Tribal women detained for expressing dissent at a public hearing

In this video report from Lahunipada Badpurnapani Gram Panchayat of Sundargarh District, Odisha, India, the slow corrosion of the world's largest democracy can be seen at a close range. Bideshini Patel, the Community Correspondent (CC) gave us a low down about that.

The area of Sundargarh District is recognised as an industrial district, with presence of Steel, Cement, Fertiliser plants etc. but it also comes under North Western Plateau Zone as per the agro climatic zone of Odisha and more than 50% of the populace are dependent on Agriculture and Forest produce. Despite the presence of industries, in 2006, the Ministry of Panchayati Raj declared Sundargarh as one of the most backward districts, out of total 640 districts and currently receives funds from the Backward Regions Grant Fund Programme. 

One company there, KAI International, is trying to expand their operations in that area of Lahunipada. It is a Government mandate that they have to consult with inhabitants of the area about their inconveniences first before they can expand their operations. In these public hearings, the native population puts forward their issues to the Company and the Government takes into consideration their concerns regarding environmental, employment generation, pollution related and host of other issues. 

Here in this video we can see that the locals of the area are denied entry into the public hearing and the Company is talking to their well wishers there. The people who will get affected because of the expansion of the company are not allowed to speak or even attend. The villagers were there in the venue from 4 AM, awaiting to put forth their demands. Few villagers including women were even detained by police when they tried to enter the premises. 

The Public hearing went on with few supporters of the company and few people from another village as a token presence. Please share this video, so that we can stand together with the villagers who are denied to express their views and opinions. 

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