Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Orissa - Anti-Vedanta Dongria Kondh leader Lado Sikaka abducted

By Surya Shankar Dash. (Source : forestrights listserv from Sanhati))

August 10, 2010

Note 2

The story of Lado’s disappearance might not be as simple as we have assumed.This is what Bhawanipatna based activist Sidhart Naik (President of Green Kalahandi) has to say - About 15 Dongria Kondh people along with Sidharth Naik, Kumti Majhi, etc. were travelling in two vehicles to eventually go to Raipur from where they were to catch a train to Delhi in order to attend a meeting on 12 August. Before leaving Niyamgiri forest they were intercepted by another two vehicles with gunmen in it. Sidharth Naik says they were more likely to be goons and not police or CRPF - some of the gunmen spoke in Hindi and some in Telugu. At gunpoint, they made Sidharth Naik hand over Lado and Sana to them. Sidharth naik has registered a FIR with Lanjigarh police station.

Note 1

Last evening Lado Sikaka and Sana Sikaka were returning from Lanjigarh when a police team attacked and arrested them near Ijrupa village in the Niyamgiri forest. It seems Lado and Sana have been taken to an undisclosed location as they are neither in the Lanjigarh P.S. or Muniguda P.S. which are the nearest Police Stations. A third person who was also accompanying Lado and Sana was not arrested. Lado is one of the strongest Dongria Kondh protestors against Vedanta and he hails from Lakhpadar village that is closest to the mining lease area. A month ago 2 platoons of para-military had carried out a combing operation in Lakhpadar village and had beaten up Sana but were essentially looking for Lado who was not present in the village then. The general fear amongst the people there is that he will be framed as a Maoist and tortured. Also, taking Lado out of Niyamgiri means to deliver a severe blow on the anti-mining movement of the Dongria Kondh. Sources say the next person being targeted is Arjun Chandi of Kadamguda village. Essentially the police and company are targetting local leaders who are uncompromising and incorruptible. My sincere appeal to everyone to stand with the Dongria Kondh as the darkest period in their struggle has arrived.

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