Tag Archives: balangir news

4 Maoist cadres arrested in Balangir

Acting on a tip-off, a Balangir police team led by district SP R Praksh arrested four Maoist cadres Ram Singh Bariha, Tulsiram Jagat, Debraj Bariha and Ganesh Bariha from the Tureikela area on Thursday. This was announced to mediaperons by Sambalpur DIG Sanjay Kumar here on Friday.

Lauding the efforts of Balangir SP Prakash in nabbing the Maoists, Kumar informed that the ultras were working under the Balangir-Bargarh-Mahasamund division of the CPI(Maoist) and their area of operation was mainly in Khaprakhol, Lathore, Tureikela of Balangir district, besides the adjoining areas of Bargarh and Nuapada districts.

The arrested cadres had visited the Maoist camps in Chhattisgarh and undergone arms training there. Their main hideouts were the Sunabeda Sanctuary in Nuapada district and the Gandhmardarn hills. They were collecting money from tribals, businessmen and contractors for their Maoist organisation to provide necessary logistics to the cadres, Sanjay Kumar said.

These people were also instrumental in burning of Kendu leaf godowns and in other criminal activities in the areas of their operation, he informed.

Asked to comment on the alleged involvement of Forest Department officials in burning of Kendu leaf godowns, Kumar said, “We are looking into that aspect and have taken up the matter with that department.”

Besides Balangir SP Prakash, Balangir ASP K Siba Subramanim, Nuapada ASP Parul Gupta and Bargarh ASP Alka Meena were also present at the Press conference.

Boat capsizes, 14 miraculously saved

 At least 14 people, including women and children, had a close shave when a country boat capsized midstream in Odisha’s Bolangir district today.

The boat ferrying passengers from one side of the river to another near Kushkela in Titlagarh area when it lost balance and overturned, Sub-Divisional Police Officer (Titlagrh), Dilip Purohit said.

Acting swiftly, local fishermen and divers jumped into the river and rescued all the 14 passengers who had fallen into water, he said adding all those on board the boat are safe and secure.
Though the exact cause of the mishap was yet to be ascertained, eyewitnesses claimed that some motor-cycles loaded on the small country boat might have caused imbalance.

Freedom after 22 years, Dharua’s family

Freedom after 22 years, Dharua's familyIt took Chandra Dharua, a free man like anyone else in Independent India, 22 years to have a taste of real freedom.

Forty-five-year-old Dharua, a migrant labourer from Odisha, and his wife, who were in confinement in an Andhra Pradesh brick kiln, arrived at the Bolangir railway station, about 350 km from Bhubaneswar, on 29th august, Wednesday evening.

After being forced to work as bonded labourers, Dharua and his family members were rescued from the kiln in Medak district on Tuesday.

Dharua was just 23 in 1990 when he, along with his wife, had set out to Andhra Pradesh to earn a living by working in a brick manufacturing unit. The couple had hoped to return home within months. But the owner did not let them go. Whenever they attempted to flee, they were subjected to all kinds of torture. When Dharua boarded a train from Hyderabad along with his wife, three daughters and one son on Tuesday evening, he cried inconsolably as he had never imagined that he would return home one day, said Dayasagar Pradhan, an official of Aide-et-Action, an NGO that played a key role in their release.

“I had taken a debt of Rs. 2000 for working in the brick kiln 22 years ago. Initially I used to be paid Rs. 200 a week for food. After 22 years, the amount was raised to Rs. 500 a week. One can easily gauge the traumatic life we had all these years,” Dharua told this correspondent over phone on his arrival at Bolangir.

The migrant labourer had only faint memories of his village, relatives and friends. “I don’t know how my brothers look like now,” an emotional Dharua said. He wondered whether his fellow villagers would recognise him or not. But Dharua said he would start life afresh in his native village.

“We had never come across such a painful story of migrants. Usually, a migrating labour family returns home after working for four to five months. Dharua’s story is a severe form of bonded labour,” said Umi Daniel, head of Aide-et-Action, who has been working on migration issues for years.

Mr. Daniel said about one lakh people from western Odisha districts migrate to work in the brick kilns of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka every year. In a drought year, the number increases by 50 per cent, he said.

Along with Dharua, seven other families who had been working continuously for three years in that kiln, were also rescued. Andhra Pradesh has handed over bonded labour certificates to these migrant families.

People move govt over Vedanta plant closure

Around 700 people, including employees and families displaced by Vedanta Alumina Limited at Kalahandi’s Lanjigarh, met the district collector at Bhawanipatna on Tuesday and requested him to ensure supply of bauxite to the factory so that it does not shut down. They said closure of VAL would affect the livelihood of 20,000 locals, who are either directly or indirectly benefitting from the factory set up in 2004.

Earlier, the chief operating officer (COO) of VAL Mukesh Kumar had written to the state government intimating it about the factory’s closure from December 5. The displaced families and around 160 VAL employees belonging to Kalahandi and Rayagada districts have been living under apprehension.

“Since 2004, there has been considerable improvement in the lives of tribals. The displaced families, who gave away their land, have also been rehabilitated by the company. Local youths were also employed by VAL. Therefore, we appeal to the state government to facilitate supply of bauxite so that lives of local tribals can be saved”, said Srikanta Bohidar, who is working as an associate officer in corporate social responsibility wing of VAL.

He said though the state government had promised to provide 150 MT of bauxite it later reneged on its promise.

Kalahandi collector Dukhishyam Satpathy said the displaced families and some VAL employees came to him to submit the memorandum. “The displaced families, who have been staying in rehabilitation colonies appealed to me to send the message to the state government not to close down the factory. The employees, who are being benefitted directly or indirectly by VAL also made a request,” the collector said.

Five Person killed in train mishaps in western Odisha

Five persons were run over by trains at level crossings in three different locations in western Odisha on Friday and Saturday.

Three persons, Jitendra Bag (20), Bhakta Kalo (22) and Upendra Khadia, (25) from Balanda village of Pandari panchayat in Jharsuguda district’s Belpahar police station area were hit by the Azad Hind Express at Belpahar level-crossing on Friday evening. Jitendra and Bhakta died on the spot. Upendra succumbed to his injuries later at a local hospital.

A youth, Arya Kumar Ashim, slipped from the Durg-Puri Express at Balangir station on Saturday and died on the spot. On the other hand, Kanhu Mirdha from Ghumka village in Sadar police station area, was crossing Hatibari level crossing on his tractor when the Sambalpur-Puri Intercity Express hit him on Saturday morning, killing him on the spot.