- Conduct of the Chief Minister and the election funding of Biju Janata Dal must be investigated in to
- Dismissal and arrest of all administrative, forest, revenue and police officials who have been influenced by Vedanta to manufacture reports and statements in favour of Vedanta
The CEC in its report had suggested that Niyamgiri should not be allowed for mining activities because of its rich biodiversity, the two major rivers (Bansadhara and Nagabali) of South Orissa which originate from it, the primitive Dongaria tribes who live in and on the mountain. The CEC did also mention its displeasure over the manner in which the Vedanta project had been handled by the State government which was in hurry to see that no hurdles came on the way of Vedanta. It even accused the MOEF for separating the plant from the mining project and allowing the plant to come up in Lanjigarh though there was no clearance given to the company for mining Niyamgiri. The Apex Court ignored the recommendations of its own experts it had appointed to provide them with all necessary wisdom to deliver justice in forest related cases.
Vedanta has always behaved as if the Chief Minister of the state is his servant and would follow all the dictates of Anil Agrawal. The CM or his deputies or his advisors have never negated this impression directly or indirectly. This allowed Vedanta to unleash a reign of terror in Niyamgiri and Lanjigarh region. The SP, Collector, and Conservator all have become party to the violations done by Vedanta. They have even suggested how to escape after committing such violations. Vanshdhara has been polluted causing immense miseries for people sourcing water from it, villagers around Lanjigarh are suffering badly because of air pollution and many deaths have been reported. Those who raise voice are arrested on false charges. Recently 5 dalit women with their dependent children were arrested on robbery charges. Sri Samantara and others have been physically assaulted by Vedanta goons. It was primarily because of the Forest Rights Act of 2006 and visit undertaken by Dr.Usha Ramnathan who could not be bought over; the whole world could come to know that what Vedanta is mining in Orissa is not happiness but miseries for the common men though a section of the ruling party politicians and city elites in the state continue to benefit a lot from it in the name of preserving art, sports and culture.
In the light of the recent developments, starting from the CEC report to that of the withdrawal of Norwegian Pension fund and Church of England’s investment in Vedanta, followed by a couple of withdrawals from the company by reputed investors accusing Vedanta of gross human rights violations doubly confirmed by Amnesty International’s fact based report to that of the final stroke made by Dr.Usha Ramnathan confirming all the allegations made against Vedanta as true, Sri Samantara and Sri Lingaraj have made the following appeals to state and central governments, leaders of all political parties, leaders of all mass movements, intellectuals and media chiefs to ensure:
1. Immediate halt to all projects undertaken by Vedanta in Orissa.
2. Dismissal and arrest of all administrative, forest, revenue and police officials who have been influenced by Vedanta to manufacture reports and statements in favour of Vedanta and all those who have suppressed information in any pretext.
3. Action against State Pollution Control Board officials for cooperating with Vedanta in wrongful activities.
4. On March 10, the collectors of Rayagada and Kalahandi have manufactured a clear lie and shared the same with MOEF through the state government that no forest rights claims have been filed by the people in the area, but reports suggest that (I) wherever tribals have filed forest rights claims their claims have been rejected without conveying them the reasons for doing so, (ii)and in most cases as reported by Dr.Usha Ramntathan the illiterate tribals even don’t know that such a rights exists. Both collectors have acted under influence which needs to be investigated in to and exemplary punishment be given to prevent subversion of laws of the land under corporate influence.
5. The conduct of the Chief Minister and the election funding of Biju Janata Dal must be investigated in to by CBI or credible person of the highest judiciary to find out the facts preventing the party and its chief from taking any action against Vedanta.
All those involved in the Vedanta cases supporting its wrongful and unconstitutional activities must be punished in order to convince the people that democratic institutions can’t be subverted for making private profit the sole aim, asserted both the leaders..
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