Maoists' backed tribals hold rally in Orissa

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Bandhugaon (Orissa), July 5 (ANI): Hundreds of tribals staged a rally in Bandhugaon in Orissa's Koraput district on Saturday asserting their right on land.

The tribals, with the backing of the Maoists, accused the non-tribals of grabbing their land.

The Maoists have been reportedly instigating tribals to forcefully acquire the land belonging to non-tribals. They are against the acquisition of tribal land for establishing multinational companies.

"The Adivasis (tribals) in Koraput are fighting for their land rights, their rights of livelihood, their right to live in this district and this place. From Koraput and from other districts of Orissa Adivasis are being displaced. The areas are being given to multinationals," said Vijay Kumar, a local resident.

Tribals alleged that the Government is not paying heed to their demands and hence they have to resort to different means.

"The tribals are fighting for their land rights. The non-tribals have the authority on the tribal land. We have raised this issue several times. But no one has paid attention to this issue. Even the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government (in the state) is showing carelessness towards this issue, so we are forced to come here and raise it," said Vasaka Rao, a local resident and protestor.

The area was cut off from the rest of the country for almost two weeks as the dispossessed tribals blocked all connecting roads by felling trees and denying access to the administration.

The rally held importance, as it was held after the Centre banned and formally labelled the Maoist insurgents as a terrorist group, hoping it would give security forces more enforcement powers. The move allows authorities to arrest members of the Maoist party, even in case they were not directly involved in rebel violence. (ANI)

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