Severe police repression has been unleashed on the tribals in Narayanpatna block of Koraput district of Orissa.
For decades, the tribal people of this area have been the victims of ruthless exploitation and oppression, at the hands of the forest officials, the administration, police, land mafia etc. Their traditional land and source of livelihood has been forcibly taken away from them. Intimidation, rape, murder and other forms of victimization by the police and state officials is regularly practiced, to crush their resistance to this exploitation and loss of land and livelihood. The tribals are being labeled ‘maoists’ in an attempt to justify the repression against them.
On November 20, police fired indiscriminately on tribal demonstrators, in which two activists were killed. More than 63 activists were arrested. The protesting tribals were beaten up, the women were assaulted and their homes and crops were destroyed. Platoons of CRPF, RPF and special police are being deployed to crush the tribals and their struggle. On December 10, a team of nine women activists visiting the area was attacked by landlord goons in the presence of the police, with some of them sustaining injuries.
MEL condemns with deep anger, the cruel exploitation of the tribal people of Narayanpatna, their forcible deprivation from their land and means of livelihood as well as the severe state repression unleashed to crush their resistance. MEL calls upon the working class and toiling people to raise their voices of protest against such exploitation and repression of the tribal people in different parts of our country.