Prafulla Samantara

Today I along with leaders of people’s Movements like Lingaraj convener of Paschim Odisha Krusak sangathan, Lingaraj Azad of Niyamgiri Suraksha Samiti and Narendra Mohanty of Human Rights were going to Kapand of Banei Subdivision to attend a meeting of villagers who are protesting against a proposed polluting industry of Kai International Ltd which will destroy a village forest and pollute river and tanks. On the way at Darjing police force with Sub collecter prevented us not to attend the meeting . My question was to police officers and administrator why my freedom and personal liberty was attacked again and again when I was visiting Kapand. They have no answer but said law and order.

The meeting was organised calling people through leaflet with our names and there was mentioned my newly published book to be released in the meeting. The meeting was not banned nor there were any action to stop.But I along with other social activists were not allowed to be with people who were deprived of taking part in public hearing . It was to protest and demand to have fresh democratic public hearing without any breach of law. But as the company does not want our solidarity with people the administration and police work to curb our democratic rights and attack on personal liberty to go to any place freely. Today is the Emergency Black day when I was jailed for one year in 1975-77.But today it is undeclared emergency in the country and in Odisha there is no freedom to dissent against corporate loot for which I was prevented and detained by police on last 4th March and today we are prevented not to go to meet the villagers at Kapand in the vested interest of a company.

The villagers came from meeting place about 5kms away and rushed to police Corden and demanded to free us where we tried to convince them not to confront police force. There my book was released by the two women of protesters . We returned back as if we are in emergency rule. My appeal to the Chief Minister Naveen Babu to direct the officers atleast to honour the constitutional rights like civil liberty and freedom to and right to dissent when the common people are forced to be displaced.I had gone to NGT against illegal treecutting by the company and got stay order to stop it.But I am not allowed to meet the villagers .

Prafulla Samantara, President ,Lok Shakti Abhiyan


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