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Dhinkia: Three more anti-Jindal activists arrested by the police!

Villagers approach the police to complain against the series of arrest and demand a compensation of ₹ 40 lakh

Sabrangindia 23 Jun 2022

Dhinkia: Three more anti-Jindal activists arrested by the police!

At least three more activists were arrested by June 22, 2022 evening for leading the anti-Jindal movement against a developmental project near Dhinkia village of Jagatsinghpur, Odisha. Already over-60 arrests and bail releases of activists have taken place over the last six months.

Seven leaders of the anti-Jindal movement including main leader Debendra Swain have been arrested by the local police so far. This barrage of arrests continued on Wednesday with the arrest of protester Dilip Swain. Protester Kuni Malick was arrested on June 20 and protester Sumanta Naik was arrested on June 14. Overall, Movement Spokesperson Prashant Paikray estimated 72 criminal cases against a thousand people. This is aside from the over-400 allegedly fabricated criminal cases pending against 2,500 people during the Anti-POSCO Movement.

Enraged by this systematic oppression, Dhinkia villagers approached the Odisha High Court alleging that the government is trying to implicate activists and residents in various criminal cases. Further the plea said that the police worked with local goons to terrorise locals asserting their fundamental and legal rights to the forest land. Therefore, they demanded that authorities pay a compensation of ₹40 lakh to each petitioner for damaging their houses and beetle vineyards.

Why are villagers and police in conflict?

Dhinkia villagers in the Ersama block of the district depend upon the adjacent forest land for beetel and cashew cultivation. Residents had to fight a long and hard battle to keep their land from being handed over to a South Korean company POSCO Pvt Ltd in the past. Following the enactment of the Forest Rights Act 2006 (FRA), inhabitants filed their individual and community claims with evidence to prove their Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers status. However, the process is yet to be concluded.

Instead, the state government handed over the land to the Jindal Steel Works’ (JSW) subsidiary company for developmental projects. The company claimed to have gotten a forest clearance for the same – a point that villagers have challenged.

“While the project is full of irregularities and illegalities, the Opposite parties are hell bent on acquiring the concerned land illegally by flouting the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013,” said the plea.

Villagers accused the administration of ignoring their repeated attempts to voice their concerns at public hearings and via other regular modes of addressal. In their plea, the people said the government had violated their Right to Life and Livelihood under Article 21 of the Constitution. Further, they challenged the provisions under which the land acquisition and the demolition of their betel vines was allowed.

“The non-compliance of the requirement of prior consent of the affected families under section 2(2) (b) [of the Land Acquisition Act] also renders the process of acquisition illegal and arbitrary,” said the plea.

Petitioners submitted that since they belonged to the scheduled caste category as well, the state has a constitutional responsibility under Article 46 to promote the economic and educational interest of SC and ST groups.

Related:

Dhinkia: Betel plantation destruction hits local economy

Spate of arrests in Orissa’s Dhinkia, protesting activists held

Odisha: 3 activists arrested for speaking truth to power in fact-finding report

Dhinkia: A story of perseverance against administrative oppression

End police oppression! FIAN Int. stands with Odisha’s adivasis

Odisha Police beat up Adivasi villagers

Tougher than Steel: Odisha villagers condemn govt's to attempts to usurp their land

Dhinkia: Three more anti-Jindal activists arrested by the police!

Villagers approach the police to complain against the series of arrest and demand a compensation of ₹ 40 lakh

Dhinkia: Three more anti-Jindal activists arrested by the police!

At least three more activists were arrested by June 22, 2022 evening for leading the anti-Jindal movement against a developmental project near Dhinkia village of Jagatsinghpur, Odisha. Already over-60 arrests and bail releases of activists have taken place over the last six months.

Seven leaders of the anti-Jindal movement including main leader Debendra Swain have been arrested by the local police so far. This barrage of arrests continued on Wednesday with the arrest of protester Dilip Swain. Protester Kuni Malick was arrested on June 20 and protester Sumanta Naik was arrested on June 14. Overall, Movement Spokesperson Prashant Paikray estimated 72 criminal cases against a thousand people. This is aside from the over-400 allegedly fabricated criminal cases pending against 2,500 people during the Anti-POSCO Movement.

Enraged by this systematic oppression, Dhinkia villagers approached the Odisha High Court alleging that the government is trying to implicate activists and residents in various criminal cases. Further the plea said that the police worked with local goons to terrorise locals asserting their fundamental and legal rights to the forest land. Therefore, they demanded that authorities pay a compensation of ₹40 lakh to each petitioner for damaging their houses and beetle vineyards.

Why are villagers and police in conflict?

Dhinkia villagers in the Ersama block of the district depend upon the adjacent forest land for beetel and cashew cultivation. Residents had to fight a long and hard battle to keep their land from being handed over to a South Korean company POSCO Pvt Ltd in the past. Following the enactment of the Forest Rights Act 2006 (FRA), inhabitants filed their individual and community claims with evidence to prove their Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers status. However, the process is yet to be concluded.

Instead, the state government handed over the land to the Jindal Steel Works’ (JSW) subsidiary company for developmental projects. The company claimed to have gotten a forest clearance for the same – a point that villagers have challenged.

“While the project is full of irregularities and illegalities, the Opposite parties are hell bent on acquiring the concerned land illegally by flouting the provisions of the Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013,” said the plea.

Villagers accused the administration of ignoring their repeated attempts to voice their concerns at public hearings and via other regular modes of addressal. In their plea, the people said the government had violated their Right to Life and Livelihood under Article 21 of the Constitution. Further, they challenged the provisions under which the land acquisition and the demolition of their betel vines was allowed.

“The non-compliance of the requirement of prior consent of the affected families under section 2(2) (b) [of the Land Acquisition Act] also renders the process of acquisition illegal and arbitrary,” said the plea.

Petitioners submitted that since they belonged to the scheduled caste category as well, the state has a constitutional responsibility under Article 46 to promote the economic and educational interest of SC and ST groups.

Related:

Dhinkia: Betel plantation destruction hits local economy

Spate of arrests in Orissa’s Dhinkia, protesting activists held

Odisha: 3 activists arrested for speaking truth to power in fact-finding report

Dhinkia: A story of perseverance against administrative oppression

End police oppression! FIAN Int. stands with Odisha’s adivasis

Odisha Police beat up Adivasi villagers

Tougher than Steel: Odisha villagers condemn govt's to attempts to usurp their land

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