Special Correspondent

JMACC to continue fight against policies that destroy "homes and livelihood" of people

Calls for registration of cases action against "guilty" police officials"Tribals were fighting for their basic rights"

NEW DELHI: Describing the alleged shooting of tribals in Kalinganagar in Orissa as "nothing short of a massacre," an NGO - the Campaign for Survival and Dignity - has sought a judicial inquiry by a sitting High Court Judge into the incident.

In Jharkhand, activists of the Jharkhand Mines Areas Coordination Committee (JMACC) staged a demonstration on Tuesday in Ranchi against the firing. "This is continuation of the pro-industry, anti-people development models being followed by the governments of Jharkhand, Orissa and Chhattisgarh. JMACC, in collaboration with other people's organisations, will continue the fight against policies that destroy the homes and livelihood of people," said Gulab Chandra, coordinator of JMACC.

The Campaign for Survival and Dignity (CSD) also demanded registration of cases against "guilty" police officials and withdrawal of false cases.

The CSD said that the families of those killed in the shooting must be compensated. The grant of land to the factory should be cancelled and the affected tribals given adequate rehabilitation, including land for land, or be returned their land.

Twelve tribals and a police constable were killed in a clash as tribals protested against the takeover of their land for setting up a Tata steel plant. They were protesting against construction of a boundary wall on the land the government wanted to hand over to the industrial house.

"The tribals who gathered to protest were fighting for their basic rights - the right to their lands, homes and to peaceful expression of dissent against the use of their lands for private profit and environmental destruction. To fire on them in such a brutal fashion is a blatant violation of human rights and is nothing short of an act of murder," said Pradip Prabhu, the National Convener.

According to the CSD, the tribals had been fighting for more than three years against attempts to acquire their land for a steel plant - initially for the Simplex Corporation, and now for Tata Steel. The lands acquired for the factory belong to the tribals who had till date not been given either adequate compensation or rehabilitation.

They said more than 25 platoons of armed police had been deployed around the plant in the name of providing security. In addition, arrest warrants had been issued against a large number of tribal rights activists, including members of the Adivasi Kranti Sangathan and the Visthapit Virodi Manch.