Hundreds of Dangaria Kandha tribal men and women joined a large group of anti-displacement activists of the Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti atop the Niyamgiri hills in Odisha’s Kalahandi district on Sund

Over 1.26 crore people suffer as storm hits transport, power lines

Seventeen persons were killed as the very severe cyclonic storm, Phailin, hit the Odisha coast near Gopalpur in Ganjam district late on Saturday evening, Special Relief Commissioner P.K. Mohapatra said on Sunday.

At least 20 persons, most of them women, were injured in a lathi charge when they were demonstrating in the Posco project area on Thursday demanding the withdrawal of armed police from their locality.

At least two women protesters protested seminude. Jagatsinghpur Superintendent of Police Satyabrata Bhoi confirmed the incident and said a case will be registered in this regard.

Tribal development must for curbing Naxal growth, says Jairam Ramesh

For the residents of this tiny non-descript village in Odisha’s Kalahandi-Bolangir-Koraput region, it was a rare celebratory occasion on Sunday when they got back the rights that had been snatched away by the British rulers nearly a century ago. The official transit passbook for cultivation and harvest of bamboo was handed over to the Jamguda Gram Sabha by Orissa forest officials. Union Rural Development and Tribal Affairs Ministers Jairam Ramesh and Kishore Chandra Deo and Odisha Revenue minister Surjya Narayan Patra attended a Tribal Rights festival organised by the Gram Sabha to mark the event.

Even as land acquisition for the proposed steel project of Posco remained suspended at Gobindpur village in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha on Thursday, villagers staged a demonstration demanding complete withdrawal of the police from the locality.

Leading the protest, Communist Party of India leader D. Raja condemned the entry of police into Gobindpur during night on Sunday when land acquisition was resumed after a gap of more than a year, and demanded that police be withdrawn without delay to restore normality in the area.

Land acquisition for the proposed steel project of Posco at Gobindpur village in Jagatsinghpur district of Odisha was halted and police force withdrawn from the locality on Wednesday following stiff opposition from the locals, particularly women and children.

The land acquisition exercise that was resumed after a long gap on Sunday came to a halt after hundreds of agitating villagers and leaders of different Opposition parties reached the spot where betel vineyards were being destroyed since morning and came face-to-face with the police.

Even as the Posco Pratirodh Sangram Samiti leader Abhay Sahu began an indefinite hunger strike on Tuesday demanding withdrawal of police, the administration continued land acquisition for Posco’s proposed steel project in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district for the third consecutive day.

As many 18 betel vineyards were destroyed on the outskirts of Gobindpur village during the day in heavy police presence and compensation was paid to farmers as hundreds of villagers opposing land acquisition and heavy police presence in the village sat on a dharna at the nearby Patana hamlet where Mr. Sahu began his hunger strike in the morning.

Farmers given compensation for betel vineyards destroyed

The land acquisition for Posco’s planned steel mill continued at Gobindpur in Odisha’s Jagatsinghpur district for the second day on Monday, even as hundreds of villagers resisted the process peacefully. Government officials stopped the process after paying the farmers compensation for 10 betel vineyards destroyed on Sunday. Twenty platoons of armed policemen were deployed to guard the site and seal the entry points to the area.

“Mining has only resulted in displacement of lakhs of tribal families instead of creating jobs for them”

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday urged the governments in the mineral-rich Naxal-affected States to focus on development of agriculture and implementation of rural development programmes instead of focusing on mining to create employment. Addressing a gathering of Dongaria and Kutia Kandha tribal groups on the foothills of Niyamgiri hills in this tribal-dominated block of Kalahandi district, Mr. Ramesh underlined the need for prioritising agriculture and rural development saying that mining in the country’s mineral-rich States such as Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand had only added to the people’s miseries. Mining had only resulted in displacement of lakhs of tribal families instead of proving to be beneficial for them, he added.

DRDO applauded for developing the toilets

Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Sunday announced that his Ministry would soon sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Defence for installation of bio-toilets in 1000 gram panchayats across the country. It would go a long way in improving sanitation in rural India, Mr.Ramesh said. The project will be implemented in coordination with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at a cost of Rs. 400 crore, which will be provided by the Union Rural Development Ministry, Mr. Ramesh said.