Tag Archives: koraput News

Naxals attack BSF convoy in Koraput, 4 personnel dead

Attacked Army Truk A group of heavily armed Naxals attacked a Border Security Force (BSF) convoy in Koraput district of Odisha killing four personnel and injuring three others.

The BSF personnel were killed when their van was blown up by the Naxals. The three personnel have been injured seriously and they have been taken to the hospital.

A convoy of 18 BSF personnel was on its way to Vishakapatanam from the base camp in Malkangiri district in Odisha on Tuesday morning when Naxals triggered a land mine blast near Patnagi in Koraput district.

Cross firing between the BSF troopers and the Naxals took place for almost an hour before reinforcement reached the spot. Massive combing operation is going on in the highly Naxal-infested belt of Odisha.

Three days back the top regional Naxal leader Madhav was killed in a police encounter and four of his supporters surrendered. Top police sources say that this attack is a mark of desperation by the Naxals who want to prove their presence in the region after immense pressure on them by the Oidsha police and paramilitary forces for past several months

2 lakh Odisha workers suffer in hellish Andhra kilns

They are loaded onto trains like goats, wide-eyed and scared. Few know where they are being herded to or where the trains – the Korba-VSKP Link Express and the Durg-VSKP Passenger – are going. They are pushed into unreserved compartments, one stacked above the other like sacks of rice. Some die without food or water; others from sheer heat. But no one cares. It’s modern-day slavery at its worst.

Every year in November, brick kiln workers with hunger gnawing inside them migrate from Odisha to Andhra Pradesh to escape abject poverty. This ‘distress migration’, which happens during the lean agricultural months, soon descends to a hellish existence as these workers have 18-hour work days, regular assaults and inhuman beatings.

“Some seem to have lost their minds in the process,” says Subhadeep Kumar, a University of Hyderabad (UoH) student. “I don’t think they were that way when they were recruited.” Odisha workers suffer in hellish Andhra kilns

Sudhir Katiyar, project director of Prayas Centre for Labor Research and Action (PCLRA), says, “There are at least 2,00,000 Odisha brick kiln workers in Andhra. They are a perfect example of slavery in modern times.”

These workers migrate from Balangir, Koraput, Kalahandi, Kandhamal and Bargarh districts of west Odisha. “Government schemes are not implemented properly here,” says Trilochan Punji, president of Zindabad Sangathan which led to the formation of a union in Balangir. “NREGS mein ghotala hai (It’s a scam). They don’t get paid for any work.”

The state administration, meanwhile, has turned a blind eye to this migration. “We approached the Balangir district labour officer, but he did not respond,” says Punji. “Why should he? The sardars are getting these people work outside the state, so the administration doesn’t need to worry about their employment.”

They are then sent to kilns in Ranga Reddy, Medak and Nalgonda districts of Andhra where they work for a pittance. According to the Minimum Wages Act, a pair of workers should be paid Rs 367 for making 1,000 bricks. But in reality, a family (3-4 members) is paid just Rs 150-200.

Things got so bad last March that there was an uprising of workers in Dundigal village in Ranga Reddy district demanding just payment. The police detained the organizers and then allowed the employers a free run to flex their muscles, says Katiyar. “We have filed six group cases for payment of minimum wages and there has been absolutely no action by the labour department,” says Katiyar. When Kantabanji superintendent of police Avinash Kumar caught some brick kiln owners last year, he was transferred within a fortnight.

If these workers try to walk out, they are threatened with physical assault or beaten up. Goons follow them wherever they go. With no spare cash, fleeing at night is also impossible. Children too aren’t spared. They are made to flip bricks while they’re drying because the heavier palms of adults may lead to cracks.

When the Human Rights Forum approached authorities to do something, they were asked why the labourers can’t just leave, says P Madhavi, Hyderabad committee convenor of the organization. “But where will they go? They have nothing to go back home to. The solution is to protect their rights.” Meanwhile, a committee comprising the Indian Federation of Trade Unions, HRF, Action Aid and UoH has been formed to see that the voices of these exploited workers are heard.

New BSE zonal office opens at Jeypore

A new zonal office of the Board of Secondary Education (BSE), Odisha, was inaugurated by school and mass education minister Rabi Narayan Nanda at Jeypore on Sunday.

The office aims to decentralise the board’s manifold activities and to provide doorstep services to teachers and students of Koraput, Nabarangpur, Malkangiri and Rayagada districts, said officials.

“A zonal office of the board at Jeypore was a long standing demand of the people of this area. Earlier, students from this tribal belt used to face problems in travelling to the board’s zonal office at Berhampur for academic work, but now all their problems will be sorted out here,” said Nanda.

According to board officials, the new office will have jurisdiction over 596 schools involving 23,364 students of the south Odisha districts.

“In future, Kalahandi district may be attached to Jeypore zone after due official formalities,” said BSE Odisha secretary Ramakrishna Sahoo.

Locals, including academicians, welcomed the government’s move of opening the office at Jeypore. “The new zonal office will prove very beneficial for students, especially tribals, who had to travel to the Berhampur board office, 300 km from here, for every little work,” said Gopal Patnaik, an academician at Jeypore.

The BSE has other zonal offices at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Balasore, Baripada and Sambalpur in the state.

Game’s up for 3 fake Maoists

Police on Saturday arrested three persons for allegedly trying to extort money from a trader by posing as Maoists in Rayagada district. The accused were identified as Rajendra Rout, Sanjit Naik and Arun Bagho.

According to police, the trio had pasted a fake Maoist poster at the home of a trader identified as Ram Murty Naik of D Karolo village under Doragura police limits in Kashipur block on August 30 and had demanded Rs 20 lakh from him.

“The miscreants had asked Naik to bring the money to a forested road near Ghoda Tikri village on August 31. But when the trader did not obey their instructions, the fake Maoists telephoned Naik and threatened him of dire consequences,” said IIC (Doragura police station) Ramesh Chandra Bisoi.

According to the police officer, a mobile phone used by the trio was traced and subsequently they were arrested. During interrogation it was found that the accused didn’t have any link with the Maoists and had identified themselves as rebels to make quick buck. While Arun and Sanjit work as drivers at the Utkal Alumina company, Rajendra stays at Tikri.

Impact partial in Koraput, Phulbani

Impact of the country-wide bandh, called by Srikakulam-Koraput division of CPI (Maoist) on Wednesday, could be felt only in interior pockets where shops and business establishments were closed. In urban centres, life remained unaffected.

Security was tightened in Red-hit zones of Malkangiri, Koraput, Rayagada, Gajapati, Nabarangpur and Ganjam districts to prevent any untoward incident.

While opposing the proposed National Counter Terrorism Centre (NCTC), the Maoists are demanding halt to Operation Green Hunt and combing operation and closure of CRPF camps.

While private bus services from Jeypore to Malkangiri and on Boipariguda-Lamtaput-Rayagada route have been cancelled, the State-owned Odisha State Road Transport Corporation (OSRTC) plied its buses from Jeypore to Cuttack, Bhubaneswar and Berhampur via Rayagada through Andhra Pradesh route.

In Narayanpatna and Bandhugaon blocks, buses to Andhra Pradesh were cancelled.

Train services from Koraput to Bhubaneswar, Sambalpur and Howrah were normal. Shops and business establishments also remained open.

An alert was sounded and a thick security blanket thrown to prevent any trouble.

“We are prepared to meet any eventuality. Patrolling has been stepped up,” SP Awinash Kumar said.

PHULBANI: The bandh evoked mixed response in Kandhamal district.

Vehicles remained off the road in vulnerable blocks of Daringibadi, Kotagarh,

Tumudibandha and buses plying from Rayagada to Phulbani and Jeypore to Phulbani were cancelled. Shops in some blocks downed their shutters.

Vehicles were being checked in Kandhamal district in view of the bandh. Security forces were also deployed in the vulnerable areas in the district, Kandhamal SP J N Pankaj said. Combing operation was intensified in border areas of Ganjam-Gajapati-Kandhamal district by security forces.