are suspected to be on the hit-list of the ultras. Mr Oieka Jaga, the sarapanch of Malavaram grama panchayat, is now camping in Malkangiri district headquarters as he is said to be on the list, while Mr Kantaru Pradhan, a BJD activist of Vejangiwada village, is also staying put at the district headquarters for the same reason.
The cops who had nabbed 18 Naxalites in Gobindapalli Ghat on 15 January, 2004 are also reportedly on the target list as is Marko Raja alias Sekhar, a Maoist who had surrendered in June 2004, said reliable sources. The Malkangiri district police has stepped up its vigil to avert any untoward incident during the celebrations by the PGA.

Radicals assemble

There has been a spurt in the Naxalite activities in the blocks of Gosani and Rayagada and there are indications that the radicals are congregating under the leadership of a CPI (Maoist) leader who is on the top wanted list of the Andhra Pradesh police, SNS adds from Paralakhemundi.

It is apprehended that the radicals are planning to make an impact during the Peoples Liberation Guerilla Army Week or more commonly called as the PGA Week. Over the last couple of days, there has been a concentration and assembling of radicals, especially in the villages of Batasiripur, Uppalada and Sata Mile which had been the hub of Maoist activities in the past when it raised its ugly head in Gajapati .

While police are keeping their fingers crossed, the Naxalite leaders are planning to gather local support by raking up issues such as corruption and land disputes. The campaign to garner local support has reportedly been based on assurances that all the landless will be distributed lands and huge land holdings of influential people and temple property will be targeted.

Cabinet Secy to review anti-Naxal measures

December 2, 2006

Cabinet Secy to review anti-Naxal measures

BHUBANESWAR: Cabinet Secretary BK Chaturvedi, who is arriving on a two-day visit to Orissa on Saturday, will review the reform initiatives taken by the State Government to strengthen the delivery system and steps taken to contain left wing extremism.

The review meeting at Raj Bhavan would be attended by Chief Secretary Ajit Kumar Tripathy, Director General of Police Amarananda Patnaik and secretaries of 15 departments.

Sources said the State Government would reiterate its demands for inclusion of Jajpur, Sambalpur and Deogarh districts under the security related expenditure scheme, deployment of two more battalions in Naxalite affected districts and more funds from the Centre under the police modernisation scheme.

Vedanta University and its Real Aims – Criminal Mastermind Anil Agarwal’s land grab scheme

November 21, 2006

Vedanta University and its Real Aims –
Criminal Mastermind Anil Agarwal’s
land grab scheme

Criminal Anil Agarwal

the MNCs and Indian Corporate houses are showing excessive interest in Orissa ‘development’. The Government at the centre and in Orissa, which are committed to serve the imperialists and their compradors, are giving full momentum to their plunderous invasion through their policies of globalisation. Every day, our people are witnessing the model of ‘development’ thurst upon them by the rulers. They are experiencing their consequences. They are opposing these policies in various forms. The ever tightening noose of imperialist plunder is all embracing. With the recent WTO agreements, the imperialist penetration into the service sector is gaining momentum. This is depriving the people even the minimum services.

In this background, Anil Agrawal, the chairman of Vedanta Foundation has come on the scene with an idea of establishing ‘ Vedanta University ’ in Orissa. Not only this, on July 20, 2006, the Orissa Government and Vedanta Foundation signed a MoU in regard to this. It is a Rs. 15,000 crore project. Anil Agrawal alone will contribute Rs. 4,500 crores for this project. Anil Agrawal boasted that there is no profit motive behind his idea of this university. He assured that he earned enough wealth through his business and industrial activities. It was only a strong desire to establish an university of highest standards in the world and an abode of knowledge which can stand in the rank of Stansford university in the US which inspired him to this move.

Thus he has shown how a boundless magnanimity and urge for country’s progress can overflow from the heart of a big industrialist like him, and projecting himself as a distinct example for this. He even boasted that world’s wealthiest person like Bill Gates could not show that kind of large-heartedness which he has shown to a good cause. In Orissa, the Chief Minister, ministers, bureaucrats, a section of intellectuals showered all praise on him. They lauded the proposed university as a great achievement and a big leap towards progress for Orissa. But no one, who is really interested in the progress of Orissa, must be swept by this kind of orchestrated propaganda. They must arrive at decisions on the basis of facts.

Main Features of Vedanta University

The details that appeared in the media, in MoU signed by the Orissa government and the Vedanta Foundation, and in the talk of Anil Agrawal are as follows:

– This University will be set up in the area between Puri and Konark near Nuvai river in Puri district of Orissa. It is said, the university presently requires 8,000 and later 2,000 acres more. Thus together, it requires 10,000 acres land.

– In course of time, a small city, which will eventually be transformed into a satellite city, will come up at a 10-15 KM distance.

– Rs. 15,000 crores are required to establish the University. About Rs. 4,500 crores needed for the completion of first phase will be given by Anil Agrawal as “donation”. Rest of the money will be pooled from the students who take admission in the University. The University maintenance expenses too are to be borne by the students.

– The University will be managed by an autonomous council.

– All the work connected to the setting up of the University will be completed by 2025. The admission for students will begin in 2008. In all 1,00,000 students will study here.

– It will be a multipurpose University. It will be a ‘ Knowledge City ’. From sports to all branches of education and research will be available here. The entire educational programme is carried on in accordance with a long term plan. Liberal arts, economy, environmental science, etc. will be taught here. In due course, the facilities will be provided here for research in information technology, communications, health, rural economy, mechanical engineering and all other branches. It will develop, on a long term basis, researchers, scholars and intellectuals.

– It will have links with various industries on the line of Stansford University in US (it is having links with more than 12,000 companies and these companies are having their research units in the Stansford University ). These companies will have their research units in Vedanta University . It also maintains relations with the government.

– It will produce Nobel lauretes, gold medallists in sports, top ranking footballers and champions. It will produce doctors, engineers of highest order and the leaders who can efficiently administer the country.

– Only those with merits of world level will be given admission in this University. The system of reservation is not applicable here. There will be no special benefits for students from Orissa.

– Anil Agrawal assured, once this University comes up, Orissa will occupy a special place in the world map. Henceforth, one can compare Orissa not with MP and Gujarat, but only with France and Japan .

– The Orissa government will provide the necessary infrastructure like water, electricity, etc. needed by the University. It will lay an Express Road connecting Bhubaneshwar Airport to the Vedanta University .

Land the University Swallows

The land that this University require is quite large, i.e., 10,000 acres, is quite huge. Let us compare it with the land occupied by some of the leading educational institutions in our country.

IIT Kharagpur 2100

IIT Chennai 625

IIT Delhi 320

IIT Kanpur 1055

IIT Guwahati 712

JNU Delhi 1000

Hyderabad University 2300

Benaras Hindu University 1300

In terms of land area, these Universities are dwarfs as compared to Vedanta University . The Utkal University , which is called Orissa’s modern educational centre, occupies only 400 acres of land. At this rate, Vedanta University alone swallow 25 Utkal Universities. A University does not require such a huge amount of land. The intentions behind the proposed acquisition of 10000 acres of land for Vedanta University are, therefore, questionable.


The state government has agreed to supply 11 crore litres of water to this University every day. Why such a huge amount of water is required by it is a question. The municipal authorities (Puri town) are supplying 2 crore 30 lakh and 50 thousand litres of water every day to Puri town. It means, the government proposes to supply 5 times more water to the Vedanta University .

If we assume that one person consumes 80 litres of water every day, the water proposed to be supplied to Vedanta University each day is enough for 13 lakh and 50 thousand people. Puri district’s population is 15,21,682 (as per 2001 census and Orissa State ’s Economic Survey for 2004-05, See Annex 12). At this rate the water Vedanta University is expected to consume every day is equal to the water consumed by 90 percent of entire population of Puri district. The University will bring much pressure on the water resources in Puri district.


It is indicated that this University requires 150-600 Megawatt electricity. According to this, the University alone will consume 10-40 per cent electricity consumes by the entire state. The generation of electricity by all the hydel projects in the state (Hirakund, Rengeli, Upper Kolab, Upper Indrawati and Machkhand) taken together comes to 684.21 Mega watt. The two thermal projects together generate 584.84 MW electricity (Orissa State Economic Survey). If the Vedanta University requires 600 MW electricity, almost the entire electricity generated by the hydel projects will have to be diverted to it. This will create a serious deficit in electricity in Orissa.

People Lose Lands and other Means of Livelihood

The area chosen for Vedanta University is a rich, healthy sea coast. The people here live on agriculture, fishing and other rural professions. Once the University is allowed to swallow 10,000 acres, the people depending on land and agriculture-related professions lose their means of livelihood. All the promises of state government as well as Vedanta Foundation about paying market rate to the lands is a big deception. Here the lands are under different types of ownership, like, private land, mutt land, government land, banzar land and grazing land. Once the people agree, in principle, to part with the lands, they would be at mercy of government and Vedanta Foundation.

There is every possibility that the government will take shelter under so many alibis to deny the payment of rates to the real and rightful owners of lands. The people of Orissa who were displaced from their lands at various times and in several areas have horrifying experiences in this regard. The life turns too pathetic if the people in the Puri and Konark area lose their lands and other means of livelihood. There is no need what-so-ever for the peasants and poor of other professions to sacrifice all their means of livelihood for the sake of rich-Indian as well as foreign.

Real Aims of University

The Vedanta University is a castle in the sky which takes away the education and knowledge to such height that even the children of higher middle class cannot reach it. The “meritorious students of world standards” about whom Anil Agrawal talks about can be none but the children of rich. Healthy and sumptuous feast of education and research is served and fed by golden spoons here only to these ‘fortunates”. The magnificent facilities arranged for this purpose are what is called ‘ Vedanta University ’.

This University is a move towards giving a practical shape to the ideas of those who want the education and research to remain in the control and service of the rich. Like Stansford University the job of this university is to produce the spare-parts and machines in a human form in accordance with the specifications and needs of MNCs and Indian corporate houses. It proposes to link itself with the companies and government only to perform these responsibilities. At a time when the imperialist plunder is being imposed more widely and more systematically in the name of globalisation, there is a need for them to produce the intellectuals, leaders and administrators having the ideas, skills and capabilities necessary for this.

This will provide educational and research facilities for foreign students at a lesser cost as compared to the costs in their countries. There is no relation what-so-ever to the plan of this university to the urge and aspirations of our people for an independent and all round development of our country. In reality, this university is aimed at frustrating such urge and attempts and producing the intellectual tools who can frustrate such urge and attempts.

Behind Agrawal’s ‘Magnanimity’

Anil Agrawal began as scrap dealer and, with in a short span of time, rose to the level of a big capitalist. He is from Bihar, but stays in London . He now owns the properties of about Rs. 14,542 crores. According to Sunday Times, he occupies 28th place in the list of richest in the world. He is the chairman of Vedanta Foundation. His attempt to set up an Alumina Factory at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district of Orissa is encountering serious opposition and protest from people. This company was given the name ‘Vedanta Alumina Company’, but in reality, it is another name of MNC called “Sterlite Company”. This change in name was a part of deceptive move to make it acceptable for the Indian people.

His business and industrial activities are spread in other countries also. The fact that some of his companies are black listed has come to light in the deliberations in the Orissa state assembly. This company together with the state government unleashed a reign of white terror against the people who were protesting against the setting up of Alumina Factory. This factory is opposed by all the democratic and patriotic forces because it only causes loot and destruction of precious natural resources, destruction of environment, dries up underground water resources, deprives people from the means of livelihood and turns the entire area uninhabitable. The owners of Alumina company did not stop at unleashing repression against the people. The company goons chased Shukru Manzhi, leader of people’s protest movement, using Jeeps and crushed him to death in a most dastardly manner under their wheels.

Anil Agrawal who has a history of this kind flocked to Puri-Konark area taking the incarnation of a new Nagarjuna (he claims that Nalanda University is his ideal for this Vedanta University ). He is offering as “donation” a small part of the wealth he amassed by plundering people. All his sweet talk about his burning desire to establish a knowledge treasure house of world standards in Orissa is nothing but a beautiful mask for a colossal deception he is aiming at committing in future. The money he offers to give in the name of spreading education and knowledge is nothing but a disguise form of investment.

The name University is only a license to enter this area with no hindrance and in a favourable atmosphere. Once the Vedanta Foundation succeeds in this attempts, the land, infrastructure, etc., which are many times valuable to the money ‘donated’ (invested) would come under its control and utilisation. Once a foot hold is gained, it can carry on and enlarge its activities through and under the cover of University. Anil Agrawal has ideas and proposals to establish a steel plant in Orissa with an investment of Rs. 12,500 crores and of 50 lakhs tons production capacity. The land proposed to be acquired, the infrastructure proposed to built up and other resources and sea coast in Puri-Konark area may be used to put this idea into practice. A SEZ (Special Economic Zone) is expected to come up in this area. There should be no doubt that Vedanta Foundation will reap the benefit that come with it.

The Puri-Konark sea coast is most valuable tourist area. This area becoming a centre for the activities of MNCs, researches, etc. all in the name of international university and being turned in to a special, autonomous and secluded zone is wrought with dangerous consequences for our country. The cultural environment this university and other activities bring with them will have a bad influence on the cultural and economic life in the area. There is a danger of this area becoming a potential area for imperialists nefarious designs. Thus this University is an instrument for many declared and undeclared designs which are harmful to the interests of out country and people.

People’s Fight Against the ‘Development’ Touted by Rulers

Already, the people have come in to action opposing the setting up of Vedanta University . The people of Puri-Konark area are not prepared to sacrifice their lands and other means of livelihood for the sake this of university which is sought to be forced upon them by the rulers with a clear aim of pushing them away from the opportunities for education and with questionable design. The people can imagine how frightening their life will become once they lose even whatever minimum means of livelihood they are having.

In the last two decades period, the Congress as well as the present BJD-led NDA governments had taken the lives of dozens of people in their despicable attempts to pave the way for the loot of precious natural and human resources by the MNCs and Indian corporate houses in Orissa. They had tasted enough of people’s blood. The massacre of 13 adivasis by police on January 2, 2006 in Kalinganagar was only a recent incident. The government have displaced people in several areas. They have devastated the economic, social and cultural life which the people had built through generations of toil. These bitter experiences are before the people of Puri district.

The rulers in our country are in the service of imperialism in looting the valuable mineral wealth, sea, water, forest, land and human resources – all in the name of economic and industrial development. They are providing the imperialists and their compradors with modern and well-built infrastructure and markets. Thus, they are, in reality, destroying whatever the possibilities available for India for an independent and all round development – all in the name of “development”. They are closing the doors for the overwhelming masses of our people to education – all in the name of spreading education. Turning education in to a big business is only a part of this. They are, at the same time, depriving the people from the minimum means of livelihood and pushing them in to a helpless state to build most modern, well furnished and luxurious castles of education for a handful of rich.

There is no way for our people other than carrying on an organised and united struggle against these policies. The ongoing struggle of people of Orissa in general and the people of Puri district in particular against the establishment of Vedanta University is only a part of this just democratic and patriotic struggle.


Naxalism growing, says Opposition in Orissa. Banning of Maoist outfits

November 15, 2006

Naxalism growing, says Opposition in Orissa.Banning of Maoist outfits
has backfired

Tuesday November 14 2006 11:43 IST

BHUBANESWAR: The winter session of the Assembly got off to a stormy start on Monday with the Opposition members disrupting the question hour criticising the State Government for failing to tackle the growing Maoist activities in Orissa.

The issue cropped up when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was replying to a question from Sitakant Mohapatra (Congress) on the increasing Naxalite activities. Speaker Maheswar Mohanty had to adjourn the House for an hour as the Opposition members perched themselves in the well raising slogans.

When the situation did not improve, the House was adjourned for lunch.

Not satisfied with the Chief Minister’s answer, Deputy Leader of Congress Narasingh Mishra wanted to know the reasons for growing activities of the Left-wing extremists. The Naxalites gained more teeth after the State Government banned the CPI (Maoist) and its six outfits, Mishra said and demanded a reply from the Chief Minister.

Naveen said the State Government was following a two-pronged strategy to tackle the problem. Besides strong police action, the State Government has also initiated several steps for the socio-economic development of Naxalite-affected areas, he said and added that the impact of Left-wing extremism in Orissa is much less than in neighbouring States of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand.

Stating that 33 civilians and 36 police personnel have lost their lives since 2000 in Naxalite violence in Orissa, Naveen said the State Government had taken several pro-active measures on the security and development fronts to contain their activities.

But the extremist activities in Orissa cannot be treated in isolation as it is a national problem posing a challenge to the internal security of the entire country, he added.