Prafulla Samantara from Lok Shakti Abhiyan, also a winner of Goldman Environmental Prize in 2017, deplored that “The state has become so shameless that the activists who are working with the people on ground and ensuring their rights to be protected are being targeted as Urban Naxals. “We need to root out this government otherwise they are not going to work for the people and will also not let others work.”, he added.
He was addressing at various places in Odissa, during three days tour of Samvidhan Samman Yatra, after travelling through Jharkhand. It visited various movement places to understand, share and express solidarity and strength with them.
Stating that Sundergarh is a fifth schedule area, where FRA and PESA are applicable, he said but the laws are being out rightly violated to facilitate corporate loot. Even after complete rejection to Vedanta in Niyamgiri hills and other areas, he said State is hell bent to favour corporates and consistently trying to appropriate people’s voices.
He asserted that NAPM will support people’s resistance against these injustices despite the increasing attacks on activists in the name of Urban Naxals. The yatra first visited Sundargarh, Rajgampur, Ranibandh, Jharsuguda and Sambalpur in the state. Later Balangir and then joined Niyamgiri struggle after that. On the last day in Odisha, activists joined public meetings at Bhubneshwar, Cuttack, and Bhadrak.
“Neither Naveen Patnaik in Odisha nor Narendra Modi at the Centre who regularly invite foreign investors have similarly listened to People’s movements and organisations about their grievances and perspectives. This proves who the government is working for? People or Corporates!”, said . Meera Sanghamitra from NAPM
“Odisha is one of the places abundant in terms of mineral resources and yet one of the most impoverished. We must question where the wealth is going? When adivasis are still deprived of it.”, said Bhupendra Rawat from Jan Sangharsh Vahini.