IN GOVERNMENT; BUT IN CRIME AGAINST THE STATE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

If you do not pay the State its dues, without any valid reason, how can one term it?

It is a crime against the State. Can one say, no? No.

Then a crime has hit our State. The perpetrators are Ministers and Leaders of Orissa. The crime is willful.

Let us rely upon Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s answer to a question in the Assembly. The pre-intermission part of the current session being hot under impact of acrimony generated due to suspected involvement of either the Chief Minister or the Chief Secretary or both in the brutal oppression let loose on poor tribal community of Kalinga Nagar, the baffling fact placed before the House by the CM escaped attention of many, this site not being an exception. But the information cannot be overlooked.

Any body watching this government must be knowing that Dr. Damodar Raut is considered weightiest amongst Naveen Patnaik’s own party ministers. He has been facing prosecution under the Orissa Public Premises Eviction Act, 1972 for having forcefully occupied Govt. quarter No. B-1 in Unit 1, Bhubaneswar for business purpose. He is to pay the State a sum of Rs. 1, 71,297.00 towards interim penalty fee as determined by the Director of Estates, Govt. of Orissa. The Rent Office is neither able to collect the penalty fee or nor to evict Sri Raut from the unauthorized occupation because of his proximity to the Chief Minister.

Another heavyweight of ruling BJD, former Minister and current Member of Parliament, Prasanna Acharya is in unauthorized occupation of one of the highest type of government quarter, i.e. VIMR-8 in Unit-6 since July 2004 and has defaulted Rs.92, 430.00.

The Congress has two former small time Chief Ministers in the defaulters list. They are Hemananda Biswal and Giridhar Gamango, unauthorized occupants of a VIIIC and 5R type of quarters respectively. Sri Biswal’s penal dues come around Rs.2, 25,500.00 whereas Gamango is to pay Rs.1,50,550.00 as interim penalty.

Former colleague of the Chief Minister Bijay Mohapatra who heads Orissa Gana Parisad in Opposition segment is carrying a govt. overdue to the tune of Rs. 5, 03,702 .00 for unauthorized occupation of a govt. quarter in VII category since April 2000.

But none of these defaulters can vie with Bikram Keshari Deo, prince of Kalahandi and M.P. of BJP. He has not paid Rs.7,94,581.00 despite demands and kept a VII-C type of quarter in Unit-1 in forceful occupation notwithstanding eviction orders, since April 1998. BJP heavyweight Ved Prakash Agrawal, who when Food and Civil Supplies Minister was more marked for his sympathy with the Millers oblivious of their role in distress sale of paddy, is to pay a sum of Rs. 2,22,801.00 to the Govt. as interim penalty over unauthorized occupation of govt. qrs after order of eviction following his loss of entitlement to official accommodation.

If the seniors could set a trend, why should a junior lag behind? Look at Dharmendra Pradhan, President of BJP Juva Morcha and M.P. He has not paid penal license fee applicable to unentitled persons though under his unauthorized possession is lying government quarter No.VIB-4/2 since 17 Nov.2005. He is to pay more than half a lakh of Rupees.

Though compelled to reveal this picture in the House, the Chief Minister is yet to inform the public as to why his machinery has failed to recover the huge money from his core colleagues and who has clipped down the eviction wings of the department of General Administration of which he himself is the Minister.

Prasad Harichandan of Congress, a former minister, held to be in unauthorized occupation of a government quarter since June 2004 says, he will comply with the Special Accommodation Rules the moment he finds that the Chief Minister has made his party colleagues pay their outstanding dues and vacated the quarters under their illegal occupation.

WOMEN OF KORAPUT IN ORISSA BRING BACK LIFE TO DEAD SPRING

Roving Reporter

No more leaving the village in search of livelihood elsewhere. No more living under threat of death due to dehydration. Shuddering under the shadow of impending desert is no more.

Three women, only three, have made the magic.

Water, vanished since long, has come back to the dried up spring in the village of Bhimdol under Balda Gram Panchayat in the Nandipur Block of Koraput

The ever green Koraput lost its lustrousness to industrialization and hills after hills got denuded of the dense forests that had kept her head high in pride.

Bhimdol had lost her hope. The forest spring in whose flow of nectar her children had been retaining their vigor dried away as the trees fell to the axes of avarice.

Should they leave their beloved place? How can they survive and for how many days without water? High above the sea level as Bhimdol stands, who can have a dream for water in dug-wells or tanks? Should they leave, should they leave the lap of their beloved mother, the place of their ancestors, the village Bhimdol?

No. No. No.

No, cried Radha, no, never.

She remembered the past when water was flowing sweetly from the spring under the ever green canopy of the forest. She looked at the dried up bed that was once of the melodious spring, then searched for the green canopy that had vanished with denudation of the hills. To her it occurred that the spring had withheld her water as no tree was there to share her romance. And, she took the decision.

She talked to her close friends Jhumuki and Sisha. The three understood the choked agony of the dried up spring. The agony arising out of absence of the sky scrapping trees to which the spring was singing her romantic songs.

Trees are to grow again if the spring is to flow, they agreed.

The male members of the village community had allowed their axes to fell down trees at the behest of forest exploiters. The three women took up axes to protect the trees that were raising their heads despite destruction.

Having sloughed over initially, the whole village rose to their call. Everybody pledged support. No new plantation, but no plant to be destroyed.
Within a couple of years, the green canopy grew. Came back the environment that the avaricious axes of the agents of industry had wiped out.

The spring cast aside her reluctance. Water flew.

Bhimdol is now alive to agro activities again. The spring water is serving tiny patches of crop fields. A new confidence is growing in every heart echoing the ecstasy of rising of the trees.

Women in Orissa’s villages are being marked more and more for their collective endeavor to better their economy through self-help groups. One may earnestly hope that in these groups Radha and her two friends of Bhimdol get partners in ever rising numbers.

KALINGA NAGAR MASSACRE: QUESTIONS THE CHIEF MINISTER SHIED AT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

It was not easy for the Opposition to make the Government understand that it was answerable to Orissa Legislative Assembly on the massacre perpetrated by the State on tribal population at Kalinga Nagar on 2nd January 2006. After almost a total collapse of scheduled businesses of the House for three consecutive days from the beginning of the 7th session, as the situation became more clamant under matching mass agitation against the crime, the Chief Minister told the Speaker on 6th of February 2006, “The Government is ready for an immediate and major discussion on the subject”. Then the Speaker invited Deputy Leader of Opposition Mr. Narasigh Mishra to move his motion for discussion.

Mishra moved the motion thus, “That the matter relating to Kalinga Nagar incident that took place on dt.2.1.2006 resulting in killing of 12 Adivasis and the situation arising out of that incident be discussed”. The motion duly moved, the Speaker called upon Mishra to start his speech. Mishra started his speech after thanking the Speaker “for conducting the House afresh after the Government ran away from this House, being afraid of facing the Opposition”. But he could not proceed initially. Back-benchers of the treasury side, till polemically thrashed to stay within limits, went on causing interruptions. Mishra attributed the interruptions to the Chief Minister in no uncertain term. Thereafter, as I watched, interruption subsided.

Mishra held the Government, specifically Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Chief Secretary Subas Pani responsible for the killing of 12 persons of tribal community as well as for brutalization of their bodies. “You are angry with the tribals because they were opposing your financiers. You wanted to terrorize Adivasis because you are in the pockets of industrial houses. So, to protect the interest of industrialists you wanted a message to go that you can do anything and everything. This is how he scolded the Chief minister in his fact loaded attack on the Government.

Pointing out that the “Government has taken absolutely no step to provide food to the poor and downtrodden even though almost 90% of people in the tribal area being below the poverty line”, Mishra said, “it wants to drive out the adivasis, the dalits and the rustic villagers from their home land which they have been occupying for centuries. It wants to deprive the farmers from their cultivable lands. It wants the irrigation to be diverted from agriculture to industry. It wants to enrich the rich, the industrial houses and the mine owners at the cost of the poor farmers, the tribals, the dalits as well as at the cost of the State”.

Telling that the Kalinga Nagar massacre was not sudden and unexpected, Mishra gave a detail picture of how the Government had tried time and again to terrorize the tribals through the police or pokiness. The January 2 massacre was preplanned and both the Chief Minister and the Chief Secretary had compelled the Collector and S.P. to carry out the carnage.

“I have definite information that the Chief Minister took a meeting of the officials on 24th December 2005 and there he pressurized the officers to see that Tata proceeds with construction. He asked the officers to see that the opposition by the adivasis comes to an end”, Mishra declared. He pointed out that since May 1995, the tribals have been demonstrating their resentment against handing over their land to industrialists even braving terrorism unleashed by the State. He recalled how mercilessly the police had assaulted the people who were protesting against “Bhumi Puja” on their soil by the Maharastra Seemless. The A.D.M. of the district was present there. “All the male had to rush to the jungle to hide themselves and save themselves from the police torture, so much so, while running way from the police assault, a woman gave birth to a child, but left it behind. The baby could not be carried. The baby was separated from the mother. The newly born child had to die out of starvation“, Mishra cried out indicating how 26 women including school going children were arrested to pressurize male members of their families to surrender.

Strengthened by such sort of State support, industrialists became so reckless that on 16 July 2005 many houses in Bansipur village were damaged due to blasting by Jindal. The poor villagers protested but in vain when villagers of Chandia and Gobarghat opposed construction work being carried out by the Jindal industries. On 17 October 2005, tribals as well as other marginal farmers opposed TATA’s construction work and decided to stage a demonstration rally at Bhubaneswar. A tribal leader of the area was apprehended by police at Bhubaneswar on 25 Oct.05 while participating in the rally in protest against which the tribal people “gheraoed” the Kalinga Nagar police station, the next day on 26 Oct 05. Reattempt to construct the Wall by TATA was also opposed on 22 Nov.05 by the tribals who held their grand plenum on 30 Nov.05 to oppose industries claiming rights over their own ancestral land and to resolve not to leave their home and hearth in favor of Industries. Alarmed by this collective resentment, the Chief Minister had taken the December 24 meeting, Mishra said, holding the same to be the beginning of a conspiracy to kill the tribals.

“We therefore like to know and the House has every right to know what for the meeting on 24 of December 2005 was called, what transacted in that meeting, what decision was taken in that meeting?”, said Mr. Mishra.

Then he went on giving further information. “I have information that the Chief Secretary took a meeting on 31st of Dec.05. In this meeting he asked the officers to ensure that at any cost TATA should be allowed to have his construction. If this is true, then that was the subsequent stage of conspiracy which ultimately resulted in the killing of the tribals”, he declared.

Informing the House that the Chief Secretary had “banged” the Collector as well as the S.P. of Jajpur “thereby putting pressure to help TATA going out of way”, Mishra referred to what the Collector had told the Press after the massacre. The collector had volunteered that the action taken at Kalinga Nagar on 3rd January, 2006 was “at the behest of higher-ups”. This “higher-up” may be the Chief Minister or the Chief Secretary or may be both, Mr. Mishra underlined.

He informed that both the top officers of the district had their respective mobile phones from which they had talked with unknown persons both before and after the incident. With who had they talked? He called upon the Chief Minister to reveal with whom those two top executives had talked before and after the massacre as the same could easily be ascertained from the memory cards.

Why so large numbers of armed police were deployed at Kalinga Nagar on 2nd January 2006? Under whose direction and on which ground had they gone there? Asked Mishra.

Was there any F.I.R. from TATA?

Was their any quarrel between TATA and the tribals on 2nd Jan 06?

Was there any intelligence report on possibility of any showdown between TATA and the tribals on the particular day on the basis of which so heavy a police force with accompanying magistrate, Collector and S.P had to be drafted to the spot with power to kill?

These were also amongst the questions the deputy Leader of Opposition had asked while initiating the discussion.

The Chief Minister shied at all these questions.

But why?

This question hunts even many in the BJD who do not know intricacies of applied plutocracy.

TRAIN YOUR MIND TO THE DEBATES; NOT TO TRAINING IN JUDO, MR.SPEAKER!

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Every session of a Legislative Assembly is important; but the Budget session is importantly important. Orissa Assembly commenced this session on the 3rd Feb. 2006. People of Orissa are eager to see that the budget be discussed and we know, discussion on a budget proceeds on the premise of accountability of the Government.

In a session like this, the Opposition is supposed to be aggressive. Its stance is supposed to be stern. We accept it as a necessity to make the Government accountable.

But the world is now laughing at us as a rash word from the Speaker has spread that the Assembly’s security personnel would be deputed for special judo training to keep under control the Opposition members. I quote below from CNN-IBN Live:
[In order to cope with situations like these, the Assembly’s security personnel are now being given special judo training. “The idea is not to confront the MLAs. The training will help them keep violent MLAs under control”, said Mohanty.]

So, security personnel trained in Judo will be used to “control” the Opposition MLAs!

What sort of a House it is going to be? Are you expecting an Opposition to work under threats of assault?

What sort of a House it is going to be? Do you want the Opposition members to function with a constant threat to their physical security?

It is true, we had to witness many such scenes in the House which, one may wish, should never have happened. Opposition members piled up coins on the reporters’ table in the Assembly Hall to comply with the ruling of the Speaker imposing cash penalty on them. The coin piles remained there in that condition till finally accepted by the Speaker. Had the Speaker accepted them on the first day at the first instance, it would have helped the House to proceed with its normal business that was so valuable to the State. But, the delay only helped feeding gullible minds with wrong messages on the Opposition. A sophomoric media that have almost replaced serious observation misled public mind to believe in the official version that the Opposition is not allowing the Assembly to proceed. Such a climate, as we saw later, encouraged the Speaker to threaten a member of the Opposition with physical assault, which, he disowned subsequently to impress upon the public that he had only said that the people will beat up the Opposition members for the stonewall created with the coins.

The treasury bench was justifying non-acceptance of the coins on two grounds: firstly the Hall of the Assembly was not the receipt counter and secondly, under a 1906 Act, carrying coin worth more than ten rupees was an offence and therefore the members of Congress who brought coins claimed to be to the tune of Rs.60.000/- committed a crime necessitating rejection.

Attempts of the treasury bench to take shelter under such an archaic law were really amusing. The Supreme Court of India has made a Law that any Law not in use shall have no legal impact. The 1906 Law, if it is yet not repelled, has, therefore, no legal impact. Now the other ground. The penalty (use of the word jorimana in course of discussion makes the meaning of the word specific) was imposed during debates in presence of all the members present in the House on the basis of a motion moved by the Government Chief Whip in the Assembly Hall and all the members, present in the Hall, even later, had heard the Speaker rejecting requests for reconsideration and were made to know that the Speaker had stuck to his decision and the penalized members were bound to pay the penalty. This was therefore not a blunder on part of the penalized members to make the payment of the penalty money in the Hall itself in presence of all the members.

The penalized members are political leaders and political leaders take a political stand. To stand in line before a counter clerk to pay a penalty in the Assembly premises would never have any compatibility with any political stand. It was therefore in fitness of facts to make the payment in a style that only a political stand could entail. Any stand other than that they took could have humiliated the proud people of Orissa who have proven their political courage by rejecting the ruling combine in order to elect them to the Assembly. They have been punished as their extra-active participation, aimed basically at dragging the Government out of its bureaucratic cocoon, caused damages to three of the mike sets in the process. It was, on this premise, not incorrect on part of the Congress members to insist upon acceptance of the payment in the Hall of the House in presence of all other members. Had this psycho-political reality been duly honored, valuable Assembly time would not have been lost in the way it happened.

However, as we now watch, both the justifications for non-acceptance of the coins could not click as the Speaker ultimately accepted the money. Would it be wrong to say, by not accepting the coins from the beginning, rooms were created for confrontation and chaos? If so, who is responsible? The Government or the Opposition?

It was sad that the finer aspect of magnanimity in parliamentary rivalry could not be properly read in the ruling circle of Orissa. If magnanimity in rivalry is a matter to be seen in its best form in any place then that place must be the House of the representatives of the people. If there, in place of magnanimity, a mean atmosphere of confrontation reigns, whom to blame? The treasury bench in who people have reposed responsibility to manage their rampart of democracy or the Opposition?

Had magnanimity not suffered a set-back, legislative activism would not have landed in such a situation. Penalized members of the Congress were to face further castigations for having brought the money in coins of small denomination. But I think the Congress did not do any wrong by paying the penalty in small coins. Three MLAs were subjected to the penalty while representing their electorate in the Assembly. Therefore the people of their respective constituencies contributed the money, the Congress claimed. If they contributed in small coins, there was nothing to be surprised. In fact, the common people of Orissa have been so pauperized in this ‘Mining Raj’ that they have no ability to donate notes of any denomination for political or public purpose. Hence there was no wrong on part of the Congress MLAs to accept solidarity help from their respective supporters in coins, howsoever small might they be in denomination and naturally therefore there was nothing surprising in their desire to deposit the same in compliance of the ruling in the Hall of the Assembly.

Was there any unusualness? Was there any disrespect for the House? No. Hence why the same was not taken into possession and to the accounts immediately? If the House could proceed next day despite presence of the coin pile on the central table in the Hall, why the same stance could not be taken at the beginning so that valuable debates could have continued?

Who can belittle the ghastly impact of Kalinga Nagar massacre? Can one expect the Opposition to remain a silent spectator? What was then the justification in putting Opposition demands for instant debate over the issue beyond the boundary for days? The Chief Minister told the House that the Government is “ready for an immediate and a major discussion on the subject” by suspending the question hour. But why this on 6th February 2006? Had the Government agreed to accept the Opposition demand earlier, the House would never have lost so much valuable time and tranquility. Can one find any fault with the Opposition for having made the House addressed to the ugliest oppression of the era and to its after effect? True, the Opposition took a stern stance in this instance. But could otherwise the recalcitrant Government have agreed to give priority to Kalinga Nagar massacre?

As we watched the Assembly, on 6th Feb.06, after Naveen Patnaik agreed to the Opposition’s continuous demand for discussion on Kalinga Nagar, the Government Chief Whip moved a motion seeking suspension of Rule 19 Sub-Clause 2 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the House for the time-being for the purpose of discussion of the motion relating the Kalinga Nagar incident and it was accepted. The discussion continued for four days without any reply from the CM. Holidays intervened. When the House resumed it should have started from where the discussion had stopped as this was ordained by the motion adopted. This means, the day should have begun from the CM’s awaited reply. But that did not happen. On the other hand, police killed Congress Chairman of Rairakhol Panchayat Samiti, by accident or by design, at Village Bhatra under Charmal Police Station on 15 Feb.06 whipping up an unprecedented public protest at Rairakhol. The day this disturbing news hit headlines, on 17 Feb.06, armed rubbers went unhindered after looting the entire cash from the strong-room of public sector Panjab National Bank at Bapuji nagar, Bhubaneswar at 10 A.M. Were these events not enough for the Opposition to demand instant discussion? Who to blame if voices were raised to register agony over Government’s attempts to evade?

Now the Opposition is boycotting the CM. Is the Opposition doing any wrong?

The way the news has spread that Assembly security staff shall be trained in Judo to keep violent members under control is not conducive to democracy.

We have watched how the Deputy Leader of Opposition placed the issue of Kalinga Nagar massacre on records. We have watched what the Leader of Opposition said. What other members too. We have watched the reply of the CM. Has the CM honestly answered the questions raised by the Opposition? No. He has not given the information sought for. What then the Opposition should do? Can we blame the Opposition if it adopts any tactics within its command to make the Government accountable?

I think, the Speaker has a responsible role to play. Instead of trying to control extra-active members by using Judo trained security staff, he should peruse the proceedings of the House. He should note the information sought for by the Opposition. He should ask the CM to give that information to the Opposition so that it is proved that the Government is answerable to the House and the discussion on Kalinga Nagar massacre makes people know what really has happened.

In best interest of democracy, the Kalinga Nagar issue should be restored to the proceedings. The way the CM caused interruptions when the Deputy leader of Opposition was in the concluding phase of his deliberation was never expected of the Leader of the House. Who then really violates the rampart of democracy in Orissa? The Treasury bench or the Opposition?

“A person like the Chief Minister is disturbing me. What is this?”

Should we have a debate concluded with this question from its initiator in the House?

Instead of training the security staff in Judo, the Speaker should better train his attention to this pertinent question.

DEMOCRACY IN DILEMMA: AN IAS OFFICER CAN HARM PEOPLE EVEN AFTER RETIREMENT

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

In deep agony over unilateral delimitation of constituencies that is clearly anti-people and anti-democracy, Ms. Sugyan Kumari Deo, held in high esteem by everybody irrespective of party affiliations, condemned the draft notification published by the Delimitation Commission (DC) during the debates in Orissa Legislative Assembly on 20.Feb.06 and said, even though she cannot name, she was sure that it was an act of a villain or a couple of villains hidden behind the curtain. But Arun De was more specific. He named certain retired IAS officers.

Is it then a play of career-long order-carriers with an eye on pleasure from putting political leaders in disadvantage?

MLAs are yet to ascertain.

But all of the five MLAs who were representing the OLA in the Delimitation Commission as Associated Members thereof tendered their resignation in protest against
non-implementation of their advice and urged upon the Speaker to take up the matter with appropriate authorities so that political life of Orissa does not get mired in electoral unrest.

Making a special mention of relinquishment of their status during the Zero hour, Congress stalwart Nalinikanta Mohanty told the House that suggestions of the Associated Members were sloughed over by the DC in blatant disregard to delimitation guidelines. The draft notification published by the DC is a detriment deliberately designed to dwindle democratic interaction amongst the electorate and sitting or aspirant candidates in as many as 45 of the Assembly Constituencies of Orissa. If the draft notification is allowed, not only 54 members of the present Assembly belonging to different parties, but also as many as nine members of the present Council of Ministers would be hit by the dislocation. What is the logic behind causing this dislocation if creation of disadvantage for politically unpalatable persons even in the ruling caucus is not the purpose, he wondered. Other members drafted to the DC also reflected almost the same view.

The draft notification is an outcome of disregard to social, cultural and geographical realities prevalent in Orissa and hence cannot be countenanced, said almost all the members who joined the 104 minute long debate.

Speaker Maheswar Mohanty assured to convey an extraordinary meeting of all political parties within a couple of days to find out means to undo the mischief the draft notification is breathing.

The Chief Minister keeps mum.

ERA OF POLITICAL KILLING COMMENCES IN ORISSA: OPPOSITION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

An era of political killing has commenced in Orissa under the BJD-BJP coalition government, alleged independent member Shambunath Nayak in the Orissa Legislative Assembly on 17 Feb.2006 criticizing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his refusal to arrest Rajat Kumar Rai, Officer-In-Charge of Charmal Police Station even though he is the kingpin behind the ghastly murder of Harekrushna Pradhan, leader of Congress Party and Chairman of Rairakhol Panchayat Samiti of Sambalpur.

In a written reply to an adjournment motion moved by Narasinga Mishra, MLA from Loisinga and others on the subject of this murder by the local police and the alarming Law and Order situation in the State, the CM told the house that on basis of the allegation of the son of the deceased and taking intensive public stir over the issue into account, “Sub-Inspector Rajat Kumar Rai, OIC, Charmal P.S., Constable Sheshadev Pradhan, Constable Gunanidhi Behera, Constable M.R.Podha and Constable S.K.Behera have been placed under suspension and inquiry has been ordered into the incident by Revenue Divisional Commissioner, Sambalpur”.

The CM told the House that a person from Charmal P.S. area was killed by a wild bear on 14 Feb.2006. “The bear was moving near the dead body and was attacking anyone approaching the dead body”. Even though “the local forest staff, OIC of Charmal P.S., Sarapanch of Bharatpur G.P. along with around 500 villagers reached the spot to retrieve the dead body and the forest staff exploded crackers to scare away the wild bear, it did not yield results. Rather another person was injured by the bear”, the CM informed. According to him, “on 15 Feb.06 at about 7.30 A.M., OIC of Charmal P.S. with his staff and APR force accompanied by Sri Hrushikesh Pradhan, Chairman, Rairakhol Panchayat Samiti and some other villagers had been to the spot in village Vatra to retrieve the dead body. The violent bear which was hiding behind a bush suddenly attacked them. Sri Hrushikesh Pradhan fell down and the bear pounced on him. In order to save the life of Sri Pradhan and deter the violent bear from further attacks, the APR force fired 8 rounds from a .303 rifle. The bear was killed and Sri Pradhan sustained injuries. While Sri Pradhan was shifted to Rairakhol Sub-Divisioal Hospital for treatment in a police vehicle, he expired and was received dead at the Hospital”.

The Opposition refused to accept this story. The behavior of the bear narrated by the CM never tallies with reality. Bears do not keep guard on the carcasses of their victims for days and do not dare mobs and crackers. The CM is trying to escape with concocted explanations, members alleged. Even treasury bench heavyweight Pradeep Maharathi expressed doubts. Asking the CM to enlighten the House on what pattern of behavior is peculiar to a bear while attacking, to see if that matches the instant case, Maharathi said, “We political leaders are like NMR workers. The real government is controlled by bureaucrats, who want us to believe whatever is their version”.

The MLA of Rairakhol Sanatan Bisi supported the official version even as his colleagues M/s Kalpataru Das, Raghunath Mohanty, Debi Mishra of ruling BJD and Bimbadhar Kuanra of BJP stood with the CM.

Sitakanta Mohapatra of Congress wondered how the police can save the people when its armed constabulary is unable to hit the target and kills a man instead, if the statement of the CM has any iota of credibility. Mahes Sahoo pointed out that Law and Order situation has so severely deteriorated that people won’t dare to have nuptial nights without invoking police protection, but the ability of the police as depicted in Rairakhol firing would pose as a deterrent!

Jayadev Jena of Congress termed the death of Pradhan as an instance of political killing and Arun De of OGP asked the Government to stop the drama of an enquiry by its own apparatus. He demanded an enquiry by the CBI sans any dilly dally.

Reacting to the CM’s clarification that police OIC Rai is not being protected inasmuch as a case has been registered under section 302 that provides for prosecution for murder, Dr. Nrusingh Sahu of Congress said, the Government has nothing to claim credit for that. Sec.302 has been invoked on the basis of the FIR filed by the son of the deceased leader, not by the initiative of the Prosecution wing.

Castigating the government for its attempts to hush up the crime, Deputy Leader of Opposition Nrusingh Mishra had set the tone of attack on Government by rejecting an enquiry by the RDC as not dependable. It is a crime committed through the Police. The Police has executed a conspiracy to kill Sri Pradhan. It had lifted him from his residence under the guise of visiting the spot where the wild bear had killed a man and somewhere on the way had committed the cold-blooded murder. Three bullets had pierced the body of the Congress leader, one on the temple, one on torso and the other on the buttock, but there was no trace of piercing in the shirt he had worn. It clearly indicates that Sri Pradhan was denuded of his dresses before being shot at, Mishra, who had visited the bereaved family immediately after the news had shaken up Bhubaneswar, said. The bear episode is being used as a ploy to hoodwink the public, he emphasized. Why the Police killed him and/or at whose behest the Police killed him must be found out and for this, RDC is not adequate. He has no experience or expertise in crime investigation. An enquiry by the CBI is the only way to deal with the matter, he had stressed. Even, ruling party member Sanatan Bisi had opined that the suspended Police officer should have been arrested before absconding.

But it had no impact on the CM. Nobody can be arrested before guilt is established, he said, sticking to his decision for an administrative enquiry by the RDC.

People have manifested their irk by burning down the Charmal Police Station and demonstrating their protests in the largest congregation of general public ever having expressed their collective condemnation of Government in the usually peaceful forest land: Rairakhol.

But watching the Government at Bhubaneswar one is inclined to feel that the people at the helm of affairs have no efficiency in reading the writings on the wall.

KALINGA NAGAR MASSACRE: CM FIDGETS IN THE HOUSE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik took so many days. But he could not convince the Opposition that he is not guilty.

Trying to defend his Government in the Kalinga Nagar massacre matter, Patnaik told the House on 17 Feb.2006 in the evening that he has more than compensated the victims through posthumous financial aid at the rate of Rs.5 lakhs per deceased over and above offer of job to an heir of the bereaved family, Rs.50,000/- per wounded including treatment of one of them in the AIIMS, New Delhi at government cost, critical as was his condition. For wrongful post-mortem examination conducted on the bodies of the 12 gunshot tribals on 2nd Jan.2006, three doctors have been put under suspension and the matter of chopping off of breasts and penes of dead tribal females and males has been drafted to the State Human Rights Commission for needful action. The violence proper has been referred to a Judicial Enquiry Commission and action as per its finding would be taken. Besides this, the government is all set to frame up a rehabilitation policy, which, he claimed, would be the best in the country.

The Chief Minister’s reply provoked Deputy Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, while wrapping up the debate he had initiated, to reprimand the Chief Minister severely for shying away from the charges he had made.

The Opposition had wanted you to tell: why there was so massive deployment of police force at Kalinga Nagar on 2nd January 2006? Why have you not answered this question? He asked the CM.

The Opposition had wanted to know if there was any information filed with the Police by the Tata concern expressing apprehension of any attack by the tribal community necessitating the deployment of armed police in so many packs. Why have you preferred to shy away from this question? He asked the CM.

The Tata establishment has in the mean time clarified that none of its officials was present on the spot on the day of the massacre. The government is not showing if there was any FIR filed by the Tatas. It is clear therefore that it is the State government that had masterminded the massacre on Dec.28, 05 under direction of the CM in the meeting he had taken in his chamber, as earlier alleged, after intelligence report reached him about the rising discontentment amongst the tribal habitants, which the CM has failed to refute, Mishra said.

The question was specific: why school-going children and women taking their bath were gunned down? Why have you not answered that? Tribals going away from Tata’s wall building location were shot at from behind. You were asked to tell the House: who ordered this firing? Why have you not answered that? The Collector as well as the S.P. had talked through their respective mobile phones before and after the massacre. The Opposition had wanted to know as to with whom they had held their conversation. Why have you kept mum on this? There was no apprehension of any assault from the Tatas. There was no FIR from anybody of Tata establishment indicating any apprehension from any tribal to justify so heavy deployment of armed police. Therefore the Opposition had wanted to know as to who had ordered for this deployment. Why have you not told the House of it? Admittedly three doctors have been suspended for wrongful post-mortem. The Opposition had wanted the details of the wrong committed by the said doctors and the post-mortem report. Why have you not laced them in the House? Mishra grilled the CM.

Instead of answering the question raised by Opposition, the CM has tried to escape under the canopy of judicial enquiry. The House must not be allowed to be hoodwinked like this, Mishra warned.

When the Deputy Leader of Opposition was dwelling on such pertinent points, the Chief Minister ventured some comments as the Speaker allowed. Mishra took strong exception to this blatant transgression on the decorum of debates. The Speaker forthwith expressed regrets and clarified that he erred under confusion and allowed Mishra to continue. But the Chief Minister did not relent. He continued uttering incomprehensible words despite vociferous protests from the Opposition members, some of whom even rushed into the well in disgust.

We shall not hear this transgressor of democratic decorum and as long as he has not owned up responsibility for the Kalinga Nagar massacre, we will not participate in any discussion whenever he is on his leg, declared the Deputy Leader of Opposition.

But why Naveen was in a state of fidgetiness?