CASR Condemns Odisha Police's Brutal Repression on Adivasi Slum Dwellers in Salia Sahi

From Manipur and Bihar to Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the tribal people are entrenched in a bitter struggle against the corporate-state nexus to protect their lands from being grabbed through brute force and state repression. The Salia Sahi movement is also facing the similar forms of state repression.
CASR Condemns Odisha Police's Brutal Repression on Adivasi Slum Dwellers in Salia Sahi

New Delhi- The Campaign Against State Repression (CASR) vehemently condemns the brutal crackdown by the Odisha Police on approximately 20,000 Adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi in Bhubaneswar. The slum dwellers, supported by various activists, had marched to the State Legislative Assembly on November 22, to advocate for their land rights, specifically in relation to the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

Various slum movement activists of Odisha were also part of this march. The protest march by the slum dwellers was ruthlessly crushed by the Odisha police. They detained thousands of those protesters, which also included Jayadev Nayak, the President of Salia Sahi Anchalik Committee, Pramila, Odisha State Secretary of CPI(ML) Red Star, and many other activists of Basti Suraksha Mancha. They raised demands for the implementation of Forest Rights Act, 2006, which says that the Adivasis and other traditional forest dwellers should be given the right to land, livelihood, habitation and other socio-cultural needs. 75% of Salia Sahi slum dwellers are Adivasis and they come under the ambit of “traditional forest dwellers”, of the said act. Also, they opposed the BJD government’s plan to encroach their lands to implement their pro-corporate agendas in the name of road construction and “development”.

In a press release, the CASR said that the BJD government has provided land rights to many slum dwellers of Bhubaneswar, under the pressure of the slum movement. But still, Salia Sahi was excluded from that. That's why, Salia Sahi slum dwellers came to the streets as a result of the intolerable oppression they have been facing for several years due to lack of land rights. In Odisha and in rest of India, lang struggle has become a key factor for Adivasis, with the conflict in Manipur initiating after a decision was passed to give non-hill-dwelling tribes the right to purchase this land along the the residents.

In the present, the government has also unleashed undemocratic repression against activists of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti, with 9 activists getting arrested and abducted by the police and slapped with UAPA. In Mali Parbat, similar land struggle is going on the protect the local Mali as Adivasis fend off state repression at the service of big corporations seeking to grab their lands.

In Sijimali, Odisha, the people gave a resounding response during the public hearing for the Sijimali bauxite block and Vedanta Limited. Outside Odisha, Adivasis in Kaimur, Bihar, of the Kaimur Mukti Morcha, are continuously facing unlawful arrests and detentions as they seek to defend their lands from being grabbed and turned into a tiger reserve and a tourist attraction. In Damkondawahi, Gadchiroli, Maharashtra, an extension of the Surjagarh movement, repression was unleashed on the leading activists of the Damkondawahi Bachao Sangharsh Samiti in the form of arrests just this week, in a bid to cripple their 250+ day protest against six mining leases given in the region, particularly to Lloyd Metals.

From Manipur and Bihar to Jharkhand, Odisha, Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh, the people are entrenched in a bitter struggle against the corporate-state nexus to protect their lands from being grabbed through brute force and state repression. The Salia Sahi movement is also facing the similar forms of state repression.

CASR severely condemned the brutal repression of the adivasi slum dwellers of Salia Sahi, and demanded immediate release of all detained persons and a stop to the attempts at land-grab by the government.

The Constituents of CASR are AIRSO, AISA, AISF, APCR, BASF, BSM, Bhim Army, Bigul Mazdoor Dasta, bsCEM, CEM, CRPP, CTF, Disha, DISSC, DSU, DTF, Forum Against Repression Telangana, Fraternity, IAPL, Innocence Network, Karnataka Janashakti, LAA, Mazdoor Adhikar Sangathan, Mazdoor Patrika, Morcha Patrika, NAPM, NBS, Nishant Natya Manch, Nowruz, NTUI, People’s Watch, Rihai Manch, Samajwadi Janparishad, Smajwadi Lok Manch, Bahujan Samjavadi Manch, SFI, United Against Hate, United Peace Alliance, WSS, Y4S

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