Save us the tribal people of Orissa from perishing

APPEAL TO ALL CONCERNED PERSONS,GROUPS,AGENCIES FOR ENVIRONMENT AND TRIBAL PEOPLE FOR IMMEDIATE URGENT ACTION

Dear Sir/Madam,

This letter is sent on behalf of tribal women s federation of 53 blocks in orissa at their request to draw your attention and immediate action. Being poor tribal woman, I have sought the help of some supporters to send you this mail in English.

As an unexpected consequence, some 27 people of our tribal women activist group, "Orissa Nari Samaj," have been arrested by the State Administration on 31st January'02, while they were submitting a memorandum to the District Collector of Mayurbhanj in line to close down a polluting Sponge Iron Plant.

This Shiv Shakti Sponge Iron Plant had started production work in pandarsila village, Sukruli block of Mayurbhanj, in June 2001. Since then that has endangered the lives of more than 12000 people in the nearby villages.

The tribal residents under the leadership of one 'Nari Srimayee Samaj' and Orissa Nari Samaj are categorically giving memorandums and samples of contaminated livestock as well to all levels in state administration. Now that the pollution rate has gone so high the Orissa Nari Samaj has put forward the demand of nothing else than closure of the plant.

After a series of demonstrations in the month of Dec, the state Pollution Control Board has directed a closure notice to the plant authority marking copies to District Collector, State Forest & Environment Department and to North Electricity Supply Co (NESCO) to cut off power supply to the plant. The closure order was to be effective by 4th January 2002.

But since no such result was noticed even after 26 days, ONS members again marched to the Mayurbhanj district collectorate and tried to draw the attention of the district administration towards such apathetic response.

Unfortunately, the district collector has arrested all the 27 members visited him that day, lodging false cases like blocking his vehicle, not letting him to go, demonstrating at the collectorate and so on.

All the 27 members are still in the lock up and meanwhile the plant authority is able to arrange a stay order, that is valid till 20th February. The plant authority has also arranged sufficient number of goondas to threaten the tribal activists and people in Baripada sothat they don t represent the cause to the District Collector.

We are enclosing a draft memorandum with a request to all of you to send the message to the Chief Minister condemning such kind of arrest of poor villagers.and violation of human rights of the poor innocent tribal women. The draft copy of the letter to the Chief Minister and the Prime Minister is also given below for you to immediately copy the letter in your letter pad and send it by fax and by post. You may also send your response to this email mentioning you actions. Please send the copies of the letter through email as many national media as possible. Please also send us reply and mention what action you have done inthis regard.

Join the tribal in solidarity to save Shukruli

We hope an early response from you.

Thanking you.



Yours sincerely



CHARIMA

For ORISSA NARI SAMAJ

CONFEDERATION OF 53 TRIBAL WOMENS BLOCK LEVEL ORGANISATIONS

Note : some of the email id of dailies
 thestatesman@vsnl.com


 pragativadi@pragativadi.com


 feedback@dailypioneer.com


 info@newindpress.com
Draft:
To

Mr. Naveen Pattnaik,

Chief Minister,

Secretariat,

Orissa.

FAX NO. 91 674 535100 (Office)

91 674 590833 (Residence)

email id of the Chief Minster of Orissa :  cmo@ori.nic.in

Sub: Condemnation of arrest during ONS meeting with Mayurbjanj Collectorate and closure of the Sponge iron factory as per the directive of state pollution board

Dear Sir,

We would like to present few points here regarding the polluting Shiv Shakti Sponge Iron Plant of Mayurbhanj district and also regarding arrest of a group of 27 Orissa Nari Samaj members (ONS) in this regard.

We would appreciate if you thrust on these points and find out a permanent solution to these.

a) Arrest of poor tribal residents and women activists

We have gone through many media reports including in Newyorktimes,USA Freepress UK covering the unfortunate arrest of 27 people who were trying to draw the attention of the Mayurbhanj district collector towards effecting the plant closure direction given by state pollution control board (SPCB). The said collector instead of attending the public grievance and instead of taking any measure to enforce the closure notice, locked up all 27 ONS members lodging false cases of demonstrations, agitation, attack on govt. employee during duty hour etc. We are condemning the arrest and keeping them in custody for so longtime. We would request you not to promote such kind of false cases and to release them unconditionally as quickly as possible.

b. The SPCB had directed the plant authority and the state administration to close down the plant by 4th January 02. Instead of enforcing the order in time, the accused were given sufficient time by the administration, so that they could arrange stay order for them to counter SPCB order. It is a pity that instead of protecting the people and environment,the state is protecting the industrialist. We also hear from reports that the goondas sponsored by the plant are threatening the tribal people in Baripada ,preventing them from representing the matter to the authorities and ironically the police-supposed protectors of law are protecting the thugs and antisocial elements. We hope that you will take immediate action to prevent the repetition of heinous staines murder episode in this infamous place of orissa- Baripada.

Here again we would request you to make the closure direction effective soon, as the stay order can only encourage the polluting atmosphere more, it can not wash out the human sufferings the and can not protect the human rights violation there.

All the Media reports indicate the support for the tribal women in this entire issue from the beginning. We would thus request you to accept the demands of ONS that were made before you earlier. Before the topic of human rights in the state go so worse, we sincerely try to draw your focus towards the tribal people grievance and to keep the law and order of the state not to be misused. And finally their human right to be protected very much.

Thanking you.

Yours Sincerely





Name

Org/agency name


cc. The Prime Minister

Govt of India,

South Block

NewDelhi For your immediate action

The Human Rights Commision

Sardar Patel Bhavan,

Parliament Street,

New Delhi 1 For your immediate necessary action