<SiteLock

Authorities must ensure justice for victims of Kalinganagar shootings six years ago

Amnesty International Public Statement

[AI Index: ASA 20/001/2012

1 January 2012 (embargoed for release at 0001 GMT on 1 January 2012)]

Authorities in Orissa should no longer delay justice for the victims and survivors of the Kalinganagar police shootings six years ago when 12 adivasis (Indigenous people) were killed and 37 others injured, Amnesty International said today. Police opened fire when adivasis were protesting against the forcible acquisition of their lands and habitats and the insufficient compensation they received.

The shootings evoked widespread condemnation and prompted India's federal authorities to reconsider the current framework for land acquisition. They were the first in a series of attacks on adivasis and other marginalized communities protesting against forcible land acquisition for corporate-led industrial and extractive sector projects in India during the last six years.

On 2 January 2006, 12 adivasis – including three women and a 12-year-old boy – were killed and 37 others injured, as hundreds of adivasis protested against the construction of a six million tonne Tata Steel plant at Kalinganagar in northern Orissa. One policeman was also killed when the protests turned violent. The adivasis, from the Munda community who live in Orissa and the neighbouring state of Jharkhand, wanted to renegotiate the acquisition of lands and habitats.

The Orissa authorities have extended several times the term of the judicial inquiry into the police shootings. The inquiry, successively led by three different judges of the Orissa high court, remains inconclusive. The state authorities have also failed to act against police involved in shootings of adivasi protestors in March, April and May 2010, which killed Laxman Jamuda, a 50-year-old adivasi leader, and injured 40 other protestors at the same time as they were facing attacks from private militias trying to forcibly evict them to facilitate construction of a common road corridor.

Recently leaders of the Bisthapan Birodhi Jan Manch, the anti-displacement group which had organized the protests, told Amnesty International that the protesting adivasis were still awaiting full redress for the Kalinganagar attack. They have lost their lands and habitats in the 5,000 hectare industrial complex at Kalinganagar which now has 17 projects in the extractive sector.

The Orissa authorities have an obligation to ensure justice for the victims and survivors by prosecuting those officials, police personnel and others suspected of being responsible for human rights violations, in proceedings which meet international standards of fairness.

Amnesty International urges the Orissa authorities to seriously address the ongoing negative impact of the forcible acquisition of lands and habitats in Kalinganagar on the affected adivasi communities in full consultation with them. In particular, any person whose human rights have been violated should have access to justice and to an effective remedy and reparations.

Amnesty International also urges authorities in India to include, in the new legislation, provisions for an open and transparent process to seek the free, prior, informed consent (FPIC) of adivasi communities on all future plans whenever they propose to acquire their lands and habitats for development projects.

Background

At least 50 persons – mostly adivasis and farmers - have been killed and more than 100 others injured in several police shootings and other incidents while protesting against forcible acquisition of their lands and habitats for corporate-led industrial projects in India during the last six years. In a majority of cases, the authorities have yet to prosecute those responsible for the violations. Moreover, new legislation, aimed at reforming the existing legal framework for land acquisition for corporate-led industrial projects, is still awaiting enactment in India's Parliament.

[Courtesy: Amnesty International, January 1, 2012]

Other Related Articles

Delhi university must reinstate the removed texts and Apologize-Dalit intellectual collective
Wednesday, 15 September 2021
  Dalit Intellectual Collective With the select removal of texts by three towering writers in Bengali and Tamil: Mahashweta Devi, Bama and Sukirtharani, from Delhi University... Read More...
Buddhist Outlook on Gender Identities as a Delusion
Monday, 06 September 2021
Dr Amritpal Kaur Identities are culturally located historical formations, open to reinterpretation and dispute. They are culturally, socially and psychologically constructed delusions that tend to... Read More...
Liberal narrative and Afghanistan
Wednesday, 01 September 2021
Vinith Kumar These last few weeks have been about the Taliban. But it hasn’t really been about them. The reports, the end of the war, the exit of the American forces, the tragic images from the... Read More...
Caste and Climate Justice
Friday, 20 August 2021
  Uday Kukde Many international environmental and climate change organisations like The Climate Reality Project, Greenpeace, Fridays for Future, WWF are doing a good job by raising the issue of... Read More...
Mahmoud Darwish and the idea of Home as the distant lover
Thursday, 05 August 2021
  Chanchal Kumar Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian national poet was among the first artists to popularize the idea of the homeland as the distant, absent lover. Writing from exile for most of... Read More...

Recent Popular Articles

Govt. of India should send One Lakh SC ST youths abroad for Higher Education
Monday, 21 June 2021
  Anshul Kumar Men sitting on the pinnacle of the palace "So, I went one day to Linlithgow and said, concerning the expense of education, "If you will not get angry, I want to ask a question. I... Read More...
Unfinished legacy of Dr Ambedkar and the Plight of the Oppressed in South Asia
Monday, 19 April 2021
Hemangi Kadlak [A Speech on the Occasion of 130th Birth Anniversary of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar.] Jai Bhim, First of all, I would like to thank the Ambedkar Society for South Asia for inviting me as a... Read More...
Are IITs safe for Dalit Students?
Tuesday, 15 June 2021
The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), IIT Bombay Aniket Ambhore, a student of electrical engineering, had fallen to his death from the sixth floor of hostel 13 on September 4, 2014. An SC... Read More...
End Casteism in IITs
Wednesday, 05 May 2021
  The Ambedkar Periyar Phule Study Circle (APPSC), IIT Bombay It is amidst desolate cries and the numbing daily reports of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic raging across the nation, that... Read More...
Rant against the ranters (aka Why I no longer talk to 'upper castes' about caste?)
Tuesday, 06 July 2021
Vivek Singh It boils my blood when you sneerMake faces and whisper 'reservation'. What exactly is your frustration, your critique, what is the devastationThat it brings in your life that you hate it... Read More...