Batakrushna Swain

The Hon. Naveen Patnaik

Chief Minister, Odisha

Sub: Request for the release of Upakuliya Jami o Jangala Surakhya Samiti member Mr. Batakrushna Swain

Honorable Sir,

We the undersigned people, regret to convey our dissatisfaction regarding the change in the definition of crime in our state. Though the drought situation is not new in the state, however, the increase in the geographical space of the same is indeed a grave concern. The drought of the 90s, which was affecting just two districts again and again, has spread across thirteen districts as various government reports (of the years-2002, 2010, 2015 and 2018). Similarly, after the year 1971, we witnessed the great cyclonic storm of 1999. However, since the last ten years, we saw many storms like Phailin (2013), Hud Hud (2014), Titli (2018), Fani (2019) and Yaas (2021) which shows that a place where storms used to occur once in twenty or thirty years, we now have storms once in almost every two to three years. These increased statistic reports of the storm and drought conditions in the state is a clear indication towards the deteriorating climatic conditions.

We want to convey that the members of Puri District’s Upakuliya Jami o Jangala Surakhya Samiti (Coastal Fields and Forest Preservation Committee) who have been repeatedly trying for years, to prevent the establishment of the Shamuka Tourism Project in the areas of Sipasarubali and the new aerodrome field, are sadly the victims of brutal attacks and imprisonment. Recently on the 16th of August, 2021, committee member, Mr. Batakrushna Swain was arrested by the district cop, while he was returning to his village. He was arrested conferring to the case number 130 on the 11th of April, 2021 , U/s 294, 324 and 307 of IPC and 10 other criminal cases lodged against him.

The social workers who have been working for environmental preservation are a boon for the society, yet, the government keeps treating them as criminals, which is very undemocratic and unconstitutional. Though the government acknowledges the facts that there has been an increase in the destruction of the forest covers, the river water is getting polluted and dried up, and the natural resources of our state is depleting rapidly, but the people who are responsible for the same are not treated as ‘criminals’, nor are they being punished in any manner. Since the last two decades, none of such ‘criminal’ have ever been punished by the Pollution Department of the state.

Today, the natural resources that we have, is the result of the sustainable management of these resources by our forefathers. This society and this earth will continue to exist after us. So, the prime duty of the government should be the preservation of these natural resources, praising people involved in the preservation of the resources and punishing those who try to destroy it by listing their names as criminals. Besides, the government shouldn’t limit itself under ‘zero casualty’ during the cyclonic storms, but also take all the necessary steps that are required to lower the repetitive nature of these storms. We, the undersigned people, demand that the Shamuka (Oyster) Project and new Aerodrome field projects should be cancelled, and Mr. Batakrushna Swain, to be released unconditionally as soon as possible.

Thanking You

Yours Sincerely,

  1. Golak Bihari Nath, Human Rights Activist and Economist
  2. Ashutosh Parida, Poet
  3. Janardana Pati, Member Secretary, CPI(M), Odisha Sate
  4. Rabi Das, Senior Journalist
  5. Praful Samantaray, Environmentalist
  6. Sudhir Patnaik, Journalist and Social activist
  7. Basanti Acharya, Secretary, Manababadee Hetubadi Sangathan, Odisha
  8. Biswapriya, HR activist and Advocate
  9. Sarala Das, Columnist
  10. Prasanta Jena, Advocate, Odisha High Court, Cuttack
  11. Gupreswar Panigrahi, Advocate, Koraput Bar Association
  12. Ashok Das, Advocate, Puri Bas Association
  13. Bijaya Bahidar, Educationist
  14. Kedar Mishra, Poet and Journalist
  15. Saroj Mohanty, Poet and Editro ‘Anwesa’
  16. Bijay Upadhyaya, Advisor, Malkanagiri Adivasi Sangha
  17. Pramila Behera, Basti Surakhya Mancha, Odisha
  18. Jayanta Biswal
  19. Shiva Prasad Nanda, Sr Journalist, Sambalpur
  20. Shankar Sahu, State Secretary, AIKKS
  21. Balabhadra Malik, Banabasi Surakhya Parishada, Kandhamal
  22. Rajendra Barik, Vice-president, TUCI, Odisha
  23. Narendra Mohanty, State Convenor, Mithya Makadama Birodhee Abhijan, Odisha
  24. Abani Gaya, Convenor, Manab Adhikar Surakhy Manch
  25. Nirakar Nayak, AIKMKS, Odisha
  26. Simanchal Nayak, Rushikulya Rayat Mahasabha
  27. Gurudev Behera, Jiban Jibika Paribesh Surakhya Mncha
  28. Madhusudan, Jan Jagaran Abhijan
  29. Nihar Mishra, HR Activist, Rourkela
  30. Nihar Kanti Das, Journalist and HR activist
  31. Lenin Kumar, Poet
  32. Rumita Kundu, social activist
  33. Deba Ranjan.

Bhubaneswar, 4 September, 2021

Email for communication: gassbhubaneswara@gmail.com


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