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FDR condemns arrest of Adivasi youths branding them as Maoists

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  9 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Special Correspondent

SILCHAR, April 8: Forum for Democratic Rights (FDR) has strongly condemned the police action against poor adivasi tea tribe of Rupacherra Basti, about 23 km from here, branding them as Maoists recently. The village inhabited by 63 families of Orang or Oraon community who are tea garden labourers live in extreme poverty.

Unfortutely, police team added by paramilitary forces raided the village on March 1 last and arrested ren Orang, Arjun Orang and Borsing Teron. Rajesh Santhal, Shefali Orang and Geeta Orang were assaulted by the police as alleged by the villagers. It was also alleged by them that the police seized Rs.40 thousand from Arjun Orang which the villagers collected for the purpose of a cultural programme. Following day of the raid, Cachar SP at a press-meet disclosed the arrest of three Maoists from Rupacherra village. The raid continued and on March 11, Suman Orang, an epilepsy patient, was picked up. in protest against such police action, Bharatiya Sramik Krishak Mahasamiti organized a road block in the town and submitted a memorandum to the Deputy Commissioner of Cachar and demanded the release of those poor villagers taken into custody. In order to sift between myth and reality, a team of jourlists from here visited Rupacherra Basti and after making a thorough investigation brought out the truth in their local media.

Concerned at the developments, the Forum for Democratic Rights on inquiry found 7 point problems. ren Orang, Arjun Orang and Suman Orang are members of Bharatiya Sramik Krishak Mahasamiti and not any Maoist outfit. Borsing Teron, the villagers said, had come to the village to visit his relatives. It was further revealed that the police is still searching for Bi Orang, Rajyeswar Orang and Tonu Orang who are well known cultural activists among the tea tribe people of this valley.

The villagers of Rupacherra had submitted a prayer to the district administration for allotment of 600 hectares of fallow land for their livelihood, but their petition was not attended. It is worth mentioning, that Rupacherra and the adjoining villages inhabited mostly by tea tribes and garden labour communities are utterly underdeveloped with no infrastructure facilities. There is nothing like electricity, good communication, health services as well as facility of basic education. Nor is there any provision of drinking water. The literacy rate is extremely poor.

In other words, these tea tribes continue to live in untold miseries and sufferings and subjected to isolation and negligence even after 67 years of Independence. They have also to resist the illegal extraction of stone, sand, timber and other tural resources of the area at great risk to their lives.

Considered against such abysmal state of affairs, the Forum demands investigation by the Deputy Commissioner independently and through his agencies to find out the ground reality and arrange immediate release of those arrested on the ground of being Maoists. The villagers should be allotted lands as demanded and prayed for by them. Most important, in order to pull them out of backwardness and poverty, the state government should take the initiative to come out with schemes for providing them with minimum basic facilities for better living.

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