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Upsurge of Koraput Area

Adivasi People’s Struggle Against Exploitation and Oppression



Upsurge of Koraput Area Adivasi People’s Struggle Against Exploitation and Oppression

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We are placing before the people a report prepared by Com.Jhansi on the process of development of struggles and movement of adivasi people of Andhra-Orissa border region. This process began in 1968 when the Communist revolutionaries broke away from neo-revisionism of CPI(M) and formulated their strategy and tactics for the Indian revolution. This was one of the areas selected by the Andhra Pradesh Communist Committee of Revolutionaries as part of its action plan to concentrate in certain key areas. Though some preliminary steps were taken (ex. Com.C.P.Reddy entrusted with the Warangal and Khammam forest area and Com Vasantada Ramalingachary with AndhraOrissa region), the Srikakulam adivasi peasant movement took the left adventurous line of Charu Mazumdar and got diverted.

After Comrades TN, DV and other leaders came out of jails steps were taken to reorganize the movement. Before the Emergency of 1975, Andhra Orissa Border Regional Committee was constituted by AP State Committee with Comrades V.Ramalingachary, Gananath Patro and Viswam as its members. The AOBRC took steps to reorganize the movement in East Godavari and Srikakulam districts and also took steps to give a shape to the contacts in Koraput and Ganjam districts. The Emergency was declared with in a short period after the AOBRC began its work. Yet it continued to work under severe repression. Com.VR left the party citing political differences. Com. Gananath took up the task of forming the Orissa State Committee and party building in that state. The AOBRC continued its work after some more comrades were inducted and Com. Viswam was its secretary. After the Emergency, the AOBRC organized the movement in Srikakulam, Vizianagaram, Visakhapatnam, East and West Godavari districts. At the end of 1978, Com. Jhansi was sent to Malkangiri area of Koraput district as organizer. She organized the movement along with Com. Purushottam Pali. Due to the consistent efforts, the peoples movement in the AOBRC area took a concrete shape by 1982 and lead to many a adivasi struggle. In the process of these struggles, the Agency Girijan Sangham, Ryatu Cooli Sangham(AP), and Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh came into existence. In these struggles, which emcompassed all the facets of lives of adivasis, the people achieved many successes. The adivasis recognized through their own experience that the success was possible only because of their united strength in the form of their mass organization and because of the consistent guidance at every stage of the movement given by the party organization. That is why they were ready to make any sacrifice to realize their cause. The valiant sons and daughters of adivasis, Kunjam Rajulu. Madim Lakshmaiah, Karam Parvati and Jenni Thirupati laid down their lives in the process of these struggles. During this entire period, at every stage, the people had resisted both the barbaric, repressive and pseudo reform methods employed by the governments to lull and divert their struggles. At the same time, the people basing on their own experience had recognized and rejected both the revisionist methods that restrict the movement to pure economic demands and the left terrorist actions and squad as the only form of organization which lead to economic terrorism. Every class struggle tests the ideological, political and organisational commitment of each and every force that rally around it and those who fail in that test are left behind. Gananath Patro remained with the Koraput adivasi movement until the Narayanapatna meeting held on 23-12-2008. Later he turned against adivasi movement and instigated adivasis against non-adivasi poor people by giving a call that all non-adivasis should leave the area and all land should be taken over by the adivasis alone. Thus he blurred the class orientation of the people erasing the differntiation between the poor and exploiting forces among the non-adivasi sections. The same tactics that was and still is being used by the exploiting ruling classes and their governments to divide the people. At a time when the alien class trends are trying hard to confuse, divert, weaken and thus disrupt the adivasi movement, the AP State Committee of CPI(ML) felt the need to place the experiences and lessons of this movement before the people by publishing this report.

7 August 2009

P.Jaswantha Rao

Upsurge of Koraput Area Adivasi People’s Struggle Against Exploitation and Oppression
The Terrain and the People
The erstwhile largest district in the country, Koraput was divided into four districtsKoraput, Rayagada, Malknagiri and Navarangpur in 1991. In the new Koraput district majority inhabitants belong to Jatapu tribe and their principal tongue is Kui. The terrain consists of high mountain range of Eastern ghats and forests. The rainfall is plentiful. But the governments of the past or present never cared to harness the rain water and hence famines are a recurring phenomena. Rivers like Jhanjhavati pass through this district but the people are deprived of water for irrigation as well as drinking! The people have to drink impure water in small ponds and hence suffer from water-born diseases. Every year hundreds of adivasis die of malaria and other fevers. Drought has been part of their life. Two square meal day is an unfulfilled dream for them. The poverty is rampant. The official statistics too disclose the pathetic situation-while average all India poverty level is 26 per cent, it is 47 percent in Orissa and 70-80 percent in Koraput. Kalhandi which is generally compared to Ethiopia (in Africa) is a neighbouring district. Minimum education, health and transportation services are not available to these poverty-stricken people. To cite an example take Bandugam block. It is constituted with 12 panchayats consisting of 125 villages. It has one dysfunctional 8 bed hospital and only one college. Even the primary schools are woefully inadequate. Women work very hard, but their life-span is below the average. Agriculture is their main livelihood. The main crops are paddy and Sollu (a sort of millet) and both are at the mercy of rain-god! This is supplemented with a little income they earn by way of selling minor forest produce in local traditional weekly marketsSantalu. In these mandies, the sahukars cheat them in many a way. This region is rich with mineral wealth. The successive governments of the state are following the policy of ever increasing the penetration of imperialist capital to loot the mineral resources instead of being used for the sustainable development of the area and well being of the people. After 62 years of so called Independence, the lives of tribals of Koraput are much worse. Many social anthropological studies reveal that the life of 7 crores adivasis (This does not include scheduled tribals of north-east) distressingly deteriorated in last 6 decades. Ninety percent of land of adviasies in alienated. The Scheduled Areas Land Alienation (prohibition) Act 2 of 1956, Orissa (usually referred as Act 2 of 56) was rather implemented more in violation. To eke-out living, the tirbals of Koraput migrate for work and are subjugated to live in horrible conditions. It is rather inhuman. They are subjected to atrocities at their places of toil. The NREGA scheme is a good source of illegal income for political brokers, contractors and officialdom. The government itself says that only 7 percent of NREGA fund reaches the tribals in this district. This is the real situation. But the state government trumpet maliciously that development and welfare plans can not be taken up in this area because of the ‘naxalite menace’ and thus gears up to suppress the peoples movement led by communist revolutionaries. For this the government is

recruiting large number of adivasi youth into police department and trying to hood-wink the people by saying that it is a measure to eradicate unemployment.

A Land with Heritage of Struggles:
Koraput district, like many adivasi areas has a rich heritage of struggles. They never give in meekly to the out-side forces. The “Mathili” and “Nowrangapur” revolts against British colonial rulers, though did not find place in academic history books, have a place in the hearts of the successive generations of the adivasi people. The folklore tells us the heroic struggle led by Lakman Naik during independence period. The hanging to death of Lakman Naik, in 1942 by British marauders is fresh in the memory of Koraput adivasi people. The fact that these struggles did not find place in history class books is no surprise because of the exploitative class nature of the ruling classes. Another onslaught was unleashed against the adivasis of Koraput district in 1962. The lines demarcating the reserve forest were shifted closer to the villages. Any tribal trespassing the line and entering the forest was being fined and implicated in cases. The forest officers’ harassment had increased many fold. The life of the poverty stricken people became very miserable. The adivasi people had no option but to revolt. They revolted against the new demarcation line under the leadership of Tapaka Rani, an adivasi woman of Beisingpur area. This struggle gave the adivasis some respite in the situation. Comrade Purushottam Pali was an inseparable part of the struggles of adivasi people of Koraput. He was born in Nandapur village in Koraput district. During independence movement Purushotham Pali was influenced by Congress activity. Within a short period after independence he was disillusioned of Congress and joined Communist Party in 1955. At the time of split in the Communist Party he was with CPI (M) and by 1967 he was a district Committee member of CPI (M). In 1967 he left CPI (M) and joined Communist revolutionary ranks. Inspired by the Srikakulam Girijan struggle, Comrade Purushottam Pali organized the adivasi people of Koraput, but soon he was arrested and detained in Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh) Central Prison. Along with some other Comrades, Purushottam Pali jumped out of the Jail in 1969. He went underground and had been totally involved in building a mass revolutionary movement in Koraput district, until he breathed his last in 1988. It should be noted here that Com.Pali was not arrested and he remained steadfast with peoples struggle. Comrade Purushottam Pali is an ever lasting inspiration to the adivasis of Koraput district. The militant Balimela struggle of Chitrakonda area is well known.The adivasis of undivided Koraput district waged that militant struggle, faced the repression heroically. Many of them were charge-sheeted under the clause of conspiracy to wage war against government. The late Purna Chandra Gomango is another Koraput adivasi comrade that earned a permanent place in the hearts of adivasis for his selfless work for the upliftment of adivasis. He was from Gunupur. The well-known Marxist-Leninist leader Bhuvan Mohan Patnaik too hails from Koraput district. Lal salam to these and other great sons and daughters of Koraput. Inspired forever by the memory of those leaders, the people of Koraput region with a rich heritage of struggles are blazing the path of struggle for land for livelihood and, against oppression and exploitation and for democratic rights. Comrade Purushotham Pali lived an underground life awakening the people’s consciousness in the villages of Sunki area. Since 1978, Com. Jhansi joined him and they together consistently worked and organized the adivasis. With clear perspective, the mass revolutionary activity was initiated in Malkangiri agency. At that time the adivasis of Malkangiri were on struggle against Teak Plantation programme of the

government. They had an organization ‘Janpal Sangh’ subsequently renamed as Malkangiri Adivasi Sangam (MAS) and the activity spread to new villages. The adivasis of Balimela and Chitrakonda areas too were organized into MAS. A historic conference was held at Korukonda. Along with organizing the adivasis, political work was taken up among the workers, youth and democrats. Agitation programmes were conducted. Simultaneously political and organizational work was continued. A bulletin by name 'Aguban' (in Oriya) was published for a few years. The course of these activities faced many hurdles which were created by the wrong trends and opportunist elements in the revolutionary organization. Fighting against these wrong trends consumed a lot of time and energy of the leadership. At this crucial moment, Comrade Purushotham Pali died on December 6, 1988 due to illness.

Activity of Rytu Coolie Sangam in Parvathipuram Area:
In the adivasi area of Parvatipuram in Vizianagaram district, adjoining the Malkangiri area, Ryatu Cooli Sangham (Andhra Pradesh) (RCS-AP) concentrated its work. It had undertaken intensive activity on various problems faced by adivasi people of the area-land problem, forest problem and cheating by Sahukaru (traders) in Santalu (local periodical market places) etc. RCS mobilized hundreds and thousands of adivasis on these problems. The agitations achieved tangible results. Over a period the RCS gradually gained the confidence of the people and the organization got established in five mandals-Saluru, Makkuva, Komarada and Jiyyammavalasa. Because of adivasi peasant struggles, including the historic Srikakulam Girijan Peasant Struggle during late 1960s, the government brought in Scheduled Areas Land Transfer (Regulation) Act, 1970, popularly known as 1 of 70 act. This act prohibits the transfer of land to a non-tribal by any means in scheduled areas. But many of the villages were de-scheduled though many of them were inhabited by the adivasis. The 1/70 act has not been implemented in both the scheduled and de-scheduled areas. As a result, land is continuously being alienated from the adivasis. That is why the land problem remained the main issue even today.

Anti-Arrack Movement:
The people Andhra Pradesh, especially women unleashed massive movement against the production and sale of sara(a sort of country liquor sold by the government appointed contractors) during the year 1992. Thousands and thousands of women militantly participated in this movement. No part of the state is left unaffected by this movement, in which three trends were exressed prominently. One is for lowering the price of the liquor, the second was for total prohibition of liquor and the third was that the anti-liquor movement should be taken as a part and parcel of class struggle. RCS was a part of the third stream and organized adivasis of this area into a militant struggle. This struggle in Parvatipuram area has a great impact on the neighbouring Koraput district. The then Koraput district was a big centre for the production of arrack. The Sahukarus (plains people) sell the raw material necessary for the production of arrack -the Black Jaggery, Ippa Puvvu (a sort of flower) Ammonia, the black powder of batteries to Sondies. The Sondies prepare arrack in huge quantity in Bhatties (traditional fermentation and distillation plants). The adivasi people are hired for transportation of raw materials up the hills (abodes of traditional Sondies distilleries –BHATTIES) and transprotration of the arrack down the hills. People of Pydi caste are employed as guards of Bhatties and controllers of adivasies. Through this business Sondies amassed wealth and controlling power in parts of Koraput district. In the elections of 1994 to the State Assembly of Andhra Pradesh, Congress Party was routed out and Telugu Desam Party led by N.T.Rama Rao once again captured power in the State. The first G.O. issued by the new government was a ban on the sale

and consumption of arrack as promised in the election campaign. This ban was rather a windfall to the Sondies of Koraput. They were producing ever largest amount of arrack and smuggling it to Andhra Pradesh and thus their income increased many fold. As the Jatapu tribes people are in majority in Vijayanagaram district where the RCS(AP) is working, as the adjoining villages on the Orissa side of the border are also inhabited by the same tribe, as their language is the same ie. Kui and as the people have family relations, the militant anti-arrack struggle in the Vizianagaram agency belt spread to Koraput district and took roots there sooner than latter. An important fact to be taken note of in this context is that the consumption of arrack prepared and sold by Sondies spread to the adivasis and ruined the traditional liquor prepared by the adivasis for their own consumption. This brought unimaginable misery in the lives of Jatapu families. They lost everything of theirs-land, houses, and other agricultural implements and household articles to Sondies and they became bonded labourers under Sondies. Here it is pertinent to recall that exploiters that robbed the (old) Srikakulam agency tribals too are the same Sondi caste arrack merchants. Under these circumstances the adivasi women waged most energetically anti-arrack struggle demanding the government to immediately stop the production and sale of arrack. RCS-AP provided orientation and leadership to this movement.

The Anti- arrack Movement (ASM), in Koraput district, first began in BankiniSeelavadi villages. Initially a small number only participated but with in no times hundreds of women joined the movement. They went on breaking one Bhatti after another and the tanks in which the arrack was being stored. The owners of the arrack Bhatties- the Sondies tried to scare the women with their country rifle. The organized adivasis were not scared away but they snatched those country-made rifles from Sondies and continued to destroy the Bhatties. The Sondies, sought the protection of police for their illegal arrack production and the latter were quite happy to co-operate. Cases are foisted against 32 adivasi people. Kondagorri Pydamma, the woman in the fore-front of the struggle, was arrested and imprisoned in Koraput district jail for three months. On the occasion of her release on bail, hundreds of people accorded a heroic welcome to her. The adivasis broke with the age-old tradition of outcasting the woman who was put behind the bars! She would be readmitted into the caste only after the woman pays the Tappu (fine) to the tribe. But now what a change! Now the same people gave a heroic welcome to Comrade Kondagorri Pydamma and accepted her as their leader. This is a fine example of how new and democratic, humane values emerge out of people’s struggles. The Pettandars naturally could not relish it. They foisted another case against Comrade Pydamma and this time she was kept in jail for 2 months. Undeterred by a spate of cases, the adivasi people are continuing their struggles. The comrades that came out on bail had to go around the Lakshmipur courts for two years. They had to attend scores of adjournments. It is very difficult for others to understand how unbearable it is for the poverty-stricken tribals to bear the travel charges that totalled up thousands of rupees. By 1997 all the cases foisted against (not in the original) Comrade Pydamma were struck down by the court and the occasion was celebrated by holding a public meeting on July 28 the death anniversary day of great communist revolutionary of India Tarimela Nagi Reddy, at Seelavadi. More than 2000 people attended the meeting and loudly resolved to blaze the path traversed by our beloved martyrs.

The Collection of Forest Produce-Harassment by Officialdom

The relationship between forest and adivasi is symbiotic. The collection of forest produces is their major source of incomes. The entire family including children and elderly go to forest in rain and hot sun alike to collect forest produce. They collect Tamarind fruit, Addaku (a leaf), Ippa flower, bamboo, fire-wood, hut building poles etc. The material thus collected for 5 days are carried to Parvatipuram weekly market, 20-30 Kms away from their habitats. They walk all the distance with the heavy load on their shoulders. The collected forest produce would be sold in the market and with that they buy the commodities they need. For the collection of the forest produce, the adivasis have to pay the levy imposed by the government. In addition they have to pay bribe to the forest officials of both the states as they are crossing the border to reach Parvatipuram. In the weekly market they have to pay traffic police and local sales tax to municipality. No official receipts are given for any of these collections. Special squads of tax collectors and forest department visit the market once in a month. These squads treat the adivasi people in Santa atrociouslyThey scold and beat the adivasis levelling allegations of theft of forest produce; foist false cases and resort to arrests; they either destroy everything the adivasis have with them or take away those things. At the very sight of these special squads Adivasi people leave everything and run away to save themselves from the terrible harassment. On such occasions they return with empty stomach and empty hands. The entire family’s labour for a week thus becomes futile. Adivasis also have to sell the vegetables and cereals they grew in shifting cultivation. But on the way to weekly market, the Pydies, as agents of Sahukars forcibly take away the produce for nominal rate. If any tribal resist,, he or she would be beaten and their produce is destroyed. The behavior of forest officers and anarchic elements with the adivasi women is ugly. To avoid the evil clutches of these idiots, the adivasi women literally run to the market. Thus the adivasi people have no freedom to sell the product of their toil

The Adivasis Organise Against Harassment:
The leaders and cadre of RCS went to the people and convinced them that the only way to get rid off all this exploitation, oppression and atrociities of various agencies is to organize themselves into Sangham and resist the onslaught of the evil forces. Pamphlets explaining the miseries faced by adivasis, and exposing the exploitation and attack on them were distributed widerly among working people in and around Parvatipuram to mobilize the latter’s solidarity for adivasi struggle. The adivasi people became conscious of their strength, questioned and rebuffed the officials at all levels; they staged dharnas demanding the resolution of their problems. In this long drawn out entire agitation the Sangham was with them continuously. As a result of the militant peaceful agitation by adivasis with the backing of Sangham the exploitation of tribals and the harassment of women by rowdy elements diminished considerably. Now the Koraput area adivasi people enjoy liberty and freedom of movement and sale of their produce. So their confidence in Sangam increased enormously. They became confident and bold to achieve more successes through organized mass struggle.

Physical and Legal Violence on Adivasis:
Since many decades the forest department has been obstructing the adivasi people’s traditional shifting cultivation (Podu) and cattle grazing in the forest. The governments are continuously shifting the demarcation lines of reserve forest closer and closer to the villages. Whenever the people cross the demarcation line for their livelihood the forest officers raid the villages, take into custody as many people as possible, file cases against them, take away their cattle and the stored food grain. If any adivasis resists a little he/she is beaten black and blue.

Another example for the inhuman as well as illegal acts of forest department is that it forces adivasi people to do unpaid plantation work in the reserve forest. This enforcement is crass bonded labour, a total violation of abolition of Bonded Labour Act. The adivasi people have to carry the cots (on which the forest officials sit) up and down the hills. The forest officers abuse and beat them. This is nothing but brutal violence. It has bean age-old norm that when ever adivasi people revolt against these wrongful deeds, they diminish and after some time the officialdom resorts to same repressive and insulting measurers. The struggle of adivasi people against the barbarism of forest officialdom and demarcation line has a glorious and long history.

Struggle for Forest Rights:
The adivasi people organized in Sangham began to take back their podu lands that were snatched away by the forest department as part of so called preservation of Reserve Forest (R.F.). The people resisted and rebuffed the Julum of foresters. As a retaliation the forest officers foisted false cases against the people of Bankini area and sent them to jails. Undeterred, the people continued their struggle. In 1998 the adivasi people of Kaviti, Kesabhadra, Chilakajodi villages took to struggle to take back their podu lands in the reserve forest of Bangarupeta of Aalamanda village panchayat. The people successfully cut down the eucalyptus (Nilagiri) plantation and started joint cultivation. In 1999, when the forest officers tried to wrest the podu lands from the tribals in Kumbaripet, the people organized agitations a number of times. Once the adivasis with great restraint exhibited their rightful wrath against a ruthless forest ranger who had been resorting to violent attacks on adivasis routinely. Four hundred people surrounded him, made to sit the whole day on his feet, interrogated him with a spate of questions, and made him feel a sample of experience he used to inflict upon the people and at the end of the day he was let off with a warning not to misbehave in future. The adivasis took back 100 acres of land from forest department in Kuppagallu village of Kumabaariputtu Panchayat. In 2001, the people of Himmaripuri, Kunjipai and Maddipadu, belonging to Rayagada district took back 200 acres of land which was unilaterally shifted to reserve forest. 90 acres of the land in the reserve forest of Kilpa, Narayanapatna block was occupied by the people. Another 90 acres of land in the reserve forest adjacent to Yesada, Yelangavalasa, Kambara villages of Bandugaon Panchyat was occupied. Again 90 acres of land in Pedaporupalli reserve forest was occupied in 2008. The entire programme of taking back the lands that were occupied by the forest department has been carried out braving the arrests, cases, official pressure and harassment. There are many more villages at which the people took back their lands from the reserve forest. The people fought against the official pilferage of funds allotted by Govt. for repairing water tanks etc. They successfully fought for the repair of water tanks and for the legitimate wages for their labour in the repair works. During the period 1994-97, all the activities are carried out under the leadership of Vizianagaram district unit of RCS-AP. By 1998 the movement spread to large tracts of Koraput and Rayagada districts and hence, a separate organization called Chasse Mulia Adivasi Sangham, Koraput-Raigadh Area-(CMAS) was formed. Since then all the activity is undertaken by CMAS. The whole activity of taking back the lands declared as part of reserve forest was conducted under the leadership of CMAS.

The Political Work
All the enactments meant for the welfare of adivasis were relegated to the statute books and were never implemented. It was the exploiting classes that violated these laws and it was the government and its law enforcement machinery that stood as mute spectators.

The CMAS while continuing to lead the struggle for lands, organized public meetings, rallies and dharnas to rise the political consciousness of the people, to strengthen the movement, to gain support from other classes and to extend the movement to wider area. In 2005 March a public meeting attended by 2500 adivasi people was organized at Thonda village, situated on a hill in Rayagada district. A few days later CMAS mobilized large number of people at Kumbariputtu and organized a procession and public meeting where in atrocities of foresters were thoroughly exposed. Concentrating on the land issue, a public meeting with 800 adivasis was conducted at Killoi village in Narayanapatna block on 2005 November 14. On the very next day public meeting with 2000 people was organized at Dhekkapadu. While the people were going back to their villages police arrested 8 adivasis between Killoi and Dekkapadu. The arrested include 4 leaders of CMAS-Comrades Gangaiah, Linga, Kayu and Narappa. As soon as the adivasi people came to know of it, one thousand people with traditional weapons cum instruments of production-swords, axes, bariselu, sickles, bows and arrows in their hands, marched to the police station and sat before it demanding for the immediate unconditional release of the arrested. The police was taken aback by the spirit, determination, discipline and unity of the adivasis. Four of the arrested were let off immediately and the other four were let off next day. This increased the confidence of the people in their organized strength and they were determined to persist in the movement. In March 2007, hundreds of adivasis holding high the banner of CMAS marched to the district collector’s office in Koraput and presented him a charter of demands consisting of implementation of 2 of 56 Act, restoration of all rights to adivasis, immediate steps to halt the harassment and to return the lands occupied by the forest department etc.. They appealed the intellectuals and democrats to support their just demands and their movement. In May 2006 a campaign was conducted demanding the government to stop arrack sales at Yeguvagummandi; to resolve the land issue and to increase daily wages.

CMAS Solidarity to RCS Activity:
CMAS has been responding to the calls of RCS-AP and is participating is various activities taken-up by the latter in Andhra Pradesh as it has got inspiration from the RCS(AP) The RCS (AP) had conducted extensive propaganda on the occasion of inauguration of martyr’s column commemorating the sacrifices of those martyrs who laid down their lives for the cause of people in Srikakulam district. A 54 feet high pylon was constructed and all the names of the martyrs were inscribed on it. The campaign had an inspiring impact on the Koraput adivasi people also. But the government of Andhra Pradesh, being afraid of the impact it may have had on the people, banned the inaugural function of the Martyr's column. Hundreds of armed constabulary was deployed in Srikakulam and all the roads leading to the town were blockaded. And thus government thwarted the programme from being held as planned before. Hundreds of adivasis of Koraput came to Srikakulam to participate in the programme and returned expressing their anger and protest. On 19 November 1999, the local hegemonic section executed a massive preplanned attack on the adivasi Rytu cooliee movement of Duggeru area of Makkuva mandal in Vizianagaram district. Though the adivasi people effectively repulsed the attack, the gang cruelly murdered Comrade Jenni Tirupathi. But the police filed false cases against the adivasis and arrested 32 comrades. RCS campaigned against the attack of local hegemonist gang and the anti-people stand of the police. The arrested people could come out on bail only after 6 months. Then the RCS decided to organize

Jenni Tirupathi commemoration meeting on 7th May 2000 at Vizianagaram on a large scale. Comrade Kanu Sanyal, the leader of Naxalbari movement was the main speaker. Comrade Mandla Subba Reddy (the then President of RCS AP) and Comrade Kollipara Venkateswara Rao were other important speakers. Condemning the attack and paying tributes to Jenni Tirupathi, hundreds of Adivasis and cultural activists from Koraput district participated in the commemoration meeting.

Activity Opposing the Plunder of Country’s Natural Resources:
The multinational companies and big Indian companies have a copious eye on the natural resources in Orissa state. The BJD-BJP united front government of Orissa, in pursuance of the implementation of liberalized of economic and industrial policy of the Indian ruling classes sold off Bauxuite, Manganese and iron ore mines to the Big companies in 2004. The people of state including adivasis have been agitating against these comprador policies of the rulers. CMAS has extended active support to those agitations. 500 adivasi people from Koraput district travelled all the way to Bhubaneswar and actively participated in a convention held on July 1,2004. The convention opposed the government policy of permitting the multinational companies to plunder the natural resources of Orissa state and also to discuss the question of displaced people by so called development projects. Another seminar war organized with the same theme on 21-22 August 2004 at Rayagada. In this seminar 50 representative of CMAS participated. Shaheed Lakshman Naik was a great patriot. On the day of his death anniversary in 2004 CMAS held a public meeting at Lanzigarh in Kalhandi district opposing plunder of Alumina ore by Vedanta Company. On 16 December 2005 a meeting was organized by Prakruthik Sampada Suruksha Parishat (Union for protection of Natural Wealth) at Bangrila, in Kasipur block of Rayagada district. CMAS participate in the public meeting and thoroughly condemned the police firing on the people displaced by Utkal Alumina Company in which 3 people lost their lives and demanded the government to desist from the anti-people and antinational and anti-environmental industrial projects. In Kalinganagar permission was given to Tatas for steel industry and about 2000 acres of fertile adivasi land was allotted to it. The news of bitter experiences of displaced people elsewhere was haunting the adivasis. So they were refusing to be deprived of their lands. But Tatas tried to forcibly take over the lands on January 2, 2006 and the police opened fire on the peacefully resisting unarmed adivasis with the intention to kill. 12 adivasis lost their lives. The dead bodies too were handled most atrociously. This cruel act was to terrorise the entire adivasi community in Orissa into submission. The arrogant government miscalculated. The people of entire Orissa, especially the adivasi people condemned it. RCS-AP carried out protest programme at various places in Andhra Pradesh. The president and secretary of the Sangham are the active members. A fact finding committee constituted by OPDR visited Kalingnagar immediately after the massacre.

In Solidarity with the Agitations:
Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangh took up or participated in many programmes in Orissa against the onslaught on adivasis. 600 members of CMAS participated in a rally in Bhubaneswar on January 20, 2006. This was organised by Desapremi Sanghatana. They visited the Kalinganagar, met the adivasis and expressed solidarity to them. The state government decided to acquire 4000 acres of forest land for the South Korean steel company, Posco. This displaces and destroys the lives of 20 thousand adivasi people. So the adivasis are militantly resisting the evil design of the government

and the POSCO. An anti-POSCO rally was organized in Bhubaneshwar in 2007 November 30. Hundreds of CMAS members militantly participated in the rally and then extended whole hearted solidarity to the POSCO affected people. In August-September 2008 the Hindutva forces, with tacit support from the government of Orissa, unleashed a reign of terror on adivasis and scheduled caste Christians. CMAS strongly condemned the atrocities perpetrated by Hindutwa forces. On 12th October, CMAS called for a hartal in Bandugaon and Narayanapatna blocks and mobilized thousand of adivasis and staged protest marches condemning the communalised politics of the rulers.

In the Struggle Path for Land:
2006 June 26 is a day to reckon with in the struggle for land under the aegis with of CMAS. On that single day 2000 adivasis with their agricultural tools cum 39 traditional arms in hand had marched from village to village in Narayanapatna block and took into possession of 6 acres of land in Podapalar, 12 acres in Dekkapadu, 7 acres, in Bachinaputti and 14 acres of dry land from the same villages. As usual the police entered the scene on behalf of vested interests, and after 3 days arrested Comrades Nachaka Linga and Syam. They imposed section 144 in the area and warned the people of dire consequence if they enter the lands. Undeterred by these threats the Sangham leadership led the adivasi people on to the lands and the lands were brought under cultivation. A public meeting of 4000 people was held at Narayanapatna condemning the state repression. Comrades Gananath Patro, Srikanth, and Brhamanand Malik addressed the public meeting. With the same demands another public meeting with 1200 people was held before the collector's office in Koraput. These meeting of CMAS gave a lot of resurface to the adibasi people. They held the lands firmly and brought them under cultivation. Pamphlets condemning arrests and other repressive measures of the government are widely distributed. However when the crop was ripe for cutting the police obstructed and once again started repression. Comrade’s Theels and Chinnaiah were arrested. In spite of this the people under the leadership CMAS boldly entered the fields, reaped the crop and distributed among themselves village wise. This was successfully carried out in spite of imposition of section 144, foisting of false cases, and the caders like Linga being behind the bars. This is because of organized strength of the Sangham and unity of the adivasi people. CMAS took the responsibility of the families of the arrested comrades. The ordinary members of the Sangham too shouldered the responsibility. The people occupied some more land in 2007. By the year 2008 the total extent of land under the enjoyment of the people is 118 acres. The police charge-sheeted Comrades Linga etc. under article 120 IPC as waging war against state. So to struggle for one’s own land is waging war against the state! Can such government is eligible to be called democratic and patriotic? After 16 months, court declared that charges against them are not proved and so struck off the case and set them free. Alas! There is no provision in our ‘democratic constitution’ to punish the police that foisted false cases! We suggest that democratic forces should agitate for inclusion of such a provision in the legal system. On the occasion of the release of the comrades a public meeting was held in Narayanapatna. 3000 people enthusiastically attended the meeting. Comrades Gananatha Patro, Srikanth, Varma, M.Bhaskara Rao, Arjun, Pydamma, Brahmanda Naik, Srinu Naidu were the speakers of the meeting. Very warm welcome was extended by the people to the released comrades. The people recognized the necessity of the united struggle and to continue the struggle. In the media meet held in Bhubaneswar

(capital city of Orissa state) on 2007 December 15 the cruel and illegal acts of the ruling classes were exposed. We thank the media for giving coverage truthfully. CMAS campaigned far and wide against the unjust repression of the state. Many small and big meetings were organized. The 5000 strong meeting held on 2008 March 20 at Sorupalli at Bandugam block is the high light of the anti-repression campaign. This meeting gave roaring call for strengthening the Sangham and to steadly and firmly move forward to wrest back the lands. Another public meeting was held at Woopergummati opposing imperialist plunder of Bauxite deposits. To this meeting people from Pottangi and Semiliguda block too attended. A clarion call was given to wage struggle against the plunder of country’s natural resources by imperialist and their Indian stooges. Than the consciousness of the adivasi people has been taken to higher and higher levels step by step. In the process of mass struggle the adivasi people understood the exploitation nature of the existing system. They realized that the overthrow of the existing system alone is the lasting solution to the entire problems they are facing. The people had understood and received well the CMAS stand of the necessity to intensify and broaden the struggle against land-lordism and imperialism. The movement spread to hundreds of villages. The leadership has been endevouring to improve the political consciousness of the cadre.

The Conspiracies of the Rulers to Break the Movement-The Repulse of CMAS
The ever expanding adivasi people’s movement for land and against the hegemony of various vested interests is naturally considered as a threat by the latter. All the exploitating and hegemonistic forces joined hands and conspired to break and disrupt the movement. Maoist squads frequently visit neighbouring area. They consider Sondies and some small trades as the enemies of the people and resort to annihilation. It is a fact Maoist assassinated some persons from these two sections. But the police held the activists of CMAS responsible for these murders and arrested and booked then under section 302 IPC i.e., crime of murder. To apprehend the activists of Sangham the police was riding the weekly Shandies and created an environment of terror in the Shandies. This severely affected the adivasi life. On 17 November 2008, the CMAS activist Aadenna and his wife, just like any adivasi went to Sorupalli Shandi to buy the week’s necessities. The local Pettandars (socially powerful and offensive groups of persons, may or may not be land-lords) showed Aadenna to the police in civil dress. The police immediately whisked away Com. Adenna, from the shandi itself in the presence of all, including his wife. The police are resorting to such unlawful measurers even previously. The arrest is not record and the whereabout of the people whisked by the police is not revealed. The adivasi people under the leadership of Comrade Arjun went to the P.S. a number of times and questioned and demanded the police not to resort to such atrocious acts. The kidnap of Com. Aadenna triggered off the simmering disgust and anger of the people. 400 hundred adivasis held their traditional weapons, marched to the police out post. They raised slogans like ‘Johar Lakshman Naik’, ‘Johar Birsa Munda’, 'Johar Purushotham Pali’, Zindabad Chasimulia Adivasi Sangham’ at a very high pitch. The police noticed the angry adivasi stream when it was at 2 K.M. away, shifted the kidnap adivasi people to Kashmipur P.S and left the out-post. This infuriated the tribals. They ventilated anger on the out-post. The response of the electronic media of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh is to put it mildly, irresponsible. Without saying a word of the police zulum, the e-media of the two states repeatedly

showed the adivasi attack on the empty police out post for 3 days. CMAS appealed the media to be neutral and faithful to the facts. in this case the people arrested two members of CMAS-Comrades Sriram and Asiraiah. At the time of the adivasi people ventilated their anger of Bandugam police outpost, the leadership and the cadre of Vizianagaram districts RCS were totally preoccupied in the preparation of the Sangham conference set for 2008 December 2,3 the venue being Parvathipuram. The police was dodging to give permission to the procession and public meeting. The leadership of Sangham was pursuing the police tenaciously in various ways-appeal, discussion, demand, and struggle. Ultimately the department relented a little and gave permission on the preceding night only to hold the public meeting in the out Skirts of Parvatipuram town. But the police continued to obstruct the people, at many places from proceeding to the conference. In spite of all obstructions the adivasi people managed to outwit the police and arrived at the conference venue to the surprise of police. The RCS district conference was held successfully. Eight thousand people attended the public meeting. Considerable number of CMAS people of Koraput and Raigarh districts also attended the public meeting and CMAS representative attended the conference. The two day conference was held with great enthusiasm and disciplinary proceedings. The huge public meeting and the lively performances by the people’s artistes raised high the spirit of the CMAS adivasi people. They left the venue of public meeting in high spirits and with firm determination to take forward the struggle in their region. There itself CMAS took a decision to hold a public meeting in Narayanapatna (block head quarter) with the cooperation of RCS, on Dec 23 2008 .

Public Meeting at Narayanapatna:
Narayanapatna is a block head-quarter in district Koraput. By 2004 in many of the neighbouring villages CMAS has activities. These village are very near to Duggeru area where the RCS has been working since 1990 and took deep and wide roots by 1998. The adivasis on either side of the border are of Jatapu tribe, with Kui mother tongue and socio-economically close by knitted. So the boundary is not only artificial but also a symbol of the continuation of age-old unjust practice of out-sider hegemony over the adivasis. The neighbouring Jatapu villages (in Orissa) are very much familiar with RCS. As per the decision at Parvathipuram RCS conference, CMAS held a public meeting at Narayanapatna on 23rd December 2008. It was attended by 8000 adivasis. A brief description of the event is required to picture the commitment, grit and enthusiasm of the people. The event and its importance was being extensively propogated by 50 propaganda squads of CMAS. It appealed that the people should bring with them, as usual as they can, rice, vegetables, pulses grown in their fields. There was also an appeal to bring enough fire wood and Addakulu (leaf with which leaf plates are knitted by tribals themselves). The response of the people was fantastic. 30 quintals of rice, large quantities of vegetables, pulses and all other necessary materials were being placed under the trees near by the public meeting ground. The 200 volunteers of the Sangham cooked the food and provided food systematically to more than 8000 people that attended the event. After the lunch a large procession of adivasis walked through the streets of Narayanapatna giving slogans in 3 languages-Kui, Orissa and Telugu. The sky line turned red with the flags. The people had Sangham red flags in one hand. Narayanapatna resounded with the slogan and Dappu (traditional high sound producing music device) sound; more than 20 adivasi women moved at the head of the procession

with their traditional dance performance. The procession arrived at the venue of public meeting at about 2.30 pm. On the dias of the public meeting the CMAS cultural activists performed a dance & song play exposing the Sahukar-forest official-Pettandar-police official combines exploitation, harassment and repression. The play exposed the plunder of forest based mineral deposits by the imperialist forces. The entire audience enthusiastically responded to the play. The play ran for 40 minutes. The public meeting that followed was presided by Nachake Linga. The leaders of Orissa, Comrade Gananatha Patro, Jharkand state leader Comrade Sambhu Mahatho, CPI(ML) Andhra Pradesh committee leader Comrade Kotaiah, RCS-AP State President Comrade Jhansi, the General Secretary of OPDR Mr. Bhaskara Rao, CMAS Orissa State leader Comrade Srikanth, Comrade Brahamanda Malik and others addressed the people. All the speakers condemned the exploitation and the repression to which the adivasi people are being subjected to by various ruling class sections, condemned the police repression and declared solidarity to the adivasi people’s movements in general and to the movement led by the CMAS in particular. Some of the speakers criticized wrong trends and acts of individual annihilation by left sectarian forces and the harm they cause to the long term interests of the people and the movement. They exhorted the people to defeat the state repression through mass resistance struggle. The speakers called upon the people to understand and defeat the evil designs of the ruling classes and their henchmen to disrupt the Sangham The event has a good political impact in the Narayanapatna area. The masses felt reassured that they are not alone and that there are such forces and movements in other parts of the country also. They clearly understood their weapon of protection against the powerful forest animals can also be their weapon to resist the cruel exploitation of ruling classes.

Land Question-Variant Manifestation's in Sangham-Struggle
Even after 6 decades of transfer of power adivasis did not get back their land. The declared purpose of Act 2/156 enacted by state government of Orissa was to stop the alienation of adivasi land to others. But it is obvious since a long time that pro-toiling masses legislation is not for implementation in an exploitative class state. Same is the fate of 2/156. The Shaukars (trader and merchants) and Sondies continue to grab the arable fertile lands of adivasis. These fellows do not cultivate the lands but lease out to the non-adivasi migrants-especially migrant from Andhra. The legitimate land-owners, the adivasis, are agriculture labourers in the same lands. This should not be tolerated by any genuine civilized society. Since British colonial time the Pydies are the violent henchmen of exploiting classes. Being in the service of exploitation sectors Pydies had been forcing adivasis to do Vetti (bonded labour). If for some reason an adivasi fails to perform agriculture work in the fields of pettandars, the Pydies of this area used to torture the adivasis. So relation, between adivasis and Pydies is very bitter. The modern (Adunathana) ruling classes and the local social hegemonic elements made use of the animosity between adivasis and Pydies to their advantage. To grab away various forest materials collected by adivasis at dead-cheap rates the sahukars routinely employ poor pydies against adivasis. Even though these Pydies are poor, they have carrying out force and violence against adivasis at the behest of exploiting pettandar section. To collect the usurious

loan from the adivasis, the Sahukar and Sondies employ Pydies. Pydies had been using very hard sticks against adivasis and hence the latter feared the Pydies more than the police. Though the adivasis were very much afraid of the Pydies, the latter are considered untouchable by the adivasis. The tribes people do not eat food served by Pydies and are not allowed to enter their houses. Adivasis socially look down at the Pydies. But, in the view of exploiting classes both these sections of people are same. The labour of these two sections was being paid meagrely. The exploiting classes invent even newer techniques to perpetuate the animosity between adivasis and Pydies. They know that their interests suffer if these two sections of the people unite. Hence the ruling classes always try to foster enemitical relations (animosity) between-Pydies and adivasis. CMAS considers this problem as a delicate issue and analysed it from a class outlook; the voilence of Pydies should be questioned and resisted. The same poor Pydies who constitute over whelming majority should be educated that their real interests would be served when they unite with adivasis only. This was the stand of CMAS in Narayanapatna public meeting (2008 December 3). We said that CMAS struggle is not against Pydies as such but against their violent attacks against adivasis. In the same way the stand point of CMAS with respect to the ownership of land by Pydies was also enlisted. The stand is the land of Pydies owning less than 5 acres will not be confiscated normally. Such Pydies will be encouraged to join in the movement. The same policy applies to the petty traders and artisans. The policy in the case of Sondies Sahukars is completely different-their lands will be confiscated the struggle against the exploitation and violence of there two jaties (castes) is broad based and just. Unfortunately Comrade Linga resorted to a different practice. He encouraged adivasis of few villages to forcibly occupy the lands of small and marginal Pydi peasants. CMAS appealed to Comrade Linga to rectify his non-class practice. Comrade Linga’s practice damaged the long-term interests of the movement to some extent. This is the difference between Comrade Linga and CMAS. Comrade Linga led astray adivasis of a few villages under his influence. Attacks were organized on the houses of Pydies, their houses were severally damaged. The attitudes of Comrade Linga and such other comrades, that movement should first target the henchmen of ruling class serves the interests of the ruling classes-Sondies Sahukars in this context. The leadership CMAS patiently explained Com. Linga the incorrectness of his stand. But Linga instead of discarding his non-class practice, led the adivasis and ransacked the home and hearth of Pydies in Eguvagummadivalasa and Diguvagummadi Valsa villages. in January 2009. Because of the attack of Pydies 100 families fled away to Narayanapatna,, Lakshmipur and Similigudas. In March 2009, in Kanguputtu village of Narayanapatna block, Linga has wrested tamarind from chiristian adivasis. So an opinion that CMAS is against Pydi people pervaded this area. The Sangham took steps to correct this view.

Elections-CMAS Stand
It is described in the previous pages under what horrible conditions the terribly vexed adivasis people ventilated their ‘Just Anger’ on the police out-post at Bandugam taking it as a protest to police foisted cases on many leaders and organizers, including Comrade Arjun of CMAS. All those comrades went underground and continued to extensive work among the people for 5 months. In the first week of March 2009 a meeting of CMAS important activists of 50 villages was organized. The meeting discussed the stand to be taken in the ensuing parliament and assembly elections. There a decision was taken not to allow liquor

transport from the hills to Sorupalli, Neelavadi and Bandugam villages where the liquor was being totally abandoned. At Kommiganda the block chairman Mellika Mutyalus, abused and physically attacked the adivasi women obstructing the liquor transport. The people responded befittingly-unable to bear this resistance of the people at Kommiganda, the block chairman with his few gangsters attacked the adivasis going from Kunteru and Konapalli. Then he proceeded to the P.S. and lodged a false complaint alleging that the Sangham leaders attacked him. Enraged at this false complaint 4000 adivasi marched to B.D.O. Office and staged dharna. The dharna was addressed by CMAS leader and also by Comrade Ganesh Panda, a state leader of APFTU. Still that case is in court. The people under the leadership of the Sangham continued to disallow the liquor from up-hills, continue to oppose anti-social activity of the liquor brewing Sondies and continued the activity of the Sangham. Here, the antiliquor struggle is a long drawn out struggle. Celebrating International Women's day-on March 9th a public meeting of 1000 women took place. The speakers of the meeting Comrades Aruna, Krishnaveni, Ganesh Panda, Verma and Bhaskara Rao and others pointedly explained the importance of united conscious struggle by the women with examples from recent as well distant history. This meeting inspired the women of Aalamanda area to involve in CMAS activity in a large number. ‘2009 March first week meeting’ took a decision to participate and contest in the ensueing election with a clear agenda-to consolidate the results of previous activity and to spread the activity of CMAS to new areas. Here a brief presentation of Geodemography and the way elections took place is necessary. Koraput constituency is vast in area. The population density is low. Voting percentage is low. To cast vote one has to trek large distance across hills. The people do not have knowledge of voting procedure. Normally the ruling classes do not allow people to go to polling booths. Instead their henchmen cast the votes of the people. The Congress party candidate Giridhar Gomango got himself elected from the Koraput constituency. If not himself he ensures his choosy follower to win. He does not brook even a semblance of challenge to his hegemony. Though Koraput is a constituency reserved for scheduled tribe, none of the ruling parties’ candidates never represent the real interests of adivasis. This is the state of affairs since the first election. CMAS decided to break the vicious grip of the ruling class parties on the election and to put before the people how to overcome the millenia old exploitation and opportunism. The sangham fielded Comrade Arjun in Lakshmipur assembly constituency. This is the unanimous decision of the March First week meeting. Comrade Arjun through his committed work over a considerable period, evolved as a leader of the Sangham in the area. On March 27th, five hundred adivasi people marched through the streets of Koraput town and the nomination of Com. Arjun was filed. The day was very hot. The Koraput residents were surprised at the grit and anger expressed by the adivasies. The Lakshmipur constituency is 150 K.M. long. It has 3 blocks-Bandugam, Narayanapatna and Dasyantapur. 200 villages constitute the 3 blocks. The propaganda squads of CMAS campaigned in all the villages. Many villages were visited on foot and some covered by jeep squads. The propaganda is extensive and intensive. Throughout the campaign the activists and members of the Sangham, in hundreds, actively participated. Especially 50 youngsters are totally involved from the day one to the last. Cultural activity was an integral part of the mass campaign.

In Shandies of Aalamanda, Narayanapatna, Sorupet and Kumbariputtu extensive campaign was organized by squads as well as through public meeting. The people voluntarily contributed to the election expenditure. Each family contributed Rs 10/- and the total amount thus received was Rs. 22,000/-. In all the villages the people enthusiastically declared support to the Sangham. The propaganda was mainly on the following lines: People have sovereign right over land, water, forest and all other natural resources. The imperialist plundering of these natural resources is thoroughly exposed, condemned and hence the need to eradicate this through united revolutionary mass struggle. The three ruling class parties. BJD, Congress and BJP should be defeated. CPI, CPM which are no less than the ruling class parties are fit to be defeated. The unethical as well as illegal practice of buying the voters should be seriously opposed and thwarted. The basic demand of adivasis was being continuously propagated. Finally people are appealed to cast their vote for the Sangham candidate Comrade Arjun. In this context too ‘Linga faction’ which temporarily deserted CMAS propagated against the Sangham candidate. They told people “not to vote to Sangham candidate Kendraka Arjun. Throw Peda Neelu (cattle dung water) on the Sangham members when they come to ask for vote.” Not only that. They threatened to cut off the forehand of those who put vote to the Sangham candidate. Maoists too did not differentiate the ruling class party candidates and the candidate of CMAS. They propagated all are the birds of the same feather. Their stand pained CMAS. It is made clear to the people that this political stand of Maoist party is not correct.

The Incidents in Narayanapatna Area During May 2009-The Understanding of CMAS:
In Orissa, the BJD has electoral alliance with CPM and CPI in 2009 general election. BJP, Congress contested without alliances. Koraput district election was in the first leg. So for the declaration of election result there was one month time. In that period many things happened in Narayanapatna area. The Congress and BJP elements in the area unleashed the following propaganda. CMAS is not monolithic. Two sections are present and took to different stands in election. Now the Sangham weakened. And they resorted to conspiracies to disrupt CMAS. These forces brought together the Pydies whose land was occupied by misguided adivasis and a small section of adivasis who are against Sangham (for various reasons) and hence could not get land. With them a peace committee was floated. Under this banner on 2009 May 5th 4000 people took out a procession in Narayanapatna raising slogans against CMAS. They submitted a memorandum, with a set of demands to the BDO: CMAS should be banned, Arjun and Linga the leaders of CMAS, should be arrested. The lands occupied under the leadership of Linga should be restored to the erstwhile enjoyers. The memorandum said the elements from Andhra are instigating the tribals resulting in disturbed situation in the area. As a retaliation to the above programme of peace committee, some adivasis led by Linga, reaped and took away crops in 32 acres of 5 families who are against Sangham and participated in the procession. These 5 families are residents of Komipodar village of Balipeta panchayat. The peace committee decided to wrest the crop from the adivasis. Congress leader Kunjupodi (Narayanapatna), BJP leaders Gopinath and Viswanath (Domigili) gang arrived at Bachinapattu village. On the way in Domisila village, they ransacked the houses of 10 members of CMAS and took away house-hold articles. In Bachapattu village the houses of two adivasi persons- Teelsu and Sahadevaporidi-were ransacked and articles in the house were taken away. On seeing

this hundreds of adivasi people gathered there. In the ensuing tussel an adivasi of Gowthiguda-Nityananda Malik-died. Six persons were severely injured. In these attacks and counter attacks the sufferers are were looted poor adivasis and Pydies. 500 Pydies whose houses went to Narayanapatna B.D.O. office and requested for rehabilitation. The effected adivasis went to the forest to rebuild their lives. The entire media accused Linga only for this riotious situation and the Congress and BJP leaders anti-people role was completely ignored. What is the stand of CMAS on the series of these incidents? For many people in Koraput district and many other parts of Orissa this became a point of discussion. Malicious propaganda was made against the Sangham. Under these circumstances on 15th May, 2009 May 15 a team under the leadership of CMAS met the Pydies sheltered in the compound of Narayanapatna block office. The team met the officers also. It expressed condolances to those died and injured in the series of attacks and counter attacks. The team demanded the arrest of real culprits BJP and Congress leaders. The team seriously questioned the land commissioner for the inordinate delay in settling the land problem. It declared the political acts of revenge by Linga faction damaged the stature of the Sangham and appealed to Linga to change his stand and cooperate with the Sangham on the key land issue. The members of the team are Comrades Ganesh Panda, Srikanth Mahanti, M.Bhaskara Rao, Arjun, Pydamma, Seethakka and Sreenu. The team demanded the government to rebuild the mutually destroyed houses, to ensure congenial environment in the effected villages so that the people of both the sections can go back to their respective villages. The leadership of CMAS severely condemned the exploitative ruling section for its malacious propaganda against the Sangham. A pamphlet was released in this context. The pamphlet pointed out that the defects in the stand of Linga were wrongly attributed to Sangham. The pamphlet was widely distributed and it was being explained in a number of small meetings. Then it was decided to hold a public meeting to explain the correct stand of CMAS to the entire population of the area.

Bundugam Public Meeting:
CMAS organized a large public meeting on 20th June 2009 at Bandugam. From the dias the Sangham gave a clarion call for the following programme. Thwart the attempts and expose the elements attempting to disunite the Sangham. Resist and rebuff the attack of reactionary exploitative forces. Unite firmly to build united militant mass struggle for land and against oppression and exploitation of ruling classes. People from 15 panchayats of Bandugam and Narayanapatna blocks of Koraput district and from two panchayats of Raigarh district-altogether more than 14,000 people from 120 villages attended the public meeting. A considerable number of non-adivasi poor people also attended the meeting. Before the meeting a huge procession started from Sorupalli (Shantha). All the people in the procession held their traditional weapons in one hand and Sangham flag in the other hand. Many banners were held by the processionists. With the adivasi songs related to the movement, their traditional as well as militant songs, with thundering drum beat and resounding slogans of the movement, the whole scene was highly inspiring. As 200 member strong cultural team, consisting both women and men, walked at the head of the stream singing and dancing the procession traversed a distance of 5 K.M., from Sorupalli Santa to Bandugam. Com.Gurram Vijayakumar, C.C.M; C.P.I.(ML), Com. Kotaiah, a CPI(ML) leader of Andhra Pradesh state committee, Com. Srikanth, the CMAS Orissa state leader, local leader of CMAS Comrades Krishna and Arjun, Com, Jhansi, the president of RCS (AP),

Com. Pydamma and leaders of certain other mass organizations spoke in the public meeting. The speeches were brief, analytical and crisp. The speakers traced the deprivation of adivasis, their heroic struggles for the last 250 years and the pivotal position of adivasi peasant movement in the New Democratic Revolution of India. An extensive preparatory campaign was being undertaken for this public meeting. 100 activists of CMAS formed into 4 groups, with two types of pamphlets propagated innovatively among the people. It was being explained that the public meeting would be held successfully by the collective efforts of all the people. People were confident of holding the meeting. So for its smooth functioning they came prepared with necessary food material and organized the lunch collectively.

Alienated Lands-Adivasis in Struggle
The basic demand of adivasis of Orissa is to implement Act 2/56 and give them back their original lands. To achieve this demand the adivasis of Koraput district are on struggle. They learned through their experience that it is necessary to unite in the Sangham and struggle to realize the demand. In the Bandugam meeting of 2009 June 20, the adivasis took a solemn pledge that they will continue their struggle under the leadership of CMAS until they get back their lands. In the past, the Sahukars who went to Bandugam from outside wrested the lands of adivasis by frand and force. A company by STM, about 12 years back bought 200 acres of such lands from sahukar. The company erected a fence around the lands. It propagated that it will grow special Teak trees in the land and share holders will get huge return at the end of 20 years. They promised a share Rs. 1800/- will ultimately deliver Rs. 1,00,000. So many people from plains bought the shares of STM Company. After bagging huge amount the company abandoned the project which is illegal in all aspects. After analysing these facts CMAS decided that the adivasi people have every right to take back the lands. On June 26, 27th 2009 five thousand adivasis entered the lands allegedly under the ownership of STM company, cut the entire Teak plantation and immediately started agricultural activity. True to their nature the exploiters could not stomach the assertion of adivasi people of their right to land. The comprador elements lodged false complaints against the RCS leadership to Andhra police. Vizianagaram district police which is very eager to file cases against the leadership of Vizianagaram district unit of RCS (AP) immediately swung into action. In the midnight of June 27th the police raided the house of M.Bhaskara Rao and whisked him away. The police declared that the leaders of RCS led the famine raid in Panasabhadra on June 17 night and hence a case was being filed against them after investigation and arrested Bhaskara Rao as part of apprehending the culprits. But the people clearly understood the evil motive of police. The people did not believe the police allegation against Comrades Varma, Bhaskar, Mutyalu and Srinu Naidu the RCS leaders of VZM district. The people clearly saw the design of police of depriving leadership to the adivasi people of Koraput district. The people decided the police design could not deter the struggle. On June 30th the people of Alamanda entered into some more lands under the occupation of STM. 2000 adivasis yielding their traditional weapons held a procession condemning the arrest of Com. M.Bhaskara Rao and the false case filed against RCS leaders. They demanded withdrawal of all cases because they are false. The adivasis repeated that their ancestral lands should be restored to them. A pamphlet was published on this occasion. The militant way the adivasis wrested back their lands under the occupation of STM sent shivers through the spine of non-tribal landgrabbers. So they came to the

conclusion that they have no option but to give back the lands to original owner-the adivasis. In Kattukapeta 300 acres land is under the occupation of non-tribals. This land originally belongs to the adivasis of Kaviti, Kesubhadra, Raghumeda, Yesada, Sunapolamanda, Yedugummalavalasa and Kattulapeta. The Sondies, Sahukars and other non-tribals took away these lands from tribals by deception. The way the adivisis, land was being alienated is very pathetic. To cite a few example)-In lieu of lending 12 Kunchalu (kgs) of grain in scarcity times, the Sahukars snatched 12 acres land from adivasis! Bobbiliraju who used to go to that forest for hunting gave some mutton to the adivasis and in-lieu of that after a few years he snatched away 30 acres. In Kattulapeta an adivasi took a second hand motor cycle which came to repair after a single ride. On this pretext the Sahukar took hold of 10 acres of the adivasi. A garment trader from far away Nellore (A town in A.P. very near to Chennai) had been selling garments on credit basis to the adivasis of this area. Accusing the tribals that they were unable to clear the debt, the trader took hold of 15 acres in Aalamanda, 30 acres in Kattulapeta. Innumerable are such shocking stories. In the process of people’s movement only such obnoxious stories see the light of the day. Inspite of the alienation of adivasi lands over a long period inspite of the struggle of the adivasis for restoration of the land the district administration did not respond. Instead the administration resorted to repression on the victims-adivasis. The adivasis after being organized and made conscious of their rights started taking back the lands themselves. The non-adivasi landlords of Kattulapeta enjoying the lands of tribals illegally behaved adamantly for a long time. They tried to deceive the people. They declared they themselves would distribute the lands and also join Sangham. But the adivasis understood this nefarious design of the land-lords and rejected the offer of the later. On July 12, 2009 five thousand adivasis marched into the lands and reoccupied 350 acres at Kattulapeta. The impact of re-occupation of STM lands and the lands at Kattulapeta had a widespread impact in the entire district Koraput. The adivasis in other pockets of the district also started asserting their right to land. But a word spread that some anti-social forces would enter the other pockets on July 15 to loot and ransack the houses of adivasis. The rumour became a reality with the entry of 600 new persons into the area. As 10,000 adivasis entered in those pockets, the anti-social elements silently went way. After these 10,000 people with traditional weapons in their hands marched towards Bandugam and up to Neelavati traversing a distance of 6 K.m. During the march the adivasis reoccupied 350 acres in Kattulapeta 250 acres in Bandugam, 30 acres in Mulamada, 30 acres at Katragada, 307 acres at Neelavai, 5 acres at Yesada, 10 acres at Jagguguda and 12 acres at Dasin. In this programme of taking back the alienated land CMAS followed the policy of total confiscation of the land under the occupation of deceptors and aggressive nontribals but allot 3 acres of land to each non-adivasi labouring poor household who are prepared to live in peace with adivasis respecting the tradition of the later. Thus the adivasis united into Sangham implemented Act 2/56 in a short time which the Orissa government did not bother to implement for 52 years and started joint cultivation in those lands.

Repression on Adivasi, Peasant Labour Movement-Investigations by the Fact Finding Committees.
As the adivasis, united into CMAS has been wresting back their lands in the illegal possession of non-adivasi pettandars and those lands unjustly taken away by forest department, the supposed protectors of the interests of adivasies-the rulers and the

government-entered the field against adivasis. To suppress the movement the government (police) is filing false cases against the movement and threating the members of CMAS. Already described elsewhere in this write-up, taking advantage of an incorrect practice by a small section of the Sangham and the consequent losses suffered by some non-adivasi poor the rulers unleashed a negative propaganda against the Sangham. In this situation the so called famine raid of June 17 by alleged Maoists created exciting situation in Panasabhadra in VZM district. It is very near to Orissa State. RCS has strong organisation in the village for the last 16 years RCS has been organizing the people in this district for land withstanding all odds and attacks of land lords and Pettandars. The people, in many villages successfully took hold of the lands and are cultivating them. Panasabadra is one such village. It is in Makkuva Mandal. 0n June 17th 2009 night a few weapon-wielding persons mobilized more than 100 adivasi people from the neighbouring villages of Orissa and attacked the houses of twonon-adivasi families who migrated to this village long back. The attackers took away the movable property material from those houses. This supposed famine raid by outsiders created confusion and troublesome situation. Immaterial of the question whether the raid can be called famine raid or not, taking into consideration the damaging consequences that may arise from it and in the light of previous experiences, the leadership and the people of RCS felt disturbed. Further, just two days before Bandugam (Orissa) meeting, on June 18, near Bandugam, Maoists blasted a land-mine which resulted in the death of 19 police personnel-The state home minister was scheduled to tour the area-intensive search was on. Because of all these the atmosphere was tense and surcharged. Because of June 17 and June 18 events the June 20 Bandugam meeting acquired extra importance. CMAS overcame all these problems and was able to organize the June 20 Bandugam meeting very successfully in all aspects relevant to adivasi life, their problems and their on going movement. Within a few days of this successful meeting, as told in previous pages, the Panasabadra raid was attributed to RCS, case foisted against the leaders of district RCS and Comrade M.B.Rao was taken into custody from his house on June 27 mid-night. The police is searching for others implicated. Under these circumstances the RCS-AP appealed the intellectuals and democrats to visit the areas, verify the facts about the famine raid and the land reoccupation programme of CMAS and the repression on it. In response to the appeal Dr. K.R.Chowday (Retd. Professor), D.Satyanarayana Reddy, a retired district Court Judge, and C.Bhaskara Rao of OPDR formed into a team and visited the area. The team visited Pasanabhadra and Makkuva P.S. On July 4 and on July 5 Bandugam and Aalamanda area of Koraput district where CMAS has been working. Hundreds of adivasis get together and welcomed the team at Bandugam and Alamanda. The team visited the alleged STM lands now taken back by adivasies. The committee explained its finding to Oriya media at Bandugam and released a brief written report a VZM. The FFC declared RCS has nothing to do with the raid in Panasabhadra, demanded withdrawal of the case against RCS borders and unconditional release of M.B.Rao. The FFC condemned repression on the people’s movement and declared adivasi movement as a justified one. On 14th July, 2009 a five member team headed by Prafulla Samanta Roy (Loksakthi Abhiyan) and Vivekananda Das (Journalist) visited Narayapatna-Bandugam areas and observed the CMAS led struggle.

The CMAS profusely thank the fact finding committees for their solidarity to the adivasi movement.

People are the Real Heroes
Because of the steady work the Sangham has been doing for the last 15 years, especially because of intensive work since one year the adivasi movement spread to hundreds of villages in Koraput district. The way the adivasi people are uniting in the Sangham, the creativity and intiative the people are exhibiting in the reoccupation of their alienated lands under the guidance and leadership of the Sangham, the way thousands of adivasis are on the march clearly shows the seriousness of the land problem in the area and land hunger of the adivasi people. Because of the correct stand of CMAS leadership a few small quarrels in vogue among the people subsided and they marched unitedly. In the process of struggle for land the people succeeded in achieving many other demands. They are able to resolve various problems. On 6th August, 2009 they unearthed 200 quintal rice stored illegally. The people expressed their deep anguish and anger at this act of stock-piling of rice by the traders while the people are suffering from hunger because of very high prices of food grains. Under the leadership of CMAS people took hold of the 200 quintal stock and within 2 hours distributed the whole rice equally to adivasi people of 26 villages. The totality of this event clearly shows, the people are capable of interrogating any anti-people act of Sahukars and exploiters. CMAS started mobilizing adivasis first on relatively minor problems and led the struggle step by step to the stage of reoccupation of alienated lands. The problems taken up by Sangham may be summarized as follows- problems related to Forest produce-Forest problem-the problem with Sahukars-the attacks by the officialdom in Shandies. In the course of the movement the people themselves invented many a song, tunes and cultural forms and also upgraded their traditional cultural forms to the new situation. The people created 50 songs in their native Jatapu tongue. The songs were sung in each and every campaign. Understanding the land issue is pivotal, understanding the politics and policies of Sangham, thousands of thousands of adivasis hundreds of entire villages bee-lined to the struggle. The movement is at the stage of firmly moving forward, protecting at the same time the results already achieved. This movement appeals for the support and solidarity of urban workers, rural poor of plain area middle class, democrats and intellectuals. The adivasi people of Koraput are proving that the people are the real heros. Kudos to them. Clashes Among the Adivasis and Non-Adivasi Poor:

Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh On May 8, 2009, physical clashes have taken place between the Adivasis and Pydis in Narayanapatna area. Nityananda Mallik died in the clash. On May 15, 09, a 15 member delegation from Bandugaon village led by the Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh met the BDO, Thasildar and the District Land Commissioner of Narayana Patna. They have presented a memorandum and demanded the resolution of land problem which is the root cause of the clashes between the two sections of the poor. This delegation included Com. Ganesh Panda, Srikanth Mohanthy, Bhaskar Rao, Arjun, Pydamma, Seetanna, Krishna, Sreenu and others. The delegation explained the attitude of Sangham on various aspects of the problem to the people who gathered before the Tahsil Office. The demands include: i) Return of lands to the adivasis which were unjustly grabbed by the S.C. Shahukars from the adivasis; 2) The Govt. to take responsibility for the construction of houses destroyed by each other; 3) Create a proper atmosphere for the

SC people who fled away from the villages to stay in their own villages. The Sangh leaders explained the root cause of problem to the people. They expressed their condolence to those who lost their lives and sympathies for adivasis who were seriously wounded in the clashes. The Chasi Muliya Adivasi Sangh (CMAS) expressed its regret for the situation where physical clashes have taken place between the Adivasis and poor people from Pydis. The CMAS has expressed its pain at the danger of ruling class parties utilising these clashes to push the people into a state of fear and confusion and turning it into a ‘law and order’ question. It made clear that the CMAS has nothing to do with these indiscriminate physical clashes. Similarly, the CMAS has put its concrete proposals before the Govt. in the Dec 23, 2008 public meeting in Narayanapatna attended by thousands of people on how to resolve the contradictions between the adivasis and the poor people of the Pydis. Regrettably, when the problem needed to be resolved in a delicate manner, a handful of anti-sangh and anarchist political elements are seriously trying to take it into their hands. With this, the problem has become more complicated and the local people are worried as to what shape it is going to take in future. The CMAS feels that the media has not played a responsible role in the context of these clashes. For some centuries, the British imperialists, the feudal classes and contractors had been maintaining a situation where the contradictions among the adivasi and nonadivasi poor grow and they quarrel, clash and kill each other. None of the so called native Govts. tried to resolve this problem. They were only retaining the same situation. For hundreds of years, the exploiting classes are utilizing this contradiction as the oppressed masses of adivasi and non adivasis could not properly understand this. The contractors and big shahukars who had come to this area from the plain areas are utilizing the SC people known here as Pydis against the STs. The exploiting classes had developed relations with the non-adivasi Pydis who are living in the adivasi areas for centuries. They are carrying out a conspiracy of pitting the Pydis against the adivasi people. It must be noted that 85 percent of non-adivasi Pydis are toiling poor. Their economic status is same as that of adivasis. The rest of the Pydis who are not more than 15 percent belong to the exploiting class and other atrocious forces and they oppress the adivasis. The exploiting classes are using these Pydis to carry on atrocities against the adivasi people. The Pydis throwing meat pieces into the houses of adivasis with a view to force them to render free labour and beating with hunters those who do not join the work-this kind of atrocious method used by the feudal forces were the main cause for the growth of hatred and animosity among the adivasis against Pydis. The CMAS has understood this situation. It is working with an orientation of uniting the entire masses of oppressed people, separating the exploiting section from the Pydis and carrying on the struggle against the exploitation and atrocities. Its attitude is not one of destroying all the Pydis because they are non- adivasis. In reality, it has been opposing and waging a consistent struggle against the attempts of ruling classes, shahukars and contractors to characterise all the Pydis as exploiters and flare up hatred and clashes among the poor of Pydis and adivasis. The CMAS has appealed that the poorer sections of Pydis must live unitedly with the adivasi people who are a worst exploited lot. The CMAS is of the view that it is not correct for some adivasi leaders who fail to understand this approach to rouse animosity and hostility against all non-adivasis. It appeals to all the toiling people that unity must be strengthened among the poorest adivasi and non-adivasi people. The occupied lands under the cultivation of adivasis must be returned; the destroyed houses of adivasis must be reconstructed and all the exploited and oppressed adivasi and non-adivasi people must carry on the struggle against those who are exploiters and playing an atrocious role. It appeals that the

oppressed people must hate the acts of exploiting classes and the state that are aimed at inflaming animosity among them and thus forge a solid unity. The exploited and oppressed masses of adivasi and non-adivasi people must remember that they had won many rights and demands as a result of united struggles against the exploiting classes, shahukars, contractors, liquor traders and the administration. They are able to protect these gains. Their struggle for land, water and forest is still on. They are carrying on a struggle under the leadership of CMAS against the attempts of the Govt. to lease out vast tracks of land and hills to corporate companies for loot of precious bauxite resources. The Govt. sought to destroy the movement by repressive method and by foisting false cases against the sangham activists and leaders. Now the unity among the people is sought to be destroyed and movement is sought to be reduced into directionless by inflaming divisions, hostilities and clashes among the adivasi and non-adivasi poor people of Pydis. The CMAS calls upon the people not to fall prey to this and foil it by further strengthening their unity. CHASI MULIYA ADIVASISANGH KORAPUT-RAYAGADA