The Hindu, February 24, 2011
‘This will make the State a role model for the whole country’
National Alliance of People’s Movements (NAPM) on Wednesday asked the Orissa government to initiate direct dialogue with the Maoist leaders.
This dialogue should be taken up by the Chief Minister, said convenor of NAPM Prafulla Samantra at a press conference held in the city in the presence of labour leader Santosh Mohapatra. According to Mr. Samantra, the incidents following the abduction of Malkangiri district collector R.Vineel Krishna and the junior engineer Pabitra Majhi by Maoists hint that such talks can be possible. “By holding direct political dialogue with the Maoists, Orissa can be a role model for the whole country,” he added.
As per NAPM a hope that there will prevail a conducive atmosphere for dialogue has arisen with recent attitude of Orissa government towards demands of Maoists, which Central government seems to be supporting through its silence.
Mr. Samantra and Mr. Mohapatra, in a joint statement, said although Maoists believe in violent revolution they should also take up democratic means of protest. “The State government should first accept the genuine demands of people’s movements against displacement and exploitation,” they said.
The NAPM wanted formation of a judicial commission to investigate all cases of police killings in the name of encounters with Maoists so that the family members of the persons killed could get justice. It also demanded formation of a land commission to hasten up land settlement in scheduled areas. Within a definite time span of two years all landless dalits and tribals should get land pattas.
The NAPM activists wanted complete ban on use of agricultural land for industrial purpose and establishment of displacement free industries with most efficient use of our natural resources. They also demanded release of all activists of people’s movements who have been put in jail on alleged Maoist links. They wanted the abducted collector to be assigned with the duty of land settlement in remote areas of south Orissa after he gets released from clutches Maoists. “If government returns back to its oppressive measures after end of this hostage drama then situation can become more volatile,” Mr Samantra cautioned.
They also demanded four persons rounded up by police since past several months to be produced in courts as early as possible.
These persons are Subhankar Mallik, Satrughna Biswal, Lalit Dehuri of Jagatsinghpur district and Sangit Pradhan of Ganjam district. Subhankar and Satrughna were allegedly taken away by police on December 10, 2010, Lalit on February 9, 2010 and Sangit had been rounded up on February 2 this year. All of them are yet to be produced in court, they alleged.