Tag Archives: Kalahandi News

All Grama Sabha assert rights on bamboo and kendu

Despite legally given rights on bamboo and kendu under Forest Rights Act, communities encounter constant roadblocks in enjoying these rights.

As the harvesting season for bamboo and kendu leaf approaches in Odisha, tension is building between the forest-dependent communities and the forest department.

In Kalahandi district, around 100 Grama Sabhas are planning to assert their rights over bamboo and kendu leaf despite legal curtails.

“In Kalahandi Jangal Manch meeting on February 28, we decided to assert rights over bamboo and kendu by harvesting and selling them ourselves because it is our land and we have the right over these resources. We have told the forest department and we will carry out the harvesting activity towards the end of April and starting of May,” says Kunjabihari Chandan, president of Kalahandi Gram Sabha Samuh.

Despite legally given rights on Minor Forest Produce (MFP) like bamboo and kendu under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006 (FRA), communities have encountered constant roadblocks in enjoying these rights.

“While FRA gives rights over MFPs which include bamboo and kendu, in Odisha both these commodities are nationalised, thereby curtailing the rights of the people on them,” says Sudhansu Sekar Deo, a Kalahandi-based forest rights activist.

The disjunction between the central law–FRA—and how things are unfolding for the people is also evident in the policies of the state government.

Responding to a Right to Information (RTI) request, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Odisha has told communities that they only have the right to transport MFPs on head, bullock cart or bicycle.

Experts say that this is based on the Community Forest Rights title deeds given before the FRA amendment 2012. The FRA Amendment Rule, 2012 says that “disposal of minor forest produce” shall include right to sell as well as individual or collective processing, storage, value addition, transportation within and outside forest area through appropriate means of transport for use of such produce or sale by gatherers or their cooperatives or associations or federations for livelihood.

“The FRA rules of 2007 are of no relevance as Amendment Rule 2012 supersedes the earlier one. In amendment rules, it is clear that appropriate means of transportation can be used to dispose MFPs,” Chittaranjan Pani, Odisha-based researcher on forest rights and livelihoods says.

The RTI also says that while the Gram Sabhas have the right to issue Transit Permit (TP), the permits have to be made using the format designed by the Forest Department.

“There is no need to accept the template design by Forest Department. The design and content of transit permit should be with the Gram Sabha. The content and format must be in line with the FRA provisions. The TP should also have scope to accommodate more Gram Sabha effort for entrepreneurial activities for disposal of MFPs and to reach a niche market through collective efforts of Gram Sabhas,” says Pani.

The Divisional Forest Officer (DFO), Kalahandi, in a letter dated January 12, asked the Lamer Gram Sabha to follow the bamboo cutting rules as laid down in the micro plan and also submit monthly progress reports to the department. The letter clearly specifies that if these conditions are not met the “Gram Sabha is liable for cancellation of this authorisation” over collecting the bamboo.

In December 2017, the Forest Division Office, North Kalahandi had sent similar directions to the people of Jamguda village. They were told to undergo training on bamboo management by the department, without which no decision will be taken on the TP book.

Maoist attack on a construction camp in Lanjigarh

Maoist attack on a construction camp in Lanjigarh area under Narla Police Station in Kalahandi district. As per sources a group of maoist vandalising the construction camp and also torched many vehicles.

Last month a civil contractor Tunu Dash was killed by Maoist in Kalahandi district.

According to reports, the incident took place in the wee hours while Kadamguda-Bhurtigarh Road construction work was underway and labourers were resting in a polythene camp set up beside Lanjigarh Road.

A group of at least 15-20 heavily armed Maoists raided the camp and threatened the workers at gunpoint. They later torched several tipper machines and other vehicles parked at the camp.

The red rebels shouted slogans against the road construction project which was being carried out under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY) and attacked a water tank located near the site.

Narla Police reached the spot and took stock of the situation this morning.



Maoists kill civil contractor in Kalahandi

Shiba Shankar DashMembers of outlawed CPI (Maoist) this morning killed a super class contractor in Kalahandi district when he was supervising work at a site.

The deceased was identified as Shiba Shankar Dash alias Tunu Dash

According to reports, at around 10 am in the morning Dash was at a site near Paji Bahali under Bijepur police limits in the tribal-dominated district to supervise work and distribute wages to the workmen.

However, the members of the outlawed group opened fire at Dash indiscriminately. He died on the spot.

Police arrived at the spot being informed about the incident and launched probe into the case.

“The armed miscreants came and asked Shivashankar for payment. He told them to get money from his clerk. They fired six rounds at him,” said brother of the deceased, Ramashankar Das.

Kalahandi Bandh: Protesting for chance given to outsider in Sikhya Sahayak posts

Normal life was disrupted during a 12-hour bandh in Kalahandi district called by various political parties and outfits in protest against certificate verification of candidates from other districts for appointments to Sikhya Sahayak posts Wednesday.

Since 6 am, the agitators burnt tyres and laid large pipes on roads while staging blockades at various intersections such as Manikeshwari High School Square, Dayanidhi Square, Ghodaghat Square, Jail Square and other places to enforce the bandh call.

The bandh threw life out of gear as commuters had a harrowing time. All business establishments, schools, colleges, courts and offices remained closed while vehicles stopped plying during the period. The impact of the bandh was felt the most in Bhawanipatna town while it was partial in other places of the district.

As a result of the bandh, candidates from other districts who had applied for Sikhya Sahayak posts were put to untold sufferings on the third and last day of their certificate verification. Many candidates who had come for certificate verification were seen walking on the highway to Bhawanipatna town.

A disabled candidate Jaladhar Palei coming from Puri were seen being carried on shoulders by his guardian for over 6 km from the Bhawanipatna railway station to the DIET centre for certificate verification.

All the CT and BEd trained candidates from the district and members of various political parties except the BJD as well as many local outfits supported the bandh.

The district administration, to thwart of any untoward incident, had turned the town into a fortress by deploying police forces at major intersections and entry and exit points of the town.

A delegation of the protestors led by former minister Pradipta Nayak, BJP vice-president Badri Narayan Pattanik and PCC secretary Simanta Khamari broke the police cordon and tried to barge inside the DIET centre after their talks with the collector failed. Police arrested them as they scuffled with the former.

A total of 3,835 shortlisted candidates from in and outside of the district had applied for 1,605 (553 posts for BSc BEd, 374 BA BEd, 506 Plus Two Science CT and 272 Plus Two Arts CT) Sikshya Sahayaks posts in Kalahandi district.

The district Sarva Sikhya Abhiyan authorities had invited the candidates for certificate verification to the DIET office for three days starting January 29.

The agitators said aspirants from the district have been waiting for the Sikhya Sahayak jobs for the last six years.

The state government, however, made the appointments statewide enabling candidates from other districts to apply for the post in Kalahandi. This led to resent among the local job seekers

Kalahandi acid attack: Main accused arrested from Andhra Pradesh

In a major breakthrough, police on Sunday nabbed the main accused involved in the acid attack on a 22-year-old girl in Kalampur under Jaipatana police in Kalahandi district on January 15th.

The accused identified as Parshuram Majhi of Bankapada village was arrested by a police team from neighboring Andhra Pradesh.

According to sources, a police team which had gone to Rangareddy district on Andhra Pradesh on Saturday, managed to nab Majhi on Sunday. The accused would be brought to Odisha on transit remand. Parshuram has several other cases pending against him, said police.

Notably, the jilted youth threw acid on the girl after she rejected his love proposal. She was first rushed to Kalampur CHC with burn injuries on her face and hands and then shifted to the District Hospital and subsequently to SCB Medical College Hospital in Cuttack.