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ACHR PRESS RELEASE
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ACHR Index: PR/IND/01/07
02 January 2007

ACHR demands release of the Kalinganagar Commission of Inquiry report

New Delhi: Asian Centre for Human Rights (ACHR) today demanded the release of the report of Justice A S Naidu Commission of inquiry into the Kalinga Nagar massacre in which 13 tribals were killed by the Orissa State police on 2 January 2006. On 9 August 2006, the Justice Naidu Commission sought extension of its tenure because of the inability to complete the probe due to the neglect by the Orissa government and lack of interest shown by the public prosecutor. 

“The judicial inquiry report must be made public to establish the accountability for acts of barbarism like chopping off the hands from the wrists, mutilation of the genitals and the use of iron objects, not bullets, to brutally kill the victims”- stated Mr Suhas Chakma, Director of Asian Centre for Human Rights.

“Establishment of accountability is crucial to assuage the sufferings of the victims, their relatives, and start meaningful negotiation to resolve the impasse.” –s further added Mr Chakma.

None of the bereaved families, barring one, has so far accepted the compensation of Rs 5 lakh offered by the Orissa government. This indicates the need to find holistic solution to the crisis of displacement and pauperisation of the tribals in the name of industrialisation. About 1.4 million people, most of them tribals, have been reportedly displaced in Orissa between 1951 and 1995 due to dams, canals, mines and industries. During 2002-2005 alone, the Orissa government signed 42 Memorandum of Understanding with companies for proposed steel and other plants in the state without adequate plans for proper rehabilitation.

“The state must not act as the broker. In 2004, while the Orissa State government paid Rs 76,000 an acre to the original landowners, it sold the same land the rate of Rs 3.35 lakh per acre to the TATAs.  Unless the State government stops benefiting from the misery of the people, incidents like Kalinga Nagar will continue to recur” – warned Mr Chakma.

[Ends]


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