"We expected the state government to release innocent
tribals lodged at different jails as per the pact. But we are
pained to see that the process is yet to begin," Prof
G Hargopal, one of the three mediators chosen by Maoists
behind the abduction to solve the crisis, said over phone
It was expected that the state government would honour
its commitment as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured
the mediators in person and also announced on the floor of the
House but though more than a month and a half had elapsed the
government is yet to start the process of releasing the
innocent tribals, he said.
"The state government must fulfill promises it made
during the negotiation," Prof Hargopal said.
Dandapani Mohanaty, another mediator when contacted
said, "It was very clearly mentioned in the signed agreement
that there would not be any combing operation unless and until
there is provocation from CPI(Maoist). Instead of respecting
it, security forces conducted combing operations."
He cited instances of alleged breaches of the
agreement and said tribals were feeling insecure even in their
villages as security forces torture them in the name of
containing the Maoist problem.
Mohanty said Special Operations Group (SOG), the
specialised anti-Maoist force, had entered Harichandrapur
village in Keonjhar district on March 8 and alleged that there
was an attempt to rape a girl, who was saved due to protests
At this the SOG allegedly fired at the villagers and
injured the girl too. The girl later filed a complaint with
Orissa Human Rights Commssion on March 19, Mohanty said.
"This shows that repression of tribals and combing
operation in violation of the agreement is continuing in
almost all parts of Orissa inflicting miseries on the
innocent villagers," he alleged.
The Orissa government had agreed to release about 627
tribals lodged in various jails. "But instead of taking steps
to do so, the police are arresting more people under some
pretext or the other," Mohanty alleged.
Prof RS Rao, another mediator, could not be
Bhubaneswar: Mediators, who had helped to
end the February hostage crisis involving Malkangiri district
collector and a junior engineer, on Monday alleged breach of
agreement by Orissa government.
First Published: Monday, April 18, 2011, 15:47