Dec 28, 2012-

Mr. Prafulla Samantara president of Lokshakti Abhiyan and national convenor of NAPM along with 30 tribal activists of Kashipur Prakrutika Sampad Surkhya Parishad has been acquitted by the District trial court of Rayagada on 18th December 2012.

Mr. Samantara and others had been charged falsely under IPC 307 (Attempt to murder) soon after Police firing on 16th December 2000 at Maikanch of Kashipur took place where three tribals were shot dead and many were injured. On 15th December 2000 supporters of Utkal Alumina International Ltd. had been to Maikanch to force the villagers to accept Alumina plant and mining of buxite but villagers opposed it.

Company supporters got returned back ultimately and on next day they went with the police force to village Maikanch where three tribal youth were shot dead.

To justify the firing, an FIR was ladged against people of Kashipur along with Prafulla Samantara and Achyut Das of Agrugamee. A Judicial Commission of inquiry headed by the sitting Judge Justice P.K. Mishra of the High Court, Odisha, in its report exonerated Mr. Prafulla Samantara & Achyut Das and pointed out that FIR was manipulated by police to charge Mr. Prafulla Samantara in false cases as he was in the people’s struggle against Alumina Company. Even after the  judicial commission’s report was published, the police chargesheeted Mr. Samantara and others to suppress the democratic movement against anti people industrialization.

Ultimately Mr. Samantara & Mr. Acyut Das along with tribal activists have been acquitted by the district trial court of Rayagada. Since 10years all of there were on bail by the High Court.

Kalyan Anand

NAPM, State Convenor, Odisha