CPI(ML) General Secretary visits Kalinga Nagar

A 9-member CPI(ML) delegation comprising General Secretary Dipankar Bhattacharya, West Bengal State Secretary Kartick Pal, Chhattisgarh incharge Rajaram, CPI(ML) MLA from Jharkhand Vinod Singh and five other party activists JP Minz (Jharkhand), Radhakanta Sethi, Tirupati Gomango, Meghnath Sabaro and Upendra visited Kalinga Nagar on 5 February, 2006 and spoke to leaders of the ongoing anti-eviction struggle and members of the families of the Kalinga Nagar martyrs. At a press conference held at the Party's Bhubaneshwar headquarters at Nagbhushan Bhawan on 6 February, Comrade Dipankar expressed total solidarity with the ongoing struggle of the Kalinga Nagar people against eviction and for justice. He also appreciated the adivasis' resolve to turn down token monetary compensation and insist on comprehensive rehabilitation and a halt to any fresh drive for mass eviction. The CPI(ML) would strive for developing effective solidarity within Orissa among all anti-eviction struggles and especially between the Kalinga Nagar agitation and the land struggles of south Orissa and Chilika fisherpeople's struggle for livelihood, he added. “We will also try to forge closer links among similar struggles in the three neighbouring and NDA-ruled states of Orissa, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh”, he said.

The visiting team found that the Kalinga Nagar industrial complex was launched with a promise of turning this area into Orissa's second Rourkela . Ironically, the original Rourkela is suffering from lack of investment and systematic neglect while all that has come up in the name of second Rourkela is a huge complex with little by way of actual industry and employment. It has a total area of 13,000 acres leased out to a dozen industrial houses. This area was not included in the 1966 land settlement and so land records go back to the 1928 survey. The land is quite fertile with two crops a year. The struggle over adequate compensation has been going on for a decade – there would be periodic protests and the government would announce some increases. On January 2, the Kalinga Nagar people thought they were in for only just that while the government had made up its mind to issue a stern message that it meant business. Kalinga Nagar is thus a case of premeditated mass murder and the role of the SP and DM was very dubious. The SP's wife is an advocate for the Tatas and the DM apparently has close links with the Vedanta steel, and he was earlier posted at Kalahandi. The people appeared quite spirited and determined to continue the struggle. An indefinite dharna is going on in front of the Orissa Assembly

To resist evictions, the CPI(ML) will organise a massive Kalinga Nagar solidarity demonstration in front of the Orissa Assembly on 9 March. The CPI(ML) campaign will focus on the demands already raised by the Kalinga Nagar struggle and insist on penal action against the guilty former DM and SP of Jajpur including prosecution under Section 302. The Party will sharpen mass struggles against the anti-people BJD-BJP government headed by Navin Patnaik on all fronts with special emphasis on the land question and the rights of dalits, adivasis and other sections of the toiling masses of the state.