SERIOUS ALLEGATION AGAINST ORISSA CHIEF MINISTER

Naveen Patnaik Allegedly Involved with a Scam of Rs.300 Crores

Orissa’s highest circulated newspaper ‘Sambad’ has raised a serious allegation in its July 27 edition against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik that warrants urgent attention.

It brings Naveen’s role as Union minister of Steel and Mines into question.

When he was the central minister, he subjected the Public Sector NALCO to a 300 crore loss in a design to help a private company of Mukunda group styled, International Aluminum Producers Company Ltd.(IAPCL)

According to its report, IAPCL had cultivated NALCO during Naveen’s regime as Union Steel Minister into its fold. Naveen’s close ally Pyari Mohan Mohapatra was then in the NALCO Board of Directors. It wanted and the Center approved to invest 30 crore in IAPCL. Subsequently it was steered into an agreement to purchase end products of IAPCL as and when commercial production commences. It did not happened. But oblivious of impacts it may have on its own economy, NALCO purchased the IAPCL plant at 300 crore of Rupees under clandestine pressure.

Sambad claims, the IAPCL plant was not existent in reality. It existed in papers only. And, hence and the money spent in purchasing of this ghost plant by NALCO was straightaway a loot by the schemers.

Naveen Patnaik should react to this and place everything on records, at least in Orissa’s official web site, so that this alleged felony could be best estimated.

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HONDA SHOWROOM AT BHUBANESWAR EXPERIENCES PUBLIC WRATH

The NEWS Syndicate

Gurgaon is around 1800 KMs away from Bhubaneswar; but the oppression perpetrated by the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) on its workforce through Haryana Police, reported in these pages, has stirred conscious people of Bhubaneswar to come out strongly in support of the victims of the Japanese Company.

Hundreds of general public instantly joined a Communist Party of India (CPI) rally on July 26 to demonstrate their wrath in front of the Honda showroom at Sahid Nagar. The manager of the showroom closed it down even as local police protected it by arresting leaders of the march.

The rally demanded for immediate reinstatement of all the dismissed workers by management of HMCI as well as judicial but time-bound probe to find out who of Haryana authorities was the agent of the MNC in executing the evil design against workers fighting for their job security at Gurgaon.

The demonstrators demanded adequate compensation from Haryana to the workers physically tortured by its police.

That the Multi National Company is determined to harass the workers is amply established by the very fact that the number of dismissed hands has exceeded a thousand. Our people must rise and frustrate unfair labor practices of such velocity resorted to by foreigners in our own land by purchasing tacit support of the governments elected by our people, the protestors said.

HONDA-HARYANA NEXUS BRUTALIZES WORKERS

OrissaMatters Bureau

New Delhi:
Police atrocity is so rampant in India that majority of human right cases come from custodial offences. But what the Haryana police did on July 25 has shown that the khaki clad hounds not only can brutalize human rights but also can thwart rights of the nation to have a fairly living work force. They have established that in the era of globalization a worker can protest against exploitation by a Multi National Company only at a severe price: broken limbs and bleeding injuries.

An overwhelmingly large pack of policemen cordoned off a group of workers of the Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI), a Japanese MNC, near the Mini Secretariat, Gurgaon and brutally assaulted them. More than 700 workers were injured, many of them critically. When the Haryana government puts the figure at 65, Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil has put the figure at 92 in a statement in Parliament a couple of hours ago.

The workers had been agitating for over a fortnight against the HMSI management�s arbitrary and vindictive dismissal of over 1000 workers on a long standoff involving the mistreatment of a worker. About six months back a worker had been hit by a management official. When four workers supported their colleague, they were dismissed in sharp contravention of Law of natural justice. Fifty more who protested against this action were served suspension notices. By now, over 1000 workers have been thrown out of their jobs over this issue.

Yesterday�s rally was one of the series of protests demanding reinstatement of the dismissed workers. Workers have also been asking for higher wages in view of the Company�s growing profits. Negotiations have remained fruitless, the Haryana government�s labour department acting probably dubiously against the interests of the workers.

What happened yesterday, July 25, confirms this allegation to a large extent. The police had arranged for a big contingent apparently to foil the workers� protest rally. As the protesters reached the Mini Secretariat at around 1 p.m. further reinforcements arrived. The workers were cornered by the lathi-wielding policemen and maliciously thrashed.

Police claim that the workers had a scuffle with them in the morning on the Mehrauli- Gurgaon road. One DSP was injured in this and some police vehicles were set on fire along with the local SDM�s car.
But eyewitnesses told media, the police attack was unprovoked. Police did not act to disperse the crowd. Its motive was definitely designed to �teach the workers a lesson� so that they could be tamed.

The incident has drawn wide condemnation from opposition parties with the Prime Minister expressing his deep anguish and concern.

It reflects the same mindset that the British Police had unleashed at Jalianawalabag against unarmed Indians. The irony is that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh who factored opening up of Indian economy to multinationals, had praised the British rule in his recent visit to UK for the pattern of Police that has perfectly fitted into independent India.

Communist Party of India, which leads the HMSI workers Union, has declared to raise a countrywide agitation against this blatant act of oppression by the Honda-Haryana nexus.

The atrocity is so much crabby, cruel and condemnable that anti-worker-by-nature politicians are also eager to express solidarity with the tortured workers of Honda.

(The NEWS Syndicate)

The NEWS Syndicate

Rocks discovered by Spirit Rover, currently engaged in exploration on Mars surface, are being given names that are held in high esteem in public perception.

Agencies reporting Dr Steve Squyres, Principal Investigator of the NASA’s Mars mission, have informed that NASA has named one such rock as Odissi, the world famous classical dance form of Orissa.

Santoor, Kanchunjanga and Nilgiri are few of the Indian names that NASA has given to the rocks discovered.

We’ve tried to use names from various cultures said Dr. Squyres.

“Spirit is now barely 50 metres from the summit of the Columbia Hills, which was named after the Columbia Shuttle that met a tragic end two-and-a-half years ago. The Columbia Hills also has a hill named after Indian astronaut Kalpana Chawla,” he informed.

PEOPLE PERISH UNDER PROJECT INDUCED POVERTY

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Government is busy in distributing mines to companies from outside States and even to foreign companies such as POSCO. But the people displaced in the process are perishing under utter negligence. The Revenue Secretary T.K.Mishra, admitted before the Assembly Committee that the mining dependent Companies are not adhering to Resettlement & Rehabilitation (R&R) Policy of the State Government.

It is shocking that people displaced due to various projects have not been rehabilitated despite lapse of decades. People ousted from their habitats to facilitate construction of the Hirakud dam fifty years ago are yet to be settled, the Committee heard.

Members of the Committee expressed deep anguish over the Governments failure to provide PATTA (records of right over land) to those of the displaced persons who were affected by the Hirakud dam, even though five decades have elapsed.

Presided over by Deputy Speaker Prahallad Dora, the Committee on July 22 wanted to
know about the action taken, if any, against the companies and establishments that have been violating the R&R Policy and ignoring the project-affected peoples legitimate demands.

It transpired that not only private companies, but also Public Sector industries and mining companies under Central Government like the Mahanadi Coalfields Limited (MCL), National Aluminum Company (Nalco) and Rourkela Steel Plant (RSP) have contravened the policy.

When members expressed concern over willful failure of MLC to support peripheral improvements, the Revenue Secretary informed that the Company is taking advantage of several flaws in the Coal Bearing Act, but this being a Central Act, the State Government is unable to do away with the defects.

Has the State brought this to the attention of the Center? Has the administration seriously prosecuted any body for contravention of the R&R Policy? Has ever the State fixed up responsibility on any for failure to issue land records in favour of people who are projected to have been rehabilitated? If yes, what punishment are the errant officers given?

One cannot say if these questions would ever stir the Committee for answers.